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Dear Editor,
In the July 20, 2011 edition of their newspapers, the Oakdale Leader and the Riverbank News carried the same story regarding city councils’ study of a JOINT single Police Department.
The story written by John Branch set forth the details of a joint meeting to take place on Monday, Aug. 29 of both Riverbank City Council and the Oakdale City Council. Hopefully, the councils, or at least some council members of Waterford and Hughson might be present too, once they are invited. This seems important to me; to have one Police Chief only, to delegate and set policy for three or four central valley cities.
Further, the circumstances that exist now are troubling and dangerous. The situation is this at present:
Escalon: Stockton gangs are making a move on Escalon and have turned this once most peaceful of all towns into a growing battleground. These gangs and their individual members will migrate with all the things they bring to Oakdale.
Oakdale: The Modesto Police Department is creating, with their strong numbers, a powerful effort to drive out the gangs. Who are forced to Oakdale. Right now, they are coming into Oakdale from Modesto.
Oakdale Politics: The thrust at present of our city council is to emphasize these things: The river, volunteers, tourism, homeless populations, the performing arts, and other such issues. At present, they are supporting a general tax increase for the homeless, etc. with no particular dedication to police arming and staffing.
Those of us who have fear for our children and other family of what is here already, and what is coming, may write with just one email to all five Oakdale council persons:
Ask them if they are prepared and in consultation regarding the Aug. 29 meeting, to set up regional policing as a very first priority in their city, our city.
Larry Kay