Citrus Heights Sentinel Logo

Here’s what Citrus Heights candidates say about crime, public safety

Citrus Heights Council Candidates for 2022. Top left to right: Albert Fox, Manuel Perez, Jayna Karpinski-Costa (District 4). Porsche Middleton, Natalee Price (District 5). Lower, left to right: Michael Nishimura, Steven Durham, James Tipton, MariJane Lopez-Taff (District 2). // Compiled by M. Hazlip

Sentinel staff report–
Candidates for Citrus Heights City Council shared their thoughts on how best to enhance public safety in responses to a Sentinel questionnaire, with answers including getting more police on the street, cracking down on speeding, and increasing street lighting.

Each candidate was asked the following question: Citrus Heights has a three-year goal to “preserve and enhance public safety.” What are two specific actions you would take to enhance public safety in Citrus Heights?

Candidates were asked for responses as part of a three-question Q&A, with their answers posted in full below, if responses were within the 100-word limit per question.

For more information and links to each candidate’s full profile and their answers to questions on road funding, taxes and homelessness, click here: Election 2022: Who’s running for Citrus Heights City Council?


Michael Nishimura, District 2:
The first thing we need to do is get our police department staffed back up. It takes time to recruit and train officers, but once we do, we can have a greater police presence in the city which will help deter crime in the City which will in turn, enhance public safety.

I would also like to see us work closely with the County as they implement Laura’s law which I think will help with the homelessness issues.

MariJane Lopez-Taff, District 2:
To enhance public safety in Citrus Heights, we must protect the budget for our Police Department and have a visible presence in our high-traffic business areas. We cannot keep a city of our size 100% safe with the reduced number of officers that we’ve had in the past budget cycle. If we want to be attractive to businesses calling Citrus Heights “home” we must first show that their new home will keep their investment (business) safe.

Steve Durham, District 2:
To me, the answer is obvious. We need more police making rounds to prevent/respond to crime and to ensure that our traffic laws are more rigidly enforced! Right now, we have zero officers available to monitor speeders…ZERO!

We drastically need improved street lighting on through-streets such as Sunrise, Greenback, Fair Oaks, and Auburn/Old Auburn. Robbers, burglars, rapists, and drug dealers love the dark and we need to take that away from them. In the fall and winter our kids may be walking/bicycling to/from school and school activities in the dark. Let’s keep them safe!

*Editor’s note: Candidate James Tipton did not submit responses to The Sentinel’s questionnaire.


Jayna Karpinski-Costa, District 4:

a.) Keep CHPD fully funded and staffed with up-to-date technology

b.) Improve traffic enforcement on neighborhood streets. As I have walked the neighborhood campaigning, I’ve seen speeders and stop sign runners. Citizens should be able to report chronic offenders, perhaps at neighborhood association meetings… Chronic offenders can be issued warning letters. Units can park in neighborhoods while they do paperwork. Have a Citrus Heights “Traffic Court” so officers stay in town to testify and residents can stay local. Fines for violations would stay local and fund the Traffic Magistrate and the remainder of the money would go to alleviate traffic issues.
*Edited due to exceeding 100-word limit

Albert Fox, District 4:
We have a proactive police department that has been impacted by general fund shortfalls over the last 3 years. An unexpected one-time Federal Funding package allowed the department to hire new staff and begin to rebuild our strength levels.

  1. I would support continued growth of staffing levels and re-establishing special enforcement and community services units.
  2. Provide for scheduled replacements of ageing safety and operations equipment and vehicles.

Manuel Israel Perez-Salazar, District 4:
I would like to have more marked units patrol more often and be more diligent at enforcing our panhandling and loitering ordinances.


Porsche Middleton, District 5
Working with my colleagues as the Mayor, we established strategic goals earlier this year, including upgrading technology to enhance proactive crime prevention, approving body-worn cameras, upgrading the Police Department fleet, and establishing a beautification crew to maintain the public right of way. Moving forward, my goal will be to expand upon these strategic goals of creating a more robust and responsive Police Department, which will be discussed at our next planning session.

Natalee Price, District 5
The first step I would take would be to encourage the development of a rapid response team to protect our businesses and residents from those displaying dangerous unstable mental/drug-induced conditions. This would mean maintaining proper funding for our police department so our many critical units stay active and have the resources needed. Next, I have learned in the many miles of streets I have walked that some of our neighborhoods are not very well-lit at night. I would take inventory of areas in need of lighting and cross reference that with crimes and prioritize those areas first.

*Editor’s note: Citrus Heights police were provided an opportunity to respond to one candidate’s claim regarding speed monitoring. Police Lt. Chad Morris provided the following response:

All of our officers conduct traffic enforcement regardless of their primary assignment. Our Motor Officers are the most efficient and effective in this space as traffic enforcement is their primary role. As we return to normal staffing levels we will be able to further enhance our specialty units like our Traffic Team. We recently graduated two officers from Motor School, bringing our active traffic unit up to four members, and hope to have our Traffic Team back to full strength by the end of 2023. 

Like local news? Sign up for The Sentinel’s free email edition and get two emails a week with all local news and no spam, ever. (Click here)