OCEANISDE — Oceanside Police Department recently added Officer Mike Hatfield to its rank and file.
Hatfield previously served as a Sacramento County Sheriff for 26 years, and was hired by Oceanside for a lateral position as a field patrol officer.
Hatfield said he is impressed by the positive relationship the Oceanside Police Department has with the public.
“Oceanside Police has one of the best relationships I have ever seen with the community,” Hatfield said. “I am proud to have the opportunity to continue to serve here in Southern California for the city of Oceanside.”
Hatfield is finishing up lateral field training before he serves as a solo beat officer.
Officer Matt Lyons said the four-month training process teaches new officers city ordinances and nuances of equipment.
“It gives them a chance to work different shifts,” Lyons said. “New hires get familiar with equipment and radio codes.”
Lyons added hiring laterals saves the city significant money and capitalizes on officers’ experience.
Oceanside has held public safety as a priority for the last decade.
The city’s focus on hiring and retaining top police officers has resulted in significantly lower crime rates.
Oceanside’s crime rate per 1,000 residents shows a 12 percent drop in crime from 2013 to 2014.
The commonly used FBI index confirms crime counts fell 10 percent within that year. In the past 10 years crimes dropped 30 percent.
This year Oceanside is seeing a 10 percent increase in property crimes and a 10 percent decrease in violent crimes.