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Salinas approves additional funding for Closter Park security program

SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV) -- Salinas is moving forward with providing additional funding for a Closter Park security program that will help fund it for about a year.

The program initially started back in April to help prevent illegal activities from taking place at the park late at night.

It initially ran on $20,000 to $30,000 of funding but now that's been bumped up to $80,000 and the program will now remove its pilot or "experimental" designation.

A security guard is assigned to the area to prevent drug and alcohol use, as well as gang activity.

The city said security at the park has improved safety there since it started.

City of Salinas to potentially approve year-round security at Closter Park

The City of Salinas will discuss a motion to potentially allow the City manager to enter a security agreement for Closter Park.

The security company Kysmet Security & Patrol has been part of a pilot program since April of 2023 at Closter Park. Now the city is looking to approve a longer agreement with the security company for security at Closter Park from September 2023 to August of 2024.

A City of Salinas council staff report says that Closter Park has a "history of negative incidents in and around the park including drug and alcohol use and gang activity." To curb those and help make the community feel safer this security team was fired and a pilot program was established.

Initially, there was a 90-day trial period that cost the city $20,000.

Security was in the park daily from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. and submitted daily activity reports. It was extended for an additional two months at a total cost of $31,136 for the pilot program.

Staff reviewed the security logs and said most recorded incidents involved drug and alcohol use. There were 50 incidents recorded for drug and alcohol use. Some minor vandalism was also reported.

Salinas council staff says they feel the security has been able to effectively stop negative incidents and make the community feel safer.

The council staff asks for $80,000 in approved funding to continue the program through August of 2024. The funds are available and appropriated for this agreement all that is required is for the City Council to approve the City Manager to enter a service agreement with the security company.

The City Council will vote on this resolution on Tuesday during their scheduled council meeting.

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Ricardo Tovar

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