Calling it a “decade of difference,” the Citrus Heights Police Department (CHPD) celebrated its 10th birthday during a public ceremony at the Community Center this week. The Department officially went live 10 years ago on June 26, 2006, replacing the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department in providing police services to Citrus Heights.
Mayor Jeannie Bruins, who spoke on behalf of the city council at the ceremony, praised the Department for helping lower crime and said the council had voted to form CHPD because the cost of hiring the Sheriff’s Department “became prohibitive over time.”
Around 600 people attended Thursday’s ceremony, with the audience largely made up of law enforcement officers and their families, as well as community leaders and a long list of dignitaries. Handshakes, pats on the back, and congratulations were all part of the event, with new officers greeted warmly by a “welcome to the family” message from the podium.
Folsom Police Department stepped in to take over CHPD dispatch and patrol operations for several hours on Thursday to allow for every Citrus Heights police officer to take part in the ceremony and gather for a Department-wide photo and a formal “inspection” by command staff to view the condition and readiness of the entire force.
In a speech during the event, Police Chief Christopher Boyd recalled the difficulty of only having six months to hire a staff of 140 for the new department, operating “in the basement” of the old city hall while the Sheriff’s Department was still in charge. At 6:15 a.m. on June 26, 2006, the police department finally “went live,” under Boyd’s direction.
“Now, 10 years later, we went from a dream in a basement to an award-winning police department,” Boyd told the audience, referring to back-to-back awards his Department earned at the state level for “excellence in community policing” in both 2012 and 2013. The chief said he believes building relationships and working with the community is “the only way” to achieve success in addressing crime and other problems.
Since forming the City’s own police department, Boyd said crime has dropped by 28 percent and collisions by 44 percent. Earlier this year, police released annual crime statistics and said crime had dropped an average of five percent in 2015, compared to 2014.
During the two-and-a-half hour event, numerous awards were also given out to recognize distinguished actions by officers, police staff, and community members over the past year.
The Department’s highest award, a medal of valor, was given to Sgt. Jason Baldwin and a trio of officers for their handling of an officer-involved shooting at a Greenback Lane apartment complex last summer. Sgt. Baldwin, as well as officers Chrystal Battaglia, Nathan Culver and Kyle Schubert were all given the award.
An award was also given to Officer Keith Russell for making the most DUI arrests over the past year — a total of 52 arrests. Officer Justin Stevenson was also recognized by Chief Boyd for a job “well done,” being commended for issuing 81 citations in response to repeated homeless camp issues and other community problems.
Additionally, a team of Walmart employees were formally awarded with “Distinguished Citizen” awards for their heroism in helping lift a car off a woman who was run over by a vehicle in the store’s parking lot last November. Four other citizens were also given the award for separate incidents.
The “Chief’s Award” went to two volunteers in the police department, one of whom was credited with dedicating nearly 15,000 hours of service in the Department. Award recipient Charlotte Corothers, who is in her eighties, was called “the embodiment of service above self” by the police chief and received a standing applause for her efforts as a volunteer.
The June 23 ceremony concluded around noon with a short video highlighting the Department and reflections from Chief Boyd.
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Calling it a "decade of difference," the Citrus Heights Police Department (CHPD) celebrated its 10th birthday during a public ceremony at the Community Center this week. The Department officially went live 10 years ago on June 26, 2006, replacing the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department in providing police services to Citrus Heights.
Mayor Jeannie Bruins, who spoke on behalf of the city council at the ceremony, praised the Department for helping lower crime and said the council had voted to form CHPD because the cost of hiring the Sheriff's Department "became prohibitive over time...
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