Sunday, August 1, 2021     Volume: 22, Issue: 22

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on January 15th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 20, Issue 46 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 20, Issue 46

Lompoc City Council moves forward public safety recommendations


Lompoc officials, residents, and nonprofits are looking for ways to make the city safer after a historically violent 2019. 

A record seven homicides took place in the city of roughly 43,000 last year, while an understaffed police department struggled with budget constraints and the inability to fill vacant officer positions.

During a meeting on Jan. 7, City Council moved forward with three recommendations from the city’s Public Safety Commission, including increasing the commission’s number of meetings from one every three months to one each month. 

Additionally, the council asked staff to come back with a report detailing a program that would allow local businesses and residents to register their surveillance cameras on a list the police department would monitor. This would add to the network of 80 to 100 cameras the department plans to install throughout the city over the next several months.

“We at the Lompoc Police Department want to do everything possible to make the city safer,” Police Chief Joe Mariani said in a statement. “Surveillance cameras are an important tool in deterring and solving crime in the city.” 

The council also directed staff to draft a report looking at how the city can assist residents interested in forming neighborhood watch programs. Public Safety Commissioner Maria Aguiniga told the council that residents in the community have approached her asking about ways they can get involved in addressing the city’s crime issues. 

“People out there want the city to help them help our community,” Aguiniga said. “That’s what they’re asking for; they want to be involved.”

The Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County (CAC) is also looking for new ways to reduce the amount of youth violence taking place in the city after recently finding out it was denied grant funding that would’ve benefited the city, said CAC Director of Family and Youth Services Seth Miller. 

Last year, the CAC applied for a $1 million grant through the U.S. Department of Justice that would’ve funded a youth safety task force in Lompoc, much like the ones that exist in Santa Maria and South County. Funding from this grant would have also gone toward establishing a countywide initiative to help all cities work together to address this youth violence issue. 

Miller said the federal agency sent the nonprofit a letter in late December informing the CAC that it was not one of the 14 applicants selected for this funding.

Despite this setback, Miller said, the nonprofit is committed to trying to secure other funding sources that could be used to implement programs aimed at making Lompoc and the rest of the county safer.

“I think we all agree that there’s a need for additional collaboration in the county and to increase resources in Lompoc,” Miller said. 

Weekly Poll
Does Santa Maria have a fireworks issue?

Yes, and it's negatively affecting veterans, pets, and people with noise sensitivity.
We could crack down more on illegal ones, but it's fun for the Fourth.
No! If anything, I should be able to set off fireworks year-round.
We need to find the right balance between fun and safety.

| Poll Results

My 805 Tix - Tickets to upcoming events