By Greg Garrett
Tehachapi City Manager 

TPD's many services to the community

From the City Manager


Each great City department requires a dedicated leader and team willing to follow that direction, which is the case with our very own Tehachapi Police Department.

Brought back on line in 2007, the department has continued to evolve with the opening of the station on West C Street and the hiring of Chief Kent Kroeger in 2014, as well as the reorganization of communications and dispatch from a contract to in-house operation in 2016. Most recently the City streamlined our after-hours public works calls to be handled through our team of seven police dispatchers and technicians, we found that to be a good use of resources.

As mentioned, our police department is led by Chief Kroeger, who came to Tehachapi after 26 years with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and brought both expertise and knowledge to the position. He's been joined by Lieutenant Tim Liszka, who joined Tehachapi Police recently after a storied career with the Kern County Sheriff's Department.

The leadership is completed with three sergeants, Amelia Thompson, Jason Dunham and Drew Funderburk. It's worth noting that Sergeants Thompson and Dunham have been with Tehachapi Police since its rebirth in 2007, while Sergeant Funderburk is a Tehachapi native.

There are an additional 12 officers in the department that provide a variety of services for this full-service police department. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When you call Tehachapi Police, someone is there to answer the phone and allocate the resources necessary to address your needs. These officers understand that there are bad people that need to be dealt with, and their role is to catch them and limit their criminal impact on our community. We hope to focus specifically on these officers in later columns, but their efforts have helped reduce crime stats in our City for the last two years.

An area that has helped tremendously in crime reduction is code enforcement. Aaron Price provides that crucial role that deals with abandoned structures, illegal businesses, substandard improvements and other quality of life issues that can negatively impact a neighborhood. Through relationships within the community, code enforcement has helped revitalize several areas and reduce opportunities for criminal activity to occur.

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You can express your appreciation for the Tehachapi Police Department by attending the annual Tehachapi Police Foundation's "Thin Blue Line" awards dinner on Thursday, May 17, when several recognitions from the community will be bestowed upon Tehachapi Police officers, staff and volunteers. You can also meet and greet our Tehachapi Police leadership and officers at our "Coffee with a Cop" which is held three times a year. The next one will be held in Fall 2018. Swing by, grab some coffee, ask questions and get to know your community officers.

The community connection remains important. In an era where conflicts within the community and their police departments are standard, we firmly believe that conflict does not exist in Tehachapi. Our officers understand that policing is a rapidly-changing business model but respect is the common language in our community.

I would like to personally thank the entire Tehachapi Police Department for providing a safe city, for being open to change as we continue to develop better forms of policing and doing business. I hope you will thank them as well during one of our many public outreach opportunities.

CLICK HERE to read The Loop's 2018 Experience Tehachapi Magazine!

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