Despite pandemic, Redding PD’s CWPO removed nearly 618,000 pounds of trash in 2020

REDDING, Calif. — Due to the ongoing, months-long COVID-19 global public health crisis, which has changed nearly all aspects of today’s society, the Redding Police Department’s Community Work Program (CWPO), has struggled with limited resources and limited availability of healthy and qualified inmate workers.

However, despite COVID-19 concerns, as well as challenges and obstacles created by the pandemic, the department’s Community Work Program – which is part of the department’s Neighborhood Police Unit – has continued to respond to citizen complaints of illegal camping, illegal dumping, graffiti eradication, and illegal fires near dry brush and in city waterways.

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“Our Community Work Program Officers work tirelessly to keep Redding clean, but they cannot do it alone,” Redding PD recently said about the program; adding, “Several City of Redding departments contribute to our clean-up efforts.”

Because other City departments, including Public Works, Solid Waste, Development Services and Code Enforcement contribute funding for most of the five CWPO Team positions, no officers are diverted from patrol operations to address those issues.

With the assistance of inmates from the Shasta County Sheriff’s Alternative Custody Program, Redding PD’s Community Work Program last year removed more than 617,000 pounds of trash and debris from the city’s public areas and waterways. RPD photos

“The CWPOs had to come up with creative ways to continue on with their mission of cleaning up illegal dumpings and illegal encampments,” RPD officials recently explained; adding, “Even with several obstacles, the Redding Police Department was able to pick up and dispose an amazing total of 617,940 pounds of trash.”

“That is the equivalent weight of 134 RPD Ford Explorer patrol vehicles,” said officials.

One major way the department has been able to successfully continue their ongoing clean up efforts was the addition of a grapple/dump truck with a hydraulic swing arm and claw. It was recently made available to RPD’s CWPO with continued help and support from Municipal Utility Manager Paul Clemens and City of Redding’s Solid Waste Department.

The specialized vehicle was designed to collect large-sized, illegally-dumped garbage and can be used to pick up heavy objects and entire piles of trash with one lift.

It can save hours of manual labor and strenuous physical effort, and “is a huge help with keeping the waterways in Redding free and clear of illegally dumped debris,” RPD said of the newest addition to their fleet.

With the addition of a grapple/dump truck with a hydraulic swing arm and claw, CWPO officials can now pick up heavy objects and entire piles of trash with ease, while keeping the city’s public areas and waterways free and clear of illegally dumped debris. RPD photos

Clearing out illegal encampments near the City’s waterways and power lines also provides a good opportunity for the City’s FUEL Team to trim vegetation that could start fires.

“With the risk of fire danger, it is important to keep waterways and storm drains clear of debris,” RPD explained.

Funded by Redding Electric Utility – REU, the FUEL Team helps with wildfire mitigation efforts and is comprised of apprentice Redding Fire Department firefighters.

“I live in this community like all the other citizens in Redding and we get a number of complaints, sometimes 40 to 50 complaints a week, about illegal encampments and some of the quality of life issues and the blight we are dealing with in the community,” Redding PD Corporal T. Renault recently said of the Community Work Program.

“If I’m able to supervise a unit that’s able to go out there and clean some of this mess up and help the quality of life in Redding then it’s a win,” Renault continued.

Because most of the CWPO Unit’s officers are funded by other City departments, no officers are pulled from their normal day-to-day patrol operations. RPD photos

“The Neighborhood Police Unit and Community Work Program would like to thank the Redding Community for their ongoing support of our goal to keep Redding beautiful,” RPD recently said; adding, “The department is grateful to have such amazing partnerships with departments willing to step up to help keep Redding clean.”


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Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.

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