This letter is No. 2 in the series on Redlands City Planning. The subject of the first letter was parking in downtown Redlands. Friends of Redlands has been studying the Redlands General Plan 2035, Downtown Specific Plan and Transit Villages Specific Plan with the objective of informing the residents of Redlands about the City Council and city planning objectives for our city.

Throughout the 540 pages of these plans for the future of Redlands, there is scant attention paid to policing. This would seem to be particularly important considering that when the 782-acre Transit Villages Area is fully built out, there could be an estimated 4,400 housing units and 6,000 people living in the area.

The General Plan 2035 says, “New residents often cite safety as a primary reason for moving to Redlands” and “longtime residents say it is their reason for staying” in Redlands. In the plans there is mention of the need for a new safety hall, but no mention of any additional police officers. Considering the increase in population, the increase in housing units and security for the Arrow rail stations, one would think that additional police personnel would be required to assure that the public is safe. To underscore the need for more public safety personnel, the General Plan 2035 says that in “2015, Redlands Police had a response time of 6.5 minutes. According to the Redlands Police Department a response time of 4.5 minutes is desirable.”

In these plans, public safety is addressed by “treating pedestrians as if they are more important than cars,” providing “a safe and healthful pedestrian environment,” adding bike lanes, more lighting and clearly marked sidewalks.

The plans say the result of these actions will “improve safety and a sense of safety throughout downtown” and “use planning and environmental design tools to deter crime . . .  and improve the perception of public safety.” Although good intentioned, these actions seem superficial and inadequate for protecting the citizens of Redlands especially with the anticipated increase in housing units and accompanying population.

Friends of Redlands is concerned that not enough attention has been paid to the need for a more robust police force. We hope the city will revisit these plans.

Larry Leonard, Redlands