SEASIDE CA. - The City of Seaside is officially launching its “Lights On” program changing the approach with minor traffic violations.
How will this program change Seaside? It is going to change the way Seaside officers deal with minor traffic violations.
On Friday morning, there was an event that highlighted the launch of this program at the Seaside police station/city hall. Mother of Philando Castile and activist Valerie Castile said that no traffic stop should lead to death.
“I think that it is ridiculous that a common vehicle stop leads to a deadly force,” Castile said. “Nobody should, like the chief said, get killed over a dollar or 99-cent light bulb.”
Philando Castile’s mother, Valerie, spoke at the launch of the event in Seaside on Friday. She is elated to see what this program will do to help mend relationships between law enforcement and the community.
Seaside Chief of Police Nick Borges, said that this event was a huge deal for many reasons, but most importantly, it honors the late Philando Castile.
“The key thing is we’re doing this in honor of Philando Castile,” Borges said. “Philando Castile was shot and killed by police during a traffic stop in 2016 in the Minneapolis area. He was pulled over for having a headlight. He was a law-abiding citizen.”
When speaking at the event, Nick Borges held up a little light bulb to show people how something so small and minute could end up leading to something so outrageous and scary.
“Nobody should be pulled over and shot because this is not working,” Borges said. “Nobody.”
The Lights Out program provides people with broken car lights with vouchers to go get them fixed instead of giving out traffic violations and tickets.
Seaside mayor, Ian M. Oglesby, is looking forward to seeing better community relationships with the police force from this program.
“We believe it’s going to be a program that is going to better community relations with our residents,” Oglesby said. “And provide a way that they don’t have to make a choice between driving around with a broken taillight or paying some of the bills that they have.”
Seaside is the first city in central California to launch this program. But the community of Seaside hopes to inspire others with their initiative.
“San Diego was the first in the state,” Borges said. “But we really hope the word gets out on this. And we hope that more California agencies will jump on board to help serve their communities in this fashion.”
Valerie is hoping that the launch of Lights On in Seaside will inspire the program to eventually go nationwide, and prevent what happened to her son to happen to someone else.
“It’s all about accountability,” Castile said. “We all have to be accountable for what we do. And if you’re really sincere about changing things, you would initiate some of these programs because they are for the greater good. And that’s what I’m about, the greater good, I want the best for everybody.”
The Seaside mayor also told KION that the initial start is one voucher per family per vehicle. He thinks he’ll be able to expand that in the future.
Also Seaside Chief of Police, Nick Borges told KION that people can stop by the police station to pick up their vouchers.