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Initiatives to improve safety and community health earn City national distinction.

By Chief Lisa Rosalas, San Pablo Police Department

The San Pablo Police Department is pleased to share that the National Civic League (NCL) named the City of San Pablo an All-American City for 2014. The All-America City Awards, a 65-year old award program recognizing communities across the United States for outstanding civic accomplishments, were announced in Denver, Colorado and featured delegations from 25 cities across the United States.

San Pablo Police Department’s Youth and Education Services (Y.E.S.) Unit Sergeant Jose Barajas  and representatives from the police departments Youth Explorer program and community youth were among the cities delegates who flew to Denver, Colorado to participate in a two day program where they networked and exchanged ideas with other community groups. The City’s representatives gave a presentation to a jury of Civic Leaders and Community Activists on the positive changes made in San Pablo. Police Department representatives focused their portion of the civic presentation on the city’s community partnership programs.

San Pablo Police Department Community Partnership Programs
The San Pablo Police Department engages in a variety of community partnership programs to reduce crime and strengthen the community’s perception of safety, with a majority of the programs focused on youth, many of whom otherwise would fall victim to gang violence. The Y.E.S. Unit provides classes to elementary school students to create positive experiences with police and teach ways of avoiding drugs and gangs. The unit also includes the G.R.E.A.T. Program for sixth-grade students, with top graduates being recognized at the police department’s annual community awards dinner. In addition to youth outreach programs, the police department strives to engage the public through other programs—many offered in English and Spanish to better serve the community—that focus on emergency and disaster response skills, among other areas. To further strengthen the bonds between the community and the San Pablo Police Department while also reducing crime, bike and foot patrols have been implemented.

This year’s awards spotlighted programs and initiatives addressing underlying conditions that affect the health of communities, including issues such as obesity, walkability, biking, fitness, healthy eating and disease prevention, all being issues the City of San Pablo has instituted aggressive strategies to combat in order to improve residents’ overall health and quality of life.

“This award culminates years of work and collaboration by civic and community leaders to make San Pablo a safer, healthier place to work, live and raise a family,” said San Pablo’s City Manager Matt Rodriguez. “Faced with a disproportionate obesity rate among our residents, especially among our youth population, the City has taken a number of aggressive steps in recent years to combat and reverse these trends, and this award serves as recognition not only of our efforts, but of the success we have achieved. Our work is far from done, however, this award will certainly energize our organization and our community pride, and remind us all of the importance of what we have accomplished together as a community thus far.”

In recent years, the San Pablo Police Department has launched numerous initiatives to engage local residents and youth in efforts to enhance neighborhood safety and emergency response capabilities. At the same time, the San Pablo Economic Development Corporation, launched in 2012, has been a leading force in the region in developing programs aimed at training San Pablo’s workforce for local career opportunities and in promoting local businesses working to grow and attract further investment in the East Bay city.

Denver Mayor, Michael B. Hancock said to the award recipients, “Congratulations on a job well done. Not only have you proven your ability to innovate, work together and take on the complex challenges facing America’s communities, you've given inspiration and ideas to other communities across the country.”

For more information about the 2014 All-America City Awards, visit www.allamericacityaward.com/about-2/

About the City of San Pablo: San Pablo is located in West Contra Costa County off Interstate 80, minutes away from the Bay Area cultural centers of Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco. Interstate 80 is the principal arterial route between the Bay Area and Sacramento. The City of San Pablo is nestled between the cities of Pinole and Richmond and the neighboring cities of El Cerrito and Hercules. Historically one of the oldest Spanish settlements in the region, San Pablo has become a thriving residential and business community with a population of about 30,000 in an area of approximately three square miles. San Pablo's diverse community, affordability, and access to the entire Bay Area region are advantages that are found in this "City of New Directions." For more information, visit www.sanpabloca.gov.

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