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Security patrol officers are not peace officers and do not have limited law enforcement authority, according to a detailed overview of Security's powers to be presented at a special CSD community meeting next week.

The special meeting will be 6 p.m. Wednesday at the CSD Building.  

At Wednesday's regular monthly board meeting, legal counsel Steve Rudolph said the district had "undertaken the process of looking at our security service and evaluating what the powers and the limitations of the security officers are, and also taking a look at what the powers and limitations of this board are as it relates to empowering or running a security service operation. ,,, The starting point is to present the information that we've found and information about how we operate so that there's a better understanding in the community."

Rudolph said his research covered "no less than 15 separate issues ... everything from enforcement of restraining orders to use of flashing lights to arrest powers ..."

"We wanted to roll out Steve's analysis, get community input and begin having more involvement with the community to figure out really what kind of security they want it to be," General Manager Ed Crouse said.

"There's a wide range of options that we can chose from once we have a better idea as to the type of service the community wants the district to deliver," Rudolph said. "Some of those might involve legislative changes, (or) more of an integration with off-duty or even on-duty sheriff's officers ..."

The overview of Security's powers, released in advance of next week's meeting (see the full document here), makes the following points:

  • The state constitution delegates police power only to counties and cities, not special districts like the CSD.
  • District security officers are not classified under any category of law enforcement and do not have limited law enforcement authority.
  • State and county laws regulating personal conduct are applicable within the boundaries of Rancho Murieta Community Services District, regardless of whether an individual is inside or outside the gates. Penal Code provisions are applicable everywhere.
  • Vehicle code provisions are not applicable within gated areas.
  • The primary function of CSD Security officers is to protect persons and property through prevention by being visible in the community.
  • The security officer's authority to make an arrest is the same as a private person.
  • After a security officer makes an arrest, the person who has been arrested has to be turned over to a peace officer without delay.
  • If a person resists arrest, the security officer is allowed to use reasonable force to subdue the person.
  • A security officer does not have the authority to detain a person without making an arrest.
  • When a CSD security officer has reason to believe that a person has a weapon and intends to harm him or her, the officer is entitled to perform a search of that person.
  • Security officers have the authority to issue misdemeanor citations for violations of district rules, regulations, and ordinances that occur anywhere within the district, and to issue misdemeanor and infraction citations for violations of state law or county ordinances if the misdemeanor or infraction occurs on district-owned property, and in the presence of the security officer issuing the citation.
  • Security officers have the authority to enforce the CC&Rs of homeowners associations within the district.

Earlier in the meeting, questions about Security's role surfaced when several residents of Zancada Court spoke about problems with neighbors that they'd aired at the Rancho Murieta Association board meeting the previous night.

"Why do we even have Security if we got to make a call to the Sheriff's Department?" asked John Cascio.

"We can come, we can tell people don't do this, don't do that, but we don't have ... the authority a policeman does," said President Wayne Kuntz.   

"Look at the taxes we're paying for the sheriff, but we're still not getting service," said Evon Cascio.

Remson and D.A.

Security Chief Greg Remson and Deputy District Attorney Kimberly Zdobnikow discussed crime and enforcement issues during a break at Wednesday's CSD meeting.

Security Chief Greg Remson said Security is aware of the neighborhood issues. "We're trying to mediate them the best that we can. You've got different lifestyles, different ways of raising their kids, different ways of being neighborly," he said. "We're trying to find a middle ground."

During the later discussion about the security meeting, Deputy District Attorney Kimberly Zdobnikow said she has an office at the East Division of the Sheriff's Department and pointed out there are "three, maybe four" sheriff's deputies for the 285-square-mile area that includes Rancho Murieta and officers need to prioritize calls. She suggested taking requests to improve service to Rancho Murieta's representative on the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors and also asking Sheriff's Department officials to attend the security meeting.

Red square The full CSD report is here.     

 

Governance committee members selected

Directors selected members for the nine-member CSD ad hoc governance advisory committee. The committee will look at how the community is now governed, evaluate alternatives, and prepare a report with its findings and recommendations.

The board selected Director Jerry Pasek to be the CSD representative and serve as the committee chair.

Each of the five directors nominated one person from a list of 12 community members who volunteered to serve on the committee.

Pasek nominated Wilbur Haines, Director Bob Kjome nominated Lisa Taylor, President Wayne Kuntz selected Ted Hart, Director Bobbi Belton chose Frank Simmons, and Director Dick Taylor picked John Merchant.     

The board selected John Sullivan as the developer representative.

At its meeting on Tuesday, the Rancho Murieta Association board of directors selected Directors Paul Gumbinger and Dick Cox for the committee.

Pasek said he plans to hold the first committee meeting in early June. The meetings will be open to the public.

 

Report on water operations

Director of Field Operations Paul Siebensohn presented a report on water operations for 2007-2008. The report, which won praise from the directors, provided an overview of the community's water and wastewater facilities.

The presentation offered facts about the diversion and pumping of water from the Cosumnes River at Granlees Dam, storage in Lakes Calero, Chesbro and Clementia, and treatment at the water plant. Before and after photos of the Rio Oso water storage tank showed the seismic improvements at the base and the new roof.    

The wastewater treatment system has a series of five ponds that treat approximately 500,000 gallons of raw sewage a day after it's collected at 11 pumping stations throughout the community.

The treated wastewater is stored in two reservoirs at the plant. It undergoes additional treatment and is disinfected with chlorine before it's supplied to irrigate the golf courses.

The CSD met its goal of reducing carried-over storage at the plant last fall, ending the reclamation season with less than 100 acre feet. The carryover storage was one of the issues in the cease and desist order handed down by a regulatory agency in 2006.

 

Rio Oso tank update

The board approved change orders for the Rio Oso tank rehabilitation project totaling $190,000. The changes include replacement of the roof and other parts above the water line that were corroded, and redesign of the footing for the tank.

The total cost of the project is $1,349,938 and funding comes from water replacement reserves.

The inside is now being painted, and when that's completed, the tank will be disinfected, filled, and the water will be sampled and tested before the tank goes back into service. The tank is expected to be back online June 7.

The tank supplies the pressurized water system that serves the area above the second Guadalupe, about 700 households.

It was taken out of service last fall and an alternative supply system was put in place for the duration of the project. Residents were asked to avoid watering their landscape and limit water use during the peak period of 5 to 10 a.m. when the project began.

Last month, when warm weather increased water demands, residents of Units 3 and 4 were put on an irrigation schedule to conserve water.

In brief:

  • David Sander, one of three candidates for the Republican nomination for the state Assembly in the June 3 primary, appeared at the podium during public comments. Sander asked for support and said he believes in local control and understands local issues -- traffic on Highway 16, dealing with the school district and getting "a fair shake" from other agencies.
  • The board voted to keep recordings of its meetings for 10 years. Currently they are kept a maximum of six months.
  • On a split vote, the board approved reducing the number of days of service for which directors receive a $100 stipend from a maximum of five a month to three as a cost-cutting measure.  Wayne Kuntz and Dick Taylor voted against the measure.

Lisa Taylor's picture
Joined: 01/09/2008
Posts: 365
Post rating: 30

The End of An Era

 

http://www.rmcsd.com/documents/brdmtg052808.pdf (packet download from rmcsd)

Well, after reading the packet from the RMCSD website (linked above), here is my interpretation of what the district lawyers came up with.

It looks like previous boards overstepped their powers when enacting most (all?) of the ordinances that security uses. When enforcing any type of laws that govern personal behaviour (skateboarding, curfew, etc.), state and county laws need to be used because the BOD here does not have the authority to enact such ordinances. While the BOD may not have the Police Powers to enact these ordinances, this is a separate issue from the authority that they do have to legislate employees to be police officers (under appropriate conditions and going through Lafco first) and enforce state and county laws within the district.


Although our officers have been operating as public officers under the authority of PC 836.5, that is no longer legal. Now, when folks say that they are security guards, they really are security guards. They are now to observe and report. They will no longer be intervening when a crime is in progress.

Things that we are used to having, we won't have anymore. Many of the former crimes that our then-public-officers were able to be instrumental in halting or solving, wouldn't have been solved without the LLE that they were working under. While they may have some authority on district owned property, that only includes the water treatment plant, the wastewater plant, and where the CSD building is, if I haven't missed anything.

Things have changed, and I think it will take awhile for the community, and probably even the officers and the BOD to understand the full impact of the change. This not only affects residents, but hugely affects the businesses outside of the gates.

It also seems to me that this is a huge turning point for the community. We need to decide what is an acceptable level of security and/or law enforcement out here. Some decisions will have to be made by the community. Of course, no action is also a decision.

I think the first step for any resident concerned about this, would be to show up at the meeting on Wednesday: May 28th, 6 pm

David Alter's picture
Joined: 05/01/2008
Posts: 2
Post rating: 0

Another Option

Since the security officers have very limited duties I think another option may be in order.  Why don't we use the funds we are paying to contract directly with the Sacramento County Sheriff's department for officer's who would provide full enforcement duties to just our community.  If I am not mistaken Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove, and Citrus Heights all contracted with the Sheriff's department to provide police officers to their fledgling cities shortly after their incorporation.  I believe Rancho Cordova still contracts with the Sheriff's department for those services.  The cost may be competitive with what we are paying for our security officers but with much greater impact.  Some may not want to bring real officers into the community but if we did that we would have full coverage to the entire community without having to be put into the queue for calls elsewhere in the County.

Lisa Taylor's picture
Joined: 01/09/2008
Posts: 365
Post rating: 30

SSD costs

 

I think that many would like to have officers with peace officer authority out here, particularly when word gets out that our officers no longer have any real authority and can't do the job that they've been doing for years.

I certainly would like to see the numbers for off-duty sheriff and have a full accounting of those pros and cons. I believe that they cost about $45 dollars per hour, and that doesn't include the vehicle. I also believe that they don't work solo shifts, so now that our security officers don't have any authority, they can't be counted as the second officer. I'm wondering if SSD would allow them to work solo shifts out here - I think it's against their policy elsewhere. I know that there is some difference in the job that they perform as compared to some of the services that we are used to security providing.

If I recall the history, Elk Grove (and maybe the other places) contracted with SSD initially, but found it very expensive compared to having their own department? A relevant article about that is here:

http://www.drjayna.com/police1.html

Robert Denham's picture
Joined: 10/01/2007
Posts: 78
Post rating: 66

SSD Costs

Lisa, you will find the answer to your questions regarding the Sheriff's costs at www.sacsheriff.com/organization/investigative_&_regional_services/off_duty_program/policies.cfm

Both Citrus Heights and Elk Grove found significantly higher costs incurred by having their own police departments, but those were costs that they could both afford and were willing to pay.   

Lisa Taylor's picture
Joined: 01/09/2008
Posts: 365
Post rating: 30

SSD costs

 

Thanks for the link. That was the one that I was looking at.

It doesn't say how many officers they would require us to hire for each shift. The costs are currently $51 per hour if we count the vehicle. I"m sure those have a good chance of going up once the new fiscal year starts, considering the price of gasoline, insurance, etc. I think the district now starts officers at somewhere between $13 and $16. I'd just like to see some numbers run.

 

Doug Lewis's picture
Joined: 08/08/2007
Posts: 165
Post rating: 322

SSD services

There may be two types of deputy "extra" employment.  The link concerning off duty services appears to be directed towards employing Deputies off duty for events and security work on a per event situation.  Most departments run all off duty employment requests either through the department or their "Guild / bargaining unit" in order to have some control and documentation as to where and when officers can work.  Usually there is a limit as to how many off duty extra hours a week can be worked and the price is set so that officers wont bid against each other.  The departments allow this as its extra income for the officers to make up for what the county pays them.    In Seattle we were allowed to work off duty in uniform with the blessing and under the liability umbrella of the city and the employer paid us direct.  In some cases it was cash and we had to do our own 1099 tax report and other employers issued W2s.  Like  in grocery stores, banks,  concerts etc. We couldnt work in bars or where gambling took place.  King County also had a system where communities contracted services with the county and the county provided the service.  The Deputies were still county deputies working under the county contract, retirement system, department policies and pretty much management,  but they were assigned to the small town (I believe the town was incorporated) and they even drove cars provided by that town.  In those situations its like the county is providing an additional precinct almost.  The officers worked their normal shifts in that assignment and they were not working off duty hours.  I'm sure the county would be charging more than 51 per man  for manpower contracted in that manner as they are picking up the tab for medical, retirement, liability,  hiring, radios etc.  The benefit to the small new town was that they didn't have the expense of training, administrating, benefit packages, medical, etc that they would have incurred if they had  set up their own department.   Up north the progression seemed to be that the towns would at some point switch over to non contracted services when the town grew enough to have the tax base cover it.  The Deputies / Officers seemed to like being assigned to these pocket communities as they are pretty laid back with fewer calls for service and paper writing.  One thing that was different was that those were not gated communities and as such the streets were enforceable under county and state traffic codes.  I don't think such Deputies could write RMA/CAD CCR violations??  We are also not incorporated which may not allow for this type of contracted services.   

Is this "contracted department" what Elk Grove had with SSD?  I cant imagine running an entire department that size with just off duty officers.      

Doug Lewis

 

Doug Lewis

Lisa Taylor's picture
Joined: 01/09/2008
Posts: 365
Post rating: 30

SSD costs

Doug,

My understanding is that contracting with SSD is different than hiring off-duty officers, the latter which is done now.

I'm told by someone with the SSD that to actually contract with them (such as Elk Grove did and Rancho Cordova is doing), you have to be a city.

There has to be a creative solution. Hopefully CSD will come up with something.

Robert Denham's picture
Joined: 10/01/2007
Posts: 78
Post rating: 66

SSD Costs

Since I am retired and no longer speak for the Sheriff's Department, these are recollections and opinions.  The Sheriff can contract with any other governmental agency, subject to the approval of the Board of Supervisors.  Contracts were written to provide full level law enforcement services to the newly incorporated cites of Citrus Heights, Elk Grove and Rancho Cordova.  These contracts were menu driven and the cites were able to pick the services and level of service that were desired.  Additional services could be requested and billed as an additional charge.  That allowed the service to be tailored to the individual needs of the cities.  In both Citrus Heights and Elk Grove, the city managers that had come from cities where they appointed the Chief of Police and controled the Departments were adamently opposed to having the elected Sheriff in the mix.  Both pushed very hard to establish their own departments that were subject to their control and were successful.  Costs to both cites were not relevent to the discussion.

The Sheriff also has a variety of contracts to provide services to other governmental agencies.  These include the services provided to the Airpport. Contracts with Human Assistance,  provides both Deputies and Sheriff's Security Officers at the various facilites.  A contract with Child Support provides two investigators that handle the criminal enforcement of child support orders.  The Sheriff also has a contract with Homeland Security to provide services to the Folsom Dam and bridge construction. 

In short the Sheriff could provide any service that Rancho Murieta desired, to any level that was requested.  This could range from Deputies assigned to the area on a shift by shift basis, to a full range station house with patrol officers, security officers, investigators, supervisors and even a management component.  The cost would be commensurate with the level of service desired. 

  

 

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