The City of Glendale offers a wonderful service. It provides several dates on which to get your annual flu shot. Today was one of those days held at the downtown site of the Police Department. While I was there to get my shot I ran into several police personnel and had a chance to renew acquaintances and catch up on all kinds of news.

Everyone is pleased and proud that Glendale was one of only 7 recipient cities in Arizona to receive a 2013 Department of Justice COPS hiring grant in the amount of $1.2 M. The grant is good for three years. In the first year the city receives 75% of the costs associated with hiring 10 new officers. In the second year the city receives 50% and in the third year receives 25%. By year 4 the city is expected to cover all costs associated with the 10 new hires. This is one of those actions that does NOT put a strain on Glendale’s financial situation or its General Fund. The funding not covered by this grant and to be picked up by the city comes from the Public Safety Sales Tax Fund which has a healthy balance. It’s a win-win all the way around.

When you read the newspaper do you ever check the crime reports, especially for your zip code? If you noticed, the Glendale zip code that always has the highest amount of crime is zip code 85301. For years, this area of city has had the most person and property crime stats. Yet the former mayor insisted that police resources be used equally throughout the city. It was at best, a dumb idea. The good news is that the 10 new hires provided by the COPS grant will beef up patrols and offer more proactive policing in zip code 85301. The GPD is also adding investigative officers to go after those who illegally possess guns and those who traffic in guns. Now it’s up to the other city departments to attract positive retail opportunities ( certainly not pawn shops, liquor stores and loan shops) and housing that is not comparable to existent housing but is actually better.

Remember Glendale resident Jerice Hunter? I don’t think anyone can forget her. She is accused of murdering her 5 year old daughter, Jhessye Shockley, and then tossing her body in the garbage. She was arrested per a Grand Jury on charges of first degree murder and child abuse. Hunter’s case was on hold because she had not paid her attorney Scott Maasen. She now has a court-appointed attorney and is scheduled to stand trial in August of 2014. There’s a special place in hell for people who abuse and murder children.

A recent innovation of the GPD is its use of Twitter to share information with the general public. It performed a test project by following a cop on his shift who tweeted when he was able to do so. They have also used it sporadically to alert the public to traffic accidents to avoid. Here is the link to get the application: . This has the potential of becoming a wonderful communications tool for the GPD. The public is their ally and by letting citizens know what is happening in their city they will gather more and more support (and perhaps useful crime information).  Now that they have it up and running, come on guys, start using it on a daily basis.

City Manager Brenda Fischer has hired the new Finance Director. He is Tom Duening (my apology if I misspelled the name). He has over 20 years of experience, the majority of which was with Tempe. He’s also a CPA. Looks like a good choice and we welcome him to Glendale.

For those who would like more information about Glendale’s flu shot program, there are 3 more opportunities to get your flu shot: There are 2 dates open to the public. One is Wednesday, October 16th from 11am to 1:30om in the lunch room at Glendale City Hall. The other is on Tuesday, October 29th from 9am to 1pm at the very same location in City Hall. One date is open to Glendale employees and their families on Monday, October 21st from 2:30pm to 4pm at Field Operations Bldg P, Breakroom.

©Joyce Clark, 2013

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