In mid-Mar., Rohnert Park Public Safety held a swearing-in ceremony for our new management team. I’m excited to have this team in place. Together, we will provide greater support for our fine young officers through mentoring and guidance as we emphasize getting back to basics. This will, in turn, support a high level of service for our residents.
The new management team includes two deputy chiefs and four lieutenants. I’d like to tell you something about each of them.
Deputy Chief Aaron Johnson has worked for public safety for 21 years, most recently as a commander. He also served as a traffic sergeant and fire sergeant captain. He resides in Rohnert Park and has been active in his church and youth sports. Deputy Chief Johnson was sworn in alongside Deputy Chief Mike Bates. Bates has been serving the city’s public safety needs for 20 years. He most recently was a fire commander and previously a fire division lieutenant.
Our newly appointed lieutenants include Jeff Nicks, Jeff Justice, Kelly Koffler and Andrew Smith. Lieutenant Nicks, who also lives in Rohnert Park, and Lieutenant Justice, who grew up in Rohnert Park, have been serving the department as paid staff for 20 years. Both first served for several years as volunteers. They share a sincere commitment to keeping the community safe.
Lieutenant Smith started with the city in 1999 in the Public Works Department as a Seasonal Maintenance Assistant. He returned to work for the Public Safety Department in 2007. He most recently served as a sergeant in our Community Oriented Problem Solving COPS unit. Lieutenant Koffler joined Rohnert Park Public Safety in 2001 as an officer and most recently a patrol sergeant.
In other public safety news, I’d like to share some 2018 highlights from our Fire Division. The department reduced the time it takes from receiving a call to leaving the station by 22 percent. Our goal is to meet the national standard for response times of 6 mins., 20 secs. for fires and 6 mins. for medical calls.
The Fire Division responds to incidents of many kinds. We received 4,563 total calls for service in 2018 (a 5 percent increase from 2017). Of those calls, 59 percent were for rescue and medical, 2 percent for fires, and 6 percent for false alarms. Because of the high rate of false alarm calls, I will be recommending adjusting our false alarm fees to help prevent false alarm calls. We have increased our building inspections, which help prevent fires, by 37 percent from the prior year. For the full breakdown of calls visit www.rpcity.org/fire.
We look forward to more successes in 2019. This includes strengthening our relationship with the community by increasing awareness of disaster preparedness through community meetings, station tours, school visits, and safety presentations. To schedule a presentation, contact Mike Bates at firstname.lastname@example.org.