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March 7, 2017 > Partnership improves safety in Downtown San Leandro

Partnership improves safety in Downtown San Leandro

Submitted By Courtney Rose

Since September 2015, the San Leandro Improvement Association (SLIA), a non-profit community benefit corporation that works to enhance Downtown San Leandro in the areas of public safety, beautification, economic development, maintenance and promotions, has been working with the San Leandro Police Department (SLPD) to improve the safety of Downtown San Leandro. In the past year and a half, the SLPD has assisted in eliminating the homeless issue in downtown, helping a total of 25 homeless get off the streetsÑ12 of which are already in assisted housing and the remaining 13 have designated places to go.

ÒThe San Leandro Police Department has focused a lot on trying to cut down the homeless issues that persist in our downtown. The cohesive partnership we have established with the San Leandro Improvement Association, which allows us to assign an additional police officer to patrol downtown, gives us the extra staffing to lower the number of those that live on the streets and help them find solutions to get off the streets,Ó said Captain Luis Torres of the SLPD. ÒWe work really closely with all those involved in The San Leandro Housing Compact to find long term solutions for the homeless in Downtown San Leandro. We want to make sure they have a safe, dependable, and secure place to go.Ó

In addition to minimizing the homeless population in Downtown San Leandro, the SLPD has seen a decrease in panhandling, loitering, and crimes in the commercial areas in the downtown district. The additional police officer is also beneficial for business owners within the district. With the additional patrolling, there are more proactive stops and less disturbances in the area. The Downtown San Leandro business owners have direct access to the SLPD Downtown bike officers to report any suspicious or strange behaviorÑeliminating the need for the business to call the police department operator. Business owners in the district can receive the SLPDÕs Downtown bike officerÕs direct number so they are able to respond immediately.

ÒWe are in constant communication with the San Leandro Police Department and our designated bike officer about things happening in our downtownÑgetting updates daily to ensure we are creating a safe downtown for our residents, community and visitors. TheyÕve helped us mitigate the homeless issue in downtown and minimize petty crimes in our district,Ó said San Leandro Improvement AssociationÕs president, Gordon Galvan. ÒIt take a community collaboration effort to create a safe downtown, with our business owners, customers, police department, community groups and residents.Ó

The SLIA pays half of a SLPD police officerÕs salary to provide the extra police officer in the downtown area who patrols the district seven days a week. Establishing this partnership with SLPD is one of many improvement projects the SLIA has established in the downtown area to enhance its commercial district.

The SLIA and SLPD hold merchant meetings, where they invite business owners, property owners and community members of downtown to meet and learn about whatÕs happening in the Downtown. ItÕs also an opportunity for the community to bring up their concerns so SLIA and SLPD can put together a solution to address the issue together.
For more details about the merchant meeting or about SLIA, call (510) 281-0703 or visit www.downtownsanleandro.com.

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