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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Shafter's implementing increased technology to be at the forefront of law enforcement -- and City Manager John Guinn said it's no secret.
That includes cameras mounted on towers to monitor rural areas, Guinn said Thursday on "First Look with Scott Cox."
Simulcast host Scott Cox asked, "When did Shafter become a pinnacle of tecnology?"
Guinn said the city has focused on technology for the past 10 years, and been very invested in it for the last six. The city is using general fund money to put in 26 miles of fiber optic lines, which can be done for less than $10 a foot.
Police Deputy Chief Brian Smith said there are nights when he's at home and he can move camera angles to see what's going on in the city.
Smith, who used to work for the California Highway Patrol, said there are a lot of officers on patrol.
"In Shafter, when you call, the officers are there immediately," Smith said. He wanted to be on the ground floor of the changes.
"In Shafter they are advancing, moving ahead," Smith said.
Cox asked how big of a deterrent the cameras have been. According to Guinn, it matters. He said the city's industrial areas are growing, and the ability to police any community over the next decade will become more difficult. He said he believes they city has to look to the future and do a better job with fewer human resources.
"We want the bad guys to know that if you come to Shafter, we're probably going to catch ya," Guinn said.
In other matters:
* Guinn said Shafter's centennial will be celebrated Oct. 17 to 20, with parades, a barn dance, tractor pulls and more. Go to shafter.com for details.
* Cox joked about why the police department hasn't caught the so-called Shafter panther. Smith said a lot of people ask about the panther, which some residents say they've seen in the city.
"We're letting him run wild to keep the Wasco tiger out of town," Guinn shot back.