Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

County of Kern investing in public safety

From our Supervisor

Zack Scrivner.

As your Second District Supervisor, your safety is my top priority. I'm pleased to share some of what we at the county have accomplished in 2023, and what to expect in 2024.

To help fill chronic vacancies, the Board of Supervisors approved significant pay increases for Sheriff's Deputies. Now we have record numbers of new recruits in our academies, and we have successfully recruited over a dozen deputies from other law enforcement organizations. The Board approved the addition of 25 new detention deputy positions in 2024. These added positions will help the sheriff deploy more deputies from out of the jails and into front-line law enforcement positions. The Board will look to expand the capacity of our jails to keep convicted criminals locked up and out of our communities.

The Board also approved a new contract with Kern County firefighters to improve retention, and to enhance search and rescue operations and industrial energy sector safety. The county also launched two new initiatives including Firefighter-Paramedic "Safety Squads" and non-firefighter "Medical Units." These medically focused units facilitate our ability to quickly deliver life-saving medical services to our residents while preserving our firefighting equipment and crews for the appropriate emergency response.

In addition to staffing, we have invested significantly in our public safety infrastructure. These investments include a new 100,000 plus square foot Sheriff's Department complex. Additionally, the county has purchased two new state-of-the-art helicopters for the Sheriff's Department which are in service now and will greatly improve our ability to stop crime, combat illegal cannabis grows and successfully conduct search and rescue operations. A new helicopter for the Fire Department is on its way as well, which will improve our ability to protect our mountain communities, combat wildfires and aid in search and rescue operations. Along with the new helicopter, the Board of Supervisors has budgeted for 26 new fire engines, replacing old equipment in stations throughout the county.

To aid and protect all first responders, the Board awarded a $157 million contract to replace the countywide emergency telecommunications network, which is critical to providing connectivity for first responders from city, county, state and federal agencies.

Regarding specific public safety investments in District 2, I am pleased to announce that we are under design for a new sheriff substation in Rosamond, negotiating for the acquisition of a new sheriff substation in Taft and are in the process of building a new fire station in Hart Flat.

The county is also working to expand animal control services, with the design of a new animal control facility in the Bakersfield-Metro area, which will serve the entire county. We are also exploring the re-establishment of an animal control facility in Mojave to serve our eastern communities.

These are just some of the ways the Board is working to enhance the safety of all Kern County residents and ensure a bright future for all.