CONTRA COSTA COUNTY (BCN) — A Contra Costa County supervisor announced Tuesday that potential funding sources for efforts to curb the number of shootings on East Bay highways are being reevaluated given the seriousness of the violent trend.
Supervisor Federal Glover identified allocations of a landfill mitigation fund as a way to assist the development of highway safety technologies. He also said he would be asking other county supervisors to support the additional funds.
Since November, there have been more than 20 shootings along Interstate Highway 80, Interstate Highway 680, state Highway 242 and state Highway 4 in the East Bay. The shootings have resulted in deaths, injuries and property damage.
Glover, a supervisor whose district consists of Hercules, Martinez, Pittsburg, parts of Pinole and Antioch as well as unincorporated communities, particularly highlighted as a concern the nine shootings on Highway 4 in the areas he represents this year.
“These are violent gang shootings and we can no longer allow gang members to put our residents and their families in jeopardy every time we travel Highway 4,” Glover said in a statement.
To bolster resources available to “catch, prosecute and deter” the shooters, Glover pointed to the Keller Canyon Landfill Mitigation Fund, which was introduced by supervisors around 20 years ago after voters approved a landfill site south of Pittsburg and Bay Point.
The mitigation funds are distributed each year through a strict application and evaluation process to various public agencies as well as nonprofits dedicated to improving the lives of Pittsburg and Bay Point residents, according to Glover’s office.
Last year, the fund allocated $1.4 million for various community projects. This year’s funding applications are being reviewed with an awareness of the need to stop the highway shootings, Glover said.
“If these funds could pay for technologies that end up saving one person’s life and help law enforcement arrest and prosecute these shooters – that would make a huge difference,” Glover said in a statement.
No decisions on the funding have been made yet, according to Glover’s office.
Other local politicians have called on state agencies to take actions to respond to the trend.
Earlier this month mayors from Contra Costa County met with California State Transportation Agency Secretary as well as Caltrans and California Highway Patrol officials to discuss the installation of cameras along the highway.
The Pittsburg City Council in May approved a plan by the city’s police department to earmark $100,000 for several security cameras on four miles of Highway 4.