Somers Rebuilding Sacramento Police; Sales Tax May Restore 150 Officers


Sam Somers Jr. is the new police chief in Sacramento as the police department enters a new phase of growth after years of sharp cuts, reports the Sacramento Bee. In 2008, the agency reached a peak staffing level of about 800 officers; it has since shed more than 150 officers and $40 million. An infusion of cash from the voter-approved Measure U sales-tax increase will help reverse that trend. The department will reap enough money to hire as many as 150 new recruits, though they won’t all be on the streets until the end of 2014. In rebuilding the department, Somers will be expected to address the latest crime trends and the demands of residents eager for results: Violent and property crimes rose last year for the first time in six years. “It is a tough position because people want it turned around real quick, and it takes time to hire,” Somers said. “It’s about patience. In the meantime, we need to just make sure we’re vigilant with what we’re doing.” At 50, Somers is a 29-year veteran of the department and a Sacramento native. Like his predecessor, Rick Braziel, Somers is part of a family legacy: His father, Sam Somers Sr., retired in 1992 as a captain after 30 years with the department.

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