Redwood City police are beefing up enforcement at the Sequoia Station Shopping Center and adjacent transit hub in response to worries about petty crime like public intoxication and panhandling.
Project Safe launched Aug. 9 with more police and possible changes to the environment spearheaded by individual business owners and property manager Regency Centers. The program is a “long-term and ongoing commitment” to address public safety concerns and quality of life issues, according to city officials.
Police Chief JR Gamez said in his short tenure he consistently heard and saw that Sequoia Station didn’t feel as friendly and safe as it should and that officers were spending a fair amount of time on calls in the area. Gamez emphasized the call volume wasn’t excessive but that they included property serviced by the Sheriff’s Office Transit Authority.
“What I found when I asked my team to look more closely at what was driving the problems at Sequoia Station, we discovered a complex situation needing more than a law enforcement presence or enforcement strategy,” Gamez wrote in an email to the Daily Journal.
Law enforcement has to coordinate with private security, tenants and service organizations to really address issues like petty theft and loiterers, he said.
Gamez said even just the last month has shown noticeable improvements which he chalks up to the collaboration of the police with the Sheriff’s Office Transit Police, District Attorney’s Office, Regency Centers and the owners of Safeway and CVS/pharmacy.
Gamez said his team meets weekly with stakeholders and is documenting its progress.