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Sen. Hurtado, Dr. Bains present $5 million check to build new police station

For immediate release:

BAKERSFIELD, CA (Feb, 9 2024) – Dr. Jasmeet Bains (D-Delano) and Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Bakersfield) presented a ceremonial check to the City of McFarland representing $5,000,000 for a new police station.

“If we are going to ask police officers to put their lives on the line every day, fighting to make sure they have adequate resources is the least we can do. I am proud to join Sen. Hurtado and the McFarland City Council to celebrate a win-win for the residents and the law enforcement officials of McFarland,” said Dr. Bains.

The McFarland Police Department will now be able to provide after school programs like the Police Activities League, community outreach programs such as citizen volunteers and crime prevention, community meetings to address specific educational needs pertaining to drug trafficking, gang activity and aiding in better interactions with police officers. The new police headquarters will also include a modernized emergency services call center.

“The citizens of the City of McFarland will see enhanced police services by the addition of a new police building,” said Brian Knox, Chief of Police for McFarland Police Department.

Currently, officers operate out of a small building that doesn’t contain a holding cell or adequate storage. Property and evidence rooms are spread out in different areas and not all are properly ventilated. There is only one restroom for more than 20 sworn officers, multiple sergeants share offices, and officers are forced to share computers due to the lack of space. 

“McFarland gained recognition through a film portraying a resilient community,” said Senator Melissa Hurtado. “Today, that same spirit thrives as the community unites to establish a police station. Excited to share the news of securing $5 million in the budget with Assemblymember Dr. Jasmeet Bains to see that dream become a reality.”

The check was presented at a special session of the McFarland City Council which included visits from County Supervisor and current Board Chair Sup. David Couch and local high school students.

The funding for the police station is from the passage of the 2023 California State Budget. Other items funded include $5 million for the Wasco Police Department, $10.5 million for creating a local task force to combat fentanyl, and $500,000 for education and awareness around fentanyl.

“I want to thank our Senator Hurtado and Assemblymember Dr. Jasmeet Bains, who have tirelessly worked enhancing the safety and security of our residents,” said McFarland Mayor Saul Ayon.

“The new police department will be equipped with modern resources and trained personnel to address the needs of our community. I look forward to continued collaboration with our elected officials as we work together to make McFarland a safer community. The quality of life is most important for our residents.”