Hemet, Calif.—The Hemet Police (HPD) Department has been awarded a grant of $2,500,065 through the Budget Act of 2022, specifically, the Organized Retail Theft (ORT) Prevention Grant Program established by Senate Bill 154.
At the Board of State and Community Corrections meeting on September 14, 2023, the Hemet Police Department was among 31 City Police Departments and 7 Sheriff's Offices to receive funding through this program. The run-time for the grant cycle for these projects is October 1, 2023, through June 1, 2027.
The Hemet Police Department has devised a comprehensive four-year initiative to combat organized retail theft within the community. Key components of this initiative include:
- Public Education/Deterrence Campaign: HPD will launch a public education campaign to raise awareness about organized retail theft, its consequences, and how the community can help prevent it.
- Retailer Training: HPD will train retailers on the principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) to enhance the security of their establishments.
- Anti-ORT Task Force: An anti-ORT task force, consisting of law enforcement officers and representatives from the retail sector, will be established to collaborate on strategies and information sharing.
- Community Cameras: The initiative includes the installation of 25 additional community cameras in strategic locations to enhance surveillance and security.
- Gateway Technology: HPD will offer gateway technology to facilitate viewing footage from retailers' private security cameras, enhancing their ability to investigate and prevent retail theft.
- Dedicated Resources: A full-time, grant-funded Investigator and Crime Analyst will be assigned to focus specifically on organized retail theft cases. A full-time, grant-funded Community Services Officer will work directly with local businesses and act as a liaison to HPD.
- Cooperation with Prosecutors: HPD will work closely with the District Attorney's office to provide evidence and explore pretrial diversion solutions whenever possible.
"This grant will significantly enhance our ability to address organized retail theft and its associated challenges," said Chief Eddie J. Pust. "This is just one of the many ways we're working to prevent crime and provide a safe and secure environment for our residents and business owners."
Mayor Joe Males stated, "We are extremely proud and grateful for the significant grant awarded to the Hemet Police Department. This funding will empower our police department to take proactive measures against organized retail theft, ensuring the safety and security of our community. It reflects our commitment to collaborative efforts between local government, law enforcement, and residents in making Hemet a safer place to live and do business."
The ORT Prevention Program is part of a broader initiative to support local law enforcement agencies in preventing and responding to organized retail theft, motor vehicle or motor vehicle accessory theft, or cargo theft. The Budget Act of 2022 allocated funds for the Organized Retail Theft Grant Program to provide competitive grants for city police departments, county sheriff's departments, and probation departments across the state.
For more information about the Hemet Police Department's Organized Retail Theft (ORT) Prevention Grant Program, contact Captain Glen Brock at email@example.com.