The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Pat Doody
staff writer 

Community Action Month, police recruitment incentive, Planning Commission positions discussed

Tehachapi City Council Update

 

May 14, 2022

Pat Doody

Pritika Ram of Community Action Partnership Kern (CAPK) receives a Certificate of Recognition from Tehachapi Mayor Phil Smith.

May 2022 proclaimed Community Action Month

At their May 2 meeting, the Tehachapi City Council unanimously proclaimed the month of May 2022 as Community Action Month and presented a Certificate of Recognition to Pritika Ram of Community Action Partnership Kern (CAPK).

Ram told councilmembers that Community Action Partnership was formed in May of 1965 as part of the War on Poverty. It now administers 17 programs in Kern County aimed at meeting child, family and individual needs. Under Ram's leadership, CAPK currently has over 930 employees helping residents of Tehachapi and Kern County to be self-sufficient.

In Tehachapi, the group is responsible for the current Head Start program at Tompkins Elementary School and teams with the Tehachapi SENIOR CENTER for a senior food program.

CAPK operates "211 Kern County," a 24/7 information and referral service, and operates family resource centers throughout the county. The programs provided by these centers include a food bank, WIC programs and the Cal Fresh Healthy Living Program among others.

Police recruitment incentive approved

The City Council unanimously approved an incentive plan presented by Police Chief Kent Kroeger to recruit and retain police officers. Kroeger said that the nationwide problem has also been felt in Tehachapi, citing one local position that had been vacant for nine months. The city is competing with other agencies such as Kern County Sheriff that are currently offering $25,000 for a lateral transfer.

The plan presented to the council proposed a signing incentive of $10,000 and 40 hours of vacation for a lateral transfer from another department. The bonus would be paid in a $5,000 payment on the first pay period after signing with $2,500 payable after the probation period and the remaining $2,500 after two years of service. A signing incentive of $5,000 was approved for new recruits. Kroeger said that he and Community Engagement Specialist Key Budge personally go to the academy to interview potential officers. Those who accept the offer of employment receive $2,000 at their first pay period following graduation, $1,500 following their first pay period of employment and $1,500 following two years of service. A $1,500 incentive was also offered for existing officers who refer a lateral transfer from another department.

Kreoger said that Tehachapi Police Department currently has a vacancy of two officers and he anticipates the need to add four additional officers and a sergeant within the next five years. Kroeger said that he feels that being a police officer is the greatest occupation and believes that Tehachapi is the greatest place to work.

Two Planning Commission positions open June 30

The two Planning Commission positions held by Kim Nixon and Linda Hollinsworth will expire at the end of June. The Tehachapi City Council directed Tehachapi city staff to advertise for these positions that will be voted on in June. City Manager Greg Garrett thanked Nixon and Hollinsworth for their service to the city and hoped that they also will apply to continue on the commission.

The Tehachapi City Council meets on the first and third Monday of the month at 6 p.m. They are currently meeting at the Police Department Community Room, 220 W. C St.

 
 

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