Citizens of Yucaipa, volunteers, dignitaries, first responders, Police and Fire Department personnel, CAL FIRE, Citizens on Patrol, Community Emergency Re-sponse Team members (CERT) gathered for free breakfast on July 15 at the Yucaipa Perform-ing Arts Center that was hosted by the city of Yucaipa.
Yucaipa Emergency Services Coordinator Sherry O’Connell welcomed the attendees and said, “This morning I was thinking about the fact that Yucaipa is often referred to as the jewel of the Inland Empire and I truly believe that is because of the emphasis that we place on our public safety and that truly comes from the partnerships that we have with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and our CAL FIRE folks.”
Some of the cities dignitaries spoke and Councilmember Justin Beaver said, “If you call Yucaipa home or you call Yucaipa the place where you work or maybe you call Yucaipa the place where you visit because we have an awesome YPAC or because our neighbors know how to grow apples, then you are a stakeholder of Yucaipa. All of us together, are an investment of the city. I truly look at our public safety as an investment. The key members of the city, over the last year, have taken our police budget from $10.9 million to $11.8 million.”
Councilmember Jon Thorp said, “It is really important that our public service folks see from the public that there are people out there that support them and appreciate what they are doing so thank you for being here this morning.”
Councilmember David Avilia said, “I just want to reiterate what Councilmembers Beaver and Thorp said about our public safety. We are as good as we support our public safety including not just the police but also the fire. It is these responders that are there 24 hours a day, in the middle of the night, in the heat of the day, when there are fires raging it is 120 degrees and you’re wearing full uniforms, I can assure you, you may look cool but rest assured, you are not, it is just miserable.”
Yucaipa Police Capt. James Williams said, “In 29 years as a deputy sheriff, this is about my 10th assignment and I can tell you without reservation, Yucaipa provides us with the most community support of any community that I have ever served and we recognize it, we appreciate it.”
Yucaipa is currently the second safest city with the lowest crime rate in the county of San Bernardino that contracts with the sheriff’s deptartment.
Lt. Robert Warrick spoke and focused on the 2,000 volunteers which the department relies heavily on including search and rescue, Citizens on Patrol and Explorers.
One focus will definitely be slowing drivers down on Bryant Street and Yucaipa Boulevard as the city leaders and the police department has recognized this as a problem. “Your leaders have put a second traffic deputy in and there is an emphasis, our marching orders are to do what we can to slow people down and unfortunately that often times translates into writing citations because your lives and the lives of your loved ones are too important and we don’t want to see anyone else get hurt out there,” said Warrick.
Yucaipa Fire Chief Grant Malinowski said, “I’m proud to serve as your fire chief in the city of Yucaipa. I try to provide life-safety services as if my family lived here because they do.”
Every day the fire department runs about 23 calls a day and three-fourths of those are medical calls. Three stations in the city - Station 1 at Bryant, Station 2 on Yucaipa Boulevard and Station 3 on Fifth Street and Wildwood Canyon Road. All have paramedics. CAL FIRE assists with 500 calls a year with mutual aid. A reserve program is run out of the fire department also. “Fire service impacts your insurance, when you look at providing those life-saving services for 55,000 people plus visitors and people in Oak Glen altogether it is about $5 billion worth of property that we protect every single day. That’s a big jewel.” said Malinowski.
City Manager Ray Casey said, “I want to echo what everybody else has said. Thank you all for your support for everything that our public safety folks do but really for everything that the entire team does at city hall and through public safety.”
Avila said, “For me this event was an important thing to do for the community. We need to showcase our public safety, what we do for them and in turn, show our appreciation for their continued support. Without community support, public safety would not be as strong and effective as it is.”
The public is invited to National Night Out which is a free public safety fair on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Yucaipa Community Park 34900 Oak Glen Road. There will be activities for children, opportunities and information about local programs and get acquainted and talk with the people who serve the community.