Policy Update | Managing the Public Environment in Downtown

Downtown Sacramento has seen tremendous growth and revitalization over the past several years, and while momentum is building downtown, there are challenges that come along with this growth. In early March, Downtown Sacramento Partnership hosted the first Downtown Forum of 2017. Focused on managing the public environment in downtown, the workshop presented local property and business owners with a toolkit of local resources and knowledge on ways to navigate the challenges of an active urban environment.

Bringing together some key public and private partners that Downtown Partnership staff are working with to make downtown not only safer but a better place to work, live and do business, our panel of local experts included Captain Justin Eklund from the Sacramento Police Department, Community Prosecutor Kevin Higgins from the County of Sacramento, Homeless Services Director Emily Halcon from the City of Sacramento, and Nick Lee, VP of Operations for Sacramento Steps Forward. Also in attendance were representatives from Mayor Darrell Steinberg’s office and District 4 Councilmember Steve Hansen’s office. This knowledgeable group of panelists presented a wide range of tips and topics related to downtown including keeping employees safe, reporting criminal or nuisance behavior, managing the area outside a business and supporting long term solutions for those most in need within our community.

Beginning with individual presentations and concluding with a panel Q&A for all of our speakers, questions and issues from attendees ranged from the appreciation of new trash cans in downtown to employee responses to nuisance issues and which organizations, public and private, should share responsibility in housing those who are affected by homelessness. One of the takeaways from the interactive polling feature utilized during this workshop was that the top public environment challenges for attendees included homelessness, securing trash areas and parking. While workplace safety is always a concern for any employer, 62% of workshop attendees felt that safety concerns have not impacted their ability to hire or keep employees. And 45% believe their employees are prepared to respond to nuisance issues, with another 27% unsure prior to our speaker’s presentations. By the conclusion of the workshop, attendees were armed with new tools, best practices and new resources to support their businesses and employees.

To briefly recap the topics and resources highlighted during our workshop, we’ve put together a short guide of best practices for property and business owners, as well as informational links to each of our speakers.

Downtown Public Safety Best Practices:

911 – In the event of a medical emergency or to report a crime in progress

Sacramento PD Non-Emergency Line – 
(916) 264-5471 or (916) 808-5471

o    Reminder: If it’s not reported, it did not happen.

  • Notice of Trespass – can be served to any person who is causing a disturbance within your place of business. Repeat offenders will be prosecuted by our District Attorney

Downtown Sacramento Partnership Guides & Maintenance – (916) 442-2200

  • Request the assistance of a Downtown Sacramento Partnership Guide
  • For routine maintenance requests on public space
  • Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) –  assessment can be done by a certified CPTED professional and members of our Sacramento Police Department, making recommendations on ways to mitigate the nuisance through environmental improvements.

311 – Download the free app or 24/7 City of Sacramento Call Center

  • A platform to request City Services including Garbage & Dumping, Stray Animals, Streets, Sidewalks and Lighting, Parking Meters and Enforcement, City Parks, Vehicle Complaints, etc.

To learn more about the presentations and tools and tactics discussed at the workshop, visit the following links:

Captain Justin Eklund, Sacramento Police Department
Kevin Higgins, Community Prosecutor, Sacramento County DA’s Office
Emily Halcon, Homeless Services Coordinator, City of Sacramento
Nick Lee, VP of Operations, Sacramento Steps Forward

Jaycob Bytel, Deputy Director of Communications, Office of Mayor Darrell Steinberg
Consuelo Hernandez, District Director, Office of Councilmember Steve Hansen

For more information about services provided by Downtown Partnership, visit our services page. This workshop was one is a series of quarterly workshops hosted by Downtown Sacramento Partnership. Our workshops are designed to keep downtown stakeholders informed and normally geared towards the property owners and business owners who work and live in downtown. For more information on our workshop series sign up for our monthly newsletters at DowntownSac.org by entering your email address on the “Get Downtown Updates” bar near the bottom of the page.