by Janet M Kelly
Kingsburg Police Department
KPD is not about me, it is about the officers in the field. I’m just a back-office guy. The officers and staff who deal with the public… they are the true focus. Chief Dadian
Do you remember the old Sesame Street song Who are the People in Your Neighborhood? I bet if you or your kids ever watched Sesame Street you could probably sing it right now. Well, in Kingsburg, our neighborhoods have some individuals whose job is to watch over us and keep us safe…The Kingsburg Police Department and Police Chief Neil Dadian.
The Kingsburg Police Department has a long and storied history. All you have to do is look at the wall of past police chiefs’ portraits hanging outside Chief Dadain’s office… a century of leadership. Chief Neil Dadian joined those ranks six years ago, after retiring from the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.
When Chief Dadian came to Kingsburg, he was impressed. It was the perfect size town with a strong sense of community. Even before his initial interview he walked Draper Street, stopping at the businesses and asking owners about their priorities for the town. In hearing their likes and dislikes, he gained a sense of Kingsburg, what it is and who we are. He fell in love with our little town. He interviewed officers, dispatchers, and staff, asking what they cared about and what they wanted to see happen in the department. In leadership, you want to see results. In a city like Kingsburg, I can initiate an effort and see the results almost immediately. Chief Dadian
Neighborhood Policing Based on Community Needs
Early on, he focused on advancing the Kingsburg Police Department to the next level of policing. Based on the needs of the community, aspirations of officers, and to respond to neighborhood needs more effectively, he established a series of adjustments.
- Using creative scheduling, the KPD used officer time and energy more effectively.
- The dispatching process was moved to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department, improving community safety and giving KPD the resources to hire an additional officer.
- One officer was moved to detective status
- One officer divides time between the KPD and MAGEC the Multi Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium which created greater cooperation and networking among the participating agencies. The men and women of MAGEC believe that the multi-agency and multi-level approach to combat gang crime is the most comprehensive and effective method in existence. The reduction of gang crime is evident throughout Fresno County.(from the Fresno Sheriff Department Web-site)
- Expanded officer training so officers can gain experience in multiple areas of law enforcement and learn from law enforcement in other localities.
- KPD works with Fresno County Community Corrections Partnership (CCP) which is a multi-agency resource. in response to AB 109’s probation requirements. The CCP has funded one Kingsburg Police Officer, who is assigned to the county-wide task force.
- Council member (now mayor) Laura North wrote a grant for the police department that funds a police officer to focus on tobacco and vaping, prevention, regulation, and enforcement as the officer’s primary duties, and also allows the officer to act as a School Resource Officer (SRO) as his secondary duties. The grant is funded by Prop 56 tobacco taxes.
- KPD focuses on proactive neighborhood policing, where the officers work to get ahead of crime, stopping it before it happens.
Kingsburg is a Low Crime Area
Kingsburg is a low crime area. Chief Dadian gives a report monthly to the Kingsburg City Council, and both the Kingsburg Police Website Police Department | Kingsburg, CA (cityofkingsburg-ca.gov) and Fresno County Sheriff Dept. Website The Fresno County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office – What are the crime stats in my area? (fresnosheriff.org) have statistics readily available.
Kingsburg public safety is fortunate
Kingsburg residents passed a public safety tax measure in 2018. This is allowing the fire and police departments to improve and update equipment and to add staff. For the police department, we have been able to add three police officers and a police services technician, and plan on adding more officers in the near future. The police department has also purchased new vehicles, upgrade antiquated equipment, and increase training. The primary way to mitigate risk and avoid lawsuits is to have high-quality equipment and the most advanced training available. Police officer and professional staff can better serve the community when they have the latest tools available to them and training in the most current techniques. A well-equipped and a highly trained employee is a better public servant. Chief Dadian
Kingsburg Backs the Blue
Kingsburg is a town that appreciates its police department. Sometimes citizens will drop off treats for the officers and staff, and on several occasions people have provided full lunches. If you drive around town you can find many “Back the Blue” flags or lawn signs, and even blue bulbs in porch lights. Chief Dadian noted, we get great community support. It is nice to work where appreciated.
A Tough Time to be a Cop
With current trends across the country, it can be a difficult time to wear the blue uniform. In Kingsburg, proactive neighborhood policing and policies based on citizen and officer needs has made policing in Kingsburg a positive. Plus we have a chief who knows what is important… the officers. It is not about me, it is the officers in the field and the staff who interact with the public every day… they are the true focus. Who are the people in your neighborhood? They are the men and women of law enforcement in the Kingsburg Police Department.
Kingsburg Police Chief Neil Dadian
Uniform Inspection of Kingsburg’s Finest
KPD Officers Training in Hollister, CA