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Chief: Top goal is improving service to city

Chief: Top goal is improving service to city

April 17th, 2019 by Liz Morales in Local News

Within the first two months of being named California police chief, Shane Templeton has focused on three areas dedicated to improving his department's service to the community.

Those three areas are staffing, use of technology and improving the department's relationships with other law enforcement agencies and the community.

Staffing

Much of the focus for the department has been to bring it to full staff and making changes in its leadership structure.

"We just hired on another officer, so we are now at eight full-time officers with four part-timers we will use as needed," he said.

The newest officer will begin duties in the middle of April when his training is complete.

"With the group of guys we have, the outlook is very positive," Templeton said of the police department. "We've gotten tremendous support from the mayor and the city, which has attracted great candidates."

Templeton also noted two key promotions: Kevin Feltrop, a sergeant, and Daniel Hurt, a captain.

As captain, Hunt is second in command to the chief. These promotions leave the department without a corporal or lieutenant. Once the newly hired officers gain experience and time, they may advance to the ranks of corporal or lieutenant, he said.

As the new leadership is structured, Templeton is also looking to alter the hourly shifts his officers currently follow.

"Everyone is now on 12-hour shifts," he said. "In the future, as officers complete training, we want to make the start times (for shifts) to work better for peak hours and call volumes."

Technology

In an effort to maintain safety for the officers as well as the public, the department is using body cameras that can be attached to the uniform.

The camera is clipped to the uniform at all times during a shift; it's an important resource, Templeton said.

"The department has had these cameras as long as I've been here," he said. "They're an important resource to utilize accurately to document the officers and the public. They're used to enhance the accuracy of officer reports and for court testimony."

The cameras, which not only record visual data, but audio, are also used for evidence, prosecution, training and evaluation purposes.

"They're just one more tool in the toolbox to better serve the community," Templeton said.

"We have everyone download the footage to a computer after every shift," Templeton said. "Right now, we're working to fine tune the body camera policy.

"This policy will be made to make sure the footage is uploaded no later than every shift," he said.

Building relationships

The new changes within the department, Templeton said, are being made in an effort to better the community. An integral part of that, he said, is through the help of other agencies.

"I want to continue to foster a good relationship with the different entities we work with," he said. "They're the Highway Patrol, the sheriff's office and the Tipton police. Effective communication between all of these departments is paramount to me."

He said the three entities work and train together on a regular basis, share information when needed and do what they can to keep an open line of communication.

"Not to say that we don't have a good relationship," Templeton said. "Things can just always be improved, and I'd like to see that happen."