May 14, 2010 > Meet the Cop
Meet the Cop
By Meenu Gupta
Photos By Bill Mancebo
Fremont Chief of Police, Chief Craig Steckler started his Law Enforcement Career in 1968 with the San Clemente Police Department. He served as Chief of Police in the City of Piedmont from 1980 to 1986 and joined the Fremont Police Department as Deputy Chief in 1986. Steckler was appointed Police Chief in 1992.
TCV: Has the declining economy affected the crime-rate in the City? What are the challenges the Fremont Police Department faces today?
Chief Steckler: Our violent crime-rate dropped by about five percent last year. The economy can drive some crimes like property crime, theft, burglary. When people prone to crime lose a job, they can revert back to it. But what has impacted us is the loss of Officers; we used to have 96 to 98 Officers in Patrol, now we have less than 80 so we can't get to every single call.
TCV: How can residents help prevent crime?
Chief Steckler: The best way to help the Police is to report suspicious activity and let us check out the problem. Crime control and crime suppression is a collaborative effort between the Police and the community.
TCV: What do you want residents to know about the Police Department?
Chief Steckler: The economy is not good and cities are facing the consequences. We are the 14th largest city in California in terms of population and tenth largest in square miles. There are times when we have one Officer per ten square miles which forces us to prioritize our actions. There are times when we can't get to a call, although we are now looking at different response model which may help our enforcement actions. Unfortunately, there are times when we can't respond to what may be considered a low-priority call in my world, but we know is of high-priority to the victim. I want the residents to understand that we are trying to do the best we can in these circumstances.