STOCKTON, CA – It’s a continuing sign of the times in Stockton, two new billboards from the Stockton Police Officers Association telling citizens just how hard the understaffed department is working.
The first reads “A Service Call Every One and a Half Minutes Last Year.” The second telling Stocktonians there was “An Arrest Every 39 Minutes Last Year.”
Billboard messages are nothing new for the P.O.A. In 2010, there was a running body county of every person murdered in Stockton city limits. While the ads take a somewhat kinder, gentler tone, they still come with a pointed message about staffing levels.
The term “Condition Blue” is now commonplace in the Port City. It means too many calls, not enough officers.
“It’s triaging, if you will, and saying that we have this many calls holding on the screen and then we have to prioritize those calls,” said Officer Pete Smith of the Stockton Police Department.
Basically, if you aren’t the victim of a crime in progress or mortally wounded, you might not get a cop at your home when you call 911.
And “Condition Blue” isn’t only a late night, holiday weekend kind of thing. Friday at noon, Stockton was under “Condition Blue”. On Saturday, the city of more than 300,000 had only 13 officers on the street.
From KTXL.TV, Sacramento