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Violent Crime Rise in Tehama County

By Chelsea KAY, @ChelseaKayTv
Published On: Feb 20 2013 07:18:53 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 21 2013 12:20:49 PM CST
RED BLUFF, Calif. -

Violent crime in Tehama County is on the rise. District Attorney Gregg Cohen and Red Bluff Police Chief Paul Nanfito said Tehama County and particularly Red Bluff's crime rate has jumped over the past few years.

"It is quite frustrating to be where we are today. When I look back when I came here about 17 years ago, where we were at the time... it was a very nice place to live," Cohen said.

"I think it's still a wonderful place – I don't want to live anywhere else, but I'm very concerned about the increase in violent crime," Cohen said.

Cohen's concerned can be backed up with numbers. There have been 15 assaults with a deadly weapon that have occurred in Red Bluff in the last 90 days, according to Chief Nanfito.

Included among those 15 incidents are two gang-related crimes within the last month. At the end January, a 16-year-old boy was shot while  walking on South Main St. Last week, another 16-year-old boy was stabbed by alleged gang members.

"We're actively investigating these cases. We're actively pursuing people who are involved in activity that's gang related and we're actively trying to identify the suspects in the shooting and stabbing," said Chief Nanfito.

Cohen said there is a handful of reasons of why this could be happening.

Cohen said those reasons included large unemployment in one area, the advent of Assembly Bill 109 and the advent of people not being on parole but instead being supervised by the probation dept.

On top of that, Cohen said the State's budget continues to be a road block. 

"We're kind of in a tough spot right now with the state budget being what it is and the economy being what it is," Cohen said. "We have all suffered some degree of cutbacks."

Specifically, the Red Bluff Police Department has had to make major changes.

"Three years ago, I lost 25 percent of my department which meant five officers and five non-sworn staff," said Nanfito.

Cohen and Chief Nanfito said all agencies are working together, sharing information and doing all they can to stay on top of the growing crime rate.

"We understand where things are at and we'll go forward and we'll do as much as we can, as best we can with what we have," said Cohen.