Photo by Alexander Nguyen
Photo by Alexander Nguyen

Hemet city leaders will join public safety officials later this week to announce how funds procured from a voter-approved sales tax increase will be spent combating crime.

The “War on Crime & Violence” announcement is set for 10 a.m. Friday in downtown Weston Park, at Florida and Latham avenues.

“Weston Park has become a glaring example of the negative effects of the Great Recession, prison realignment under AB 109, Propositions 47 and 57 and a county jail system that is overwhelmed and insufficient to serve our county,” said Hemet police Chief Dave Brown.

Brown will join Hemet Mayor Linda Krupa, Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin, county Supervisor Chuck Washington and others to detail strategies in the works to improve public safety, using a $67 million investment made possible, in part, by the approval of Measure U last November.

The measure cleared the way for a citywide 1 percent increase in sales taxes — with the additional funds earmarked specifically for public safety. According to campaign literature, the hike could pay for nearly 40 additional law enforcement officers over the next several years.

“Far too many innocent people have been victimized by violent criminals in our city,” Krupa said. “We now have the resources to reinvest in our public safety and give them the resources they need to restore our great city.”

Officials on Friday will outline the steps planned to improve quality of life by making the streets safer, according to the mayor.

The Hemet Valley has been among the areas most heavily impacted by surging crime in Riverside County over the last few years, witnessing a spike in robberies, assaults, drug offenses and killings, according to data published by the sheriff’s department and the FBI.

–City News Service

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