Taking another step in the reorganization of leadership in Nevada City, the city council has elected to keep the Nevada City Police Department intact as the city moves forward. The council listing community, cost, and culture as the leading reasons for keeping the department. Following the unrest of a conflict on August 9th involving Black Lives Matter protesters and counter protesters, calls to defund the police, and the departure of a police chief and city manager, Nevada City was exploring ways to provide cost effective, community sensitive, and proficient law enforcement services.
With the help of Interim Police Chief Ted Stec, and Interim City Manager Joan Phillipe along with city council members Daniela Fernandez and Gary Petersen, the city actively reached out to the community to explore options which included maintaining a police force, or contracting out services to Grass Valley Police or Nevada County Sheriff departments.
At Wednesday evening’s meeting the results of hundreds of survey respondents, a community Town Hall focused on the future of policing, and multiple staff and community interviews led the council to unanimously approve moving forward with the department.
Through Chief Stec’s analysis and past research, there is no significant cost saving with contracting police services. Data collected through the process shows a majority of community members, business owners, and visitors stated a desire to retain local control and improve the culture of law enforcement.
At the conclusion of the discussion, Mayor Duane Strawser who has been through the process several times during his tenure on the city council, was pleased with the process and results and called for a vote of support- even though a vote was not required.*
All five council members voted yes without hesitation.
Now that the the city has decided to keep the force, the process of hiring a full time chief and backfill vacant officer positions will begin along with ongoing training of officers. Before that process begins, the city will soon wrap up hiring of a full time City Manager to lead the charge.