California is so broke…
It could be the setup to any number of outrageous punch lines, but few jokes could top the reality in one Golden State town.
Antioch police are apparently experiencing a staff shortage so severe that public servants of all stripes are being drafted to help enforce law and order.
An ongoing program known as “We’re Looking Out for You” provides training to local mail carriers and trash collectors in the hopes they will be able to spot crime being missed by genuine authority figures. The city of more than 100,000 currently deploys as few as five officers during a shift.
Reports show that the department is at least 12 officers short and, even if fully staffed, would employ about 25 fewer officers than in recent years.
There are many reasons California is not on my short list of vacation spots, but the thought of relying on a postal employee in an emergency is particularly discouraging.
I certainly mean no offense to the many proud mail carriers and garbage collectors across America. My sentiments would be the same no matter the municipal workers called on to fill in the law enforcement gap.
If actual police are not capable of effectively patrolling the streets of Antioch, calling on staff from unrelated departments – who are already performing their own prescribed duties – doesn’t make me feel significantly safer.
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