Law enforcement agencies in California are facing staffing shortages across the board, and Kern County is no exception. The city of Arvin Police Department has faced its own share of vacancies, but the city’s new police chief is hoping to change that.
Wednesday was Scot Kimble’s first day on the job as Arvin’s police chief. He was officially sworn in at Arvin’s city council meeting Tuesday.
“I’m excited to be here, excited to meet so many new people, and work with all these folks as one big team,” Kimble said.
Arvin PD, like many police departments across the state, has been faced vacancy issues. Out of the 22 spots designated for officers, 15 are filled, and seven remain vacant. the remaining 7.
“Any police chief will tell you they really need more people. Every city, every police department could use more officers,” Kimble said, adding the city is actively recruiting.
“We will fill those vacancies. We have ongoing recruitment. Similar to many police departments, we are continuing to accept those applications for folks that are qualified. Those folks are invited back for the hiring process.”
Kimble has spent 30 years in public service, including the last five as McFarland’s police chief. F.B.I-backed crime statistics show that during Kimble’s leadership, crime dropped there. McFlarland was most recently designated as California’s 56th-safest city of 265.
He says he wants to help bring about a similar public safety record to Arvin, working hard to maintain the department’s motto of “community partnership.”
“My style is I like to work with others,” he said. “That makes a team, and we get much more accomplished. But the bigger team is also working with the community; those folks who live here, who work here, who come to visit. Folks who come to shop here. Those are the folks out here all the time.”
78-year-old Jack Anderson has lived in Arvin for 23 years.
“We need the police force out here to do some checking up to make sure that people can stay safe,” he said, noting he supports chief Kimble’s vision to work with the community and recruit officers.
“I’d like to have a vehicle patrol my neighborhood once in a while. I guess [Arvin] doesn’t have the resources for that right now. If [Kimble] could fill those vacancies, that would be much better. Much much better.”
Chief kimble stated that the vacancies are not a result of lack of funds. He said it was important that the city find qualified applicants.