Chico State cops downtown?

Police chief urges collaboration between Chico State and city police

In order to address crime and transiency issues downtown, Chico Police Chief Kirk Trostle (pictured) has proposed expanding the role of the Chico State police.

While the city police department has been chronically understaffed, the public has cried for increased public safety, particularly downtown. On Oct. 7, city officials held a press conference in front of the City Council chambers to announce increased foot and bicycle patrols in the area, but few other details—such as how to cover and pay for those extra shifts—were outlined.

In a letter addressed to Chico State President Paul Zingg and dated Oct. 16, Trostle pushes for a revision to the Joint Public Safety Agreement between the Chico PD and university police. The letter was prompted by a plea for action sent to the Chico City Council by Gina McCammon, human resources director at the Chico State Research Foundation. By Trostle’s account, McCammon said she feels increasingly unsafe going to and from her workplace on Main Street downtown.

Trostle wrote that McCammon had described “daily interactions with mentally unstable transient adults, homeless people sleeping by the creek, employees being yelled at walking to and from their cars, [urination] on the university’s building directly in front of an employees’ window, [and people] selling drugs to Chico High [School] students and yelling at street signs in the parking lot.”

Trostle proposed that Zingg direct the University Police Department to actively police areas within one mile of university property. Additionally, Trostle said he would recommend that the council amend municipal code to allow university police “to arrest or cite offenders.”

Both Zingg and University Police Chief Robyn Hearne declined comment on the proposal, and Trostle did not respond to an email inquiry.