OP-ED: Antioch Police Chief explains need for Measure W sales tax increase

By Antioch Chief of Police, Tammany Brooks

It has been my honor to serve as Antioch’s Chief of Police for the past 16 months. Thank you to the residents who have provided me with comments, feedback, and perspectives on how we are doing and what your public safety needs and priorities are. Your support has been, and continues to be, truly appreciated.

I am extremely proud of my law enforcement family who, to a person, works diligently to keep the Antioch community safe. With the help of funds generated by a voter measure adopted in 2013, our department has made some significant progress over the last five years.

Since that time, we hired 58 police officers, working to reach our fully authorized staffing level of 104 police officers. We also hired four community service officers, freeing police officers to focus more time on enforcement related duties. The average response time for Priority 1 emergency calls for service has decreased by more than 1 minute 40 seconds. Property crime has decreased more than 27%, and violent crime has decreased by more than 40%!

Additional code enforcement officers and specialists have also been hired to fight illegal dumping, graffiti and blight.

But even with all that said, there is still a lot of work to be done to make Antioch safer and improve the quality of life for all its residents.

That is why the Antioch community needs to make an informed decision about Measure W – the proposed extension of Antioch’s previous voter-approved sales tax, at the one-cent rate.

In August, the Antioch City Council unanimously placed Measure W on the November ballot after receiving feedback from hundreds of residents on their safety and quality of life priorities.

If enacted, Measure W is intended to address, among other priorities: maintaining 911 emergency response, restoring/maintaining the number of police officers patrolling city streets, funding traffic enforcement patrols, and preparing public safety personnel for rapid, coordinated responses to natural disasters.

There are 11 state measures and numerous legislative and local candidates on your ballot. Familiarize yourself with your ballot from top to bottom, and remember to cast a vote on Measure W. 

For more information on Measure W and Antioch’s Police Department, visit www.antiochca.gov.

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