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February 13, 2020

Community Update

by Anthony Yoakum, Acting Police Chief

Hello Cathedral City!  This will be the last update I write due to having accepted a position with the Beaumont Police Department.  I am sad to go but wanted to leave you with an update on all we have accomplished in my ten months as your Acting Chief.  What I chose to focus on during my tenor as the Chief was Employee Wellness, Technology and Department staffing. 

Something that has been very important to me is the mental health and well-being of our officers.  Across the country suicide rates have continued to increase and for the third straight year suicides have outnumbered line of duty deaths.  With the help of staff, we have created a Peer Support Program to be there for any employee that might need assistance.  Our Peer Support Team have been professionally trained to take on this roll.  The Employee Wellness Team is also putting together some off duty activities for our employees and their families to bring everyone closer together.    

We also created a Chaplin Program.  The Chaplin can and will be used by our community but will be used primarily for our employees if they need help from clergy during their time of need.

A proposed upgrade to our gym facility is also in the works.  The gym has some old broken equipment that is need of replacing or removal.  Some other, more modern equipment is being requested so any city employee wanting to use the facilities will have a place to train. 

I have also put a high priority on the training of our officers.  Training is essential to maintain an educated and professional police department.  In addition to what is required by the State for the minimum standards of our employees, I have approved hundreds of hours of additional training.  Training in all areas; from use of force, to interview and interrogation, to under the influence, and much much more. 

Officers from our department have also used their skills to train others.  One such example is a Bicycle Enforcement class that our officers taught.  We were able to train all the officers from the Palm Springs Unified School District in bicycle techniques and tactics. 

If it wasn’t for you, our Community, we would not be successful as a police department.  We cannot do this without you. Sir Robert Peel, the father of modern policing, said “The police are the community, and the community are the police.”  Because our relationship with the community is so important, the Police Department has done several things to build that connection.  During the past ten months we held a Community Academy.  This is a one day a week class, for eight weeks, to teach its attendees what the police department does.  We have also developed and will be soon holding our first all-Spanish Community Academy. 

We have attended many, if not all, of the special events here in the community and have held a few of our own.  A group of officers recently played several games of dodgeball with one of our local elementary schools.  We had a great time building the relationships with the young members of our community.  Also, during the Holidays, we held our 1st annual Santa for Seniors event.  We served over 200 meals to a group of seniors within our community that did not have the means to celebrate the Holidays.  This was a very successful event and enjoyed by all who attended.   

Throughout my 32-year career, recruitment and retention has always been a problem.  Finding good people to hire without lowering our standards can sometimes be difficult.  We have been working hard to fill our vacancies and have gained approval to over hire in anticipation of retirements and others who might be leaving.  In the past ten months we have successfully hired 14 employees for different positions within the department.

Another area of importance for a professional and modern police department is the use of technology.  Technology can be used to supplement our workforce but cannot replace it.  The two need to work hand-in-hand to be successful.  Re-evaluating current processes is also important to make sure we are being fiscally responsible and using our systems efficiently.  I cancelled the use of a time keeping software that was not working and was taking up more time than it was saving.  The police department will be using a component of City Hall’s new software for these purposes. 

The implementation of a new Computer Aided Dispatch and Records Management Software has begun.  This is a more modern Cloud based Windows software that will increase the capabilities of the department.  From the use of global positioning technology, better on-line reporting, and the ease of report writing, the efficiency of the police department and its personnel will be greatly enhanced. 

Drones are another area of technology we have started to take advantage of.  We now have three certified drone pilots.  These drones can be used as first responders to a scene to quickly assess what police resources are needed.  They can be used to document crime and accident scenes and have recently been used in our Homeless Point in Time count.   

We have implemented a Camera Program.  Ten cameras have recently been purchased and are in the process of being mounted.  These will be placed strategically throughout the city to monitor traffic.  The footage from these cameras can be used to assist our Investigations Bureau in apprehending criminals.  I have also updated the old computer servers used for the storage of our audio-visual systems in the police cars.

I am also happy to report in the last ten months crime has gone down.  This is something I cannot take credit for, but I am extremely proud of leading our fine men and women who deserve all the accolades.

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye.  Cathedral City, I will miss you.  It has been an honor to have worked with these great men and women.  Please continue to support, help and defend your police department.  They really care about our community and are doing a fantastic job.  Additionally, I have truly enjoyed my time as Chief and working with such a fine group of people. Thank you all!

NEWS

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Dog Park Temporarily Closed Starting Monday

Dog Park Temporarily Closed Starting Monday

Construction crews have informed the City that Buddy Rogers Avenue between Date Palm Drive and Monty Hall Drive will be closed starting Monday, February 17, 2020 through March 6, 2020 due to electrical work being conducted in the area by SCE.  This means that access to the temporary Cathedral City Dog Park located on Buddy Rogers Avenue will be interrupted …Read more.

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Volunteers Needed for Smoke Alarm Installations

Volunteers Needed for Smoke Alarm Installations

The Cathedral City Fire Department and the American Red Cross are seeking volunteers to help install smoke alarms on Saturday, February 29, 2020 at the Tramview Mobile Home Park from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm.  Lunch will be provided to those who volunteer. Seven times a day in the US, someone dies in a home fire.  Even more frequently, American …

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Cathedral City Short-Term Vacation Rental Task Force Releases Its Survey Results

Cathedral City Short-Term Vacation Rental Task Force Releases Its Survey Results

The Short-Term Vacation Rental (STVR) Survey was created by the STVR Task Force and mailed out on October 1, 2019. It required response returned no later than October 15, 2019. The surveys were mailed to properties within 100 feet of a permitted (legal) STVR. The surveys were not sent to any properties surrounding STVRs located in HOA communities as HOAs …

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EVENTS

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Dream Homes Community Informational Meeting

Dream Homes Community Informational Meeting

The Dream Homes neighborhood is invited to join Councilmember Ernesto Gutierrez, Cathedral City Code Compliance and Cathedral City Police Department officers for an informational community meeting focused on: Proposed Dream Homes Neighborhood Park 2020 U.S. Census Assistance with junk car removal Landscape assistance program GoRequest App for reporting things like graffiti, displaced shopping carts, etc. Crime prevention Police community academy …

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Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic - Team USA

Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic - Team USA

The Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic is the nation’s largest and most prestigious preseason college softball tourney, featuring more than 25 top Division I teams. Celebrating its 16th year, the Cathedral City, California event will occur on February 20-23, 2020.  This year will be extra special as Team USA (Women’s Olympic Softball Team) will be a featured guest team playing against the very best collegiate softball teams in preparation for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

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Movies in the Park - February 22

Movies in the Park - February 22

Gather the family, blankets and/or chairs for “Movies in the Park” located at Panorama Park, 28905 Avenida Maravilla, in Cathedral City.  The free event, hosted by the City of Cathedral City , happens once a month on a Saturday evening between November and May, at dusk.

You are welcome to bring snacks or non-alcoholic drinks.  Great Family FUN!

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sday

Two for Tuesday

Cathedral City residents can ice skate for half-price on the first Tuesday of every month (excluding holidays) at Desert Ice Castle. Just bring proof of being a Cathedral City resident, such as an Driver’s license, copy of a utility bill, or any other form of residential proof.  Ages 3 years and up. The Time for Public Skate Available for "Two …

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First Friday Art Walk - Perez Plaza H and I

First Friday Art Walk - Perez Plaza H and I

Go Where ART Lives! Cathedral City is the place for wonderful art and design galleries. Every First Friday of the month, the galleries in Perez Plaza Suites H & I will host the First Friday Art Walk along Perez Road from 5 pm to 8 pm between Date Palm Drive and Cathedral Canyon Drive. You can meander in and out …Read more.

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2020 State of the City

2020 State of the City

The Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the City of Cathedral City, invites you to the Cathedral City State of the City and Expo. The event will be held on March 17th, with the expo starting at 10:00 AM, event registration beginning at 11:30 AM, the State of the City beginning at 12:30 and the program is … Read more.

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City Hall at Your Corner - March 18, 2020

City Hall at Your Corner - March 18, 2020

Have an issue you would like to speak to your mayor about or learn what is happening in Cathedral City? Then join us for “City Hall at Your Corner” hosted by Councilmembers Ernesto Gutierrez and Rita Lamb.   The forum will take place on Wednesday, February 18, 2020 from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm at Cimarron Golf Club, 67603 30th …

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6th Annual Cathedral City LGBT Days

6th Annual Cathedral City LGBT Days

Join us for California’s first Pride of the year at the 5th Annual Cathedral City LGBT Days starting Friday, March 27 through Sunday, March 29, 2020 in Downtown Cathedral City.

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Easter Kidapalooza

Easter Kidapalooza

Bring the kids to Cathedral City’s Town Square Park in downtown for an event that is all about Kids!  From 12 (noon) to 3:00 pm, kids will enjoy the fun of multiple bouncy houses surrounding Cathedral City’s Fountain of Life area.

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Cathedral City Senior Center’s Third Annual Chili Cook Off/Craft Beer and Wine Tasting

Cathedral City Senior Center’s Third Annual Chili Cook Off/Craft Beer and Wine Tasting

Flavors to Overflow at Chili Cook Off/Beer, Wine Tasting Event You can taste many of these flavors at Cathedral City Senior Center’s Third Annual Chili Cook Off/Craft Beer and Wine Tasting event.  The fund-raiser will take place Saturday, April 18, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Senior Center’s main dining room and outdoor patio. Admission is $15 at …

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For Questions or Comments, Contact Chris Parman, Communications and Events Manager
cparman@cathedralcity.gov