MODESTO -- It's a paltry sum in the whole scheme of things, but Modesto will get at least $100,000 in supplemental law enforcement funding from the state to help fight what officials say is a rising tide of crime here.
The additional money will come from the State Supplemental Law Enforcement Fund, created by legislation in 1996 to provide more resources for local police agencies.
Tuesday, the City Council unanimously approved a plan to spend the cash on police overtime, training and equipment. Acting Police Chief Gene Balentine said he will bring more officers on duty to address an increase in burglaries in Modesto. The Police Department reported in June that burglaries were up 20 percent this year when compared with the previous year part of a general upswing in crime that started in late 2011.
Balentine said the funding also will be used for training narcotics officers and a special team that investigates high-tech crime.
The acting chief said Modesto is guaranteed $100,000 from the state program; it's possible the city could get more. Modesto's police budget is close to $50 million a year.
In working through a light agenda Tuesday evening, the council approved a request from Lyn Bright to rezone a 1.35-acre vacant parcel for professional offices on the west side of Coffee Road near Thorsen Avenue.
City staff said this stretch of Coffee, between Rumble Road and Sylvan Avenue, has seen more office space development in recent years.
Bright did not submit development plans with the rezone request but is expected to put a medical office building on the site. Ron West, a consultant for the applicant, agreed with a requirement for a 7-foot wall to separate the site from adjacent property.
Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2321.
MODESTO COUNCIL WATCH
The Modesto City Council dealt with a light agenda Tuesday. The following action was taken:
Directed Modesto resident Jenny Kenoyer to talk with city staff about serving on the Citizens Housing & Community Development Committee. Kenoyer said that, since March, she has expressed interest in filling a vacancy on the committee that has overseen federally funded neighborhood stabilization projects. The panel has three vacancies.
Approved a $448,000 agreement with Modesto City Schools for four police officers at high school campuses. The school district will pay the cost.