Code enforcement, police, feral cat issues addressed at recent Antioch Council meetings

Antioch Police phone appAntioch Police introduce new phone app

By John Crowder

At the two most recent Antioch city council meetings issues of code enforcement and police matters continued to dominate in public comments and presentations.

Code enforcement, particularly with respect to the feral cat problem, and trash dumping, were the focus of comments and concerns expressed by residents at the August 26th council meeting. At the September 9th meeting, the use of social media by the Antioch Police Department (APD) was the main topic.

At the last council meeting in August, six people addressed the council regarding enforcement of the ban on feeding feral cats on public property. Their attendance at the meeting was prompted by the citing of a volunteer, Ray Zeeb, a 35-year resident of Antioch, who has, along with others, been feeding the feral cats for some time. Zeeb complained that he was ticketed for the activity even though he had understood that the city had agreed to a moratorium on enforcement of the ordinance banning the feeding of feral cats for six months, beginning three months ago.

I got the first ticket for feeding feral cats,” he said, as he held up the citation.

Karen Kops, president of Homeless Animals Response Program (HARP), an all-volunteer 501(c)3 animal welfare organization, also spoke about the citation. Kops stated that the volunteers had reached an agreement with the city to allow them to continue to feed the cats for 6 months. “We went into the trial period in good faith,” she stated, but said the ticket was given to Zeeb with no warning.

Kops said that the trap, neuter, and release (TNR) program they had implemented had been going on during the aforementioned trial period, and that approximately 80 cats had been spayed and neutered in that time. She said the real problem was people dumping cats in the area.

Kops also decried the discovery of a cat that had been severely burned and had to be euthanized, saying her organization, along with others, was offering a reward for information about the incident.

Kenneth Clark, a resident of Antioch since 1971, also spoke to the council, expressing his concern with the condition of Marchetti Park.

I pick up trash in that park three to five times per week,” he said.

He went on to say that people were cutting the fence in order to create a shortcut to Hudson Court. He requested the council repair the fence and cut the shrubbery in the area, which he said was overgrown and provided cover for individuals cutting the fence.

Lori Cook, one of Antioch’s Citizens of the Year, recognized for her blight fighting activities, was also back before the council. She spoke about her latest crusade, the removal of clothing and other donation boxes from areas throughout the city. Cook talked about the many cleanups that she and her group, “Cleaning Up Antioch One House At A Time” had conducted. Cook has been advocating for the removal of the donation boxes because they are broken into and their contents strewn about the area, further contributing to the impression of Antioch as a dumping ground.

Finally, resident Sam Kashabi expressed concern that the city was preventing him from putting security on his two-acre property to stop dumping, prostitution, and homeless people from invading his land. He told the council that he wants to place on-site security there, but says the city won’t allow it.

Even the city dumps there garbage on West Texas Street,” he said. “I’d like to have a permit to put somebody there.”

City Manager Steve Duran said he would meet with Kashabi to discuss the matter.

During the September 9th meeting, Police Captain Tammany Brooks illustrated a new method that has been implemented by the Antioch Police Department (APD) for interacting with the public. APD has now become the first law enforcement agency in Contra Costa County, and only the 15th such agency in the state, to develop and implement a phone application, entitled Police Application for Public Notification, to connect with the department that can be downloaded onto any cell phone.

Captain Brooks said, “Since Chief Cantando took the helm of the department just over three years ago, one of his primary visions has been to improve the relationship between the police department and the community we serve.” He talked about APD utilizing social media as part of the outreach effort, and noted that APD has currently over 4500 friends on Facebook.

Today I’m proud to unveil the next step in keeping the public connected with the Antioch Police Department…instead of telling you about it, I’d like to show you.” “I’m going to show you the Antioch Police Department Mobile Application for Smartphones. It’s available for free download through the Apple store, and through Google Play, and people can stay connected, wherever they are, through mobile access to news, crime maps, social media alerts, and more.”

Brooks went on to say that, with this application, you have the ability to file an online report, to submit a tip for a crime that has already occurred, to look at crime maps, and many other features, including a scanner and an alert function. Brooks also noted that no taxpayer money was spent developing the application, but that the money had come from asset forfeiture.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the city council will take place on Tuesday, September 23. Meetings are held in the City Council Chambers, 3rd and H Streets in downtown, starting at 7:00 p.m. or they can be viewed live at www.ci.antioch.ca.us/CityGov/citycouncilmeetings.htm.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

the attachments to this post:


Antioch Police phone app


No Comments so far.

Leave a Reply