If you're noticing more Sheriff's Department patrol vehicles in the community these days, it's not due to an upsurge in crime.
As of late last month, the community no longer competes with urban areas like Rancho Cordova for deputies' attention. Now Rancho Murieta is part of the South Bureau, where the patrol areas are less populated, although staffing is the same.
"They don't get a lot of calls," Community Services District Security Chief Greg Remson said Monday at the CSD Security Committee meeting. "The minimum staffing will be four officers in South Bureau...."
Gate officers report the new patrols are driving around the community, "and that's a good thing," Remson said.
The community's Problem Oriented Policing officer, Deputy Mark Kuzmich, discussed the realignment of services at a community meeting on the Neighborhood Watch program in September, predicting it would increase the presence of deputies here.
At that time, Kuzmich believed he would be reassigned as part of the shift in service areas, but Remson said this week that Kuzmich will continue as the POP officer for Rancho Murieta.
The South Bureau plans to hold a meet-and-greet event this month where residents can ask questions and become acquainted with the new operation, Remson said. The date hasn't been set yet.
The changes in store could include opening the James L. Noller Safety Center for additional hours each week. The center is staffed by Volunteers in Partnership with the Sheriff, and Wilton Safety Center VIPS may be brought in to supplement the small number of volunteers in Murieta. "Their goal is to increase VIPS use in the community, however they can do that," Remson said. The volunteer program is run by the Sheriff's Department.
Notes on Monday's CSD Security and Joint Security meetings:
- At the Joint Security Committee meeting, Rancho Murieta Association President Dick Cox said further discussion about making a request to the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors allowing the motor vehicle code to be enforced on the community's private streets won't take place until December or January when the entire seven-member RMA board can participate. Cox said the streets would not become public if the code was applied. "That's not the case, at all," he said.
- Regardless of whether the motor vehicle code is adopted, there will be arrests made here for driving under the influence. A case in point is the incident Remson included in the October security report -- a DUI arrest that occurred on the second hole of the North Course. "When our officers got there, a female adult was sitting in a (golf) cart, which was partially submerged in the pond," Remson said. "We tried to render aid, and got her out of the cart. It turned out she was very intoxicated and not real cooperative. So CHP was called ... they arrested her for DUI and towed her cart on top of that." The woman had refused to identify herself to the Security officers or the CHP.
- A revised version of the CSD Security Code will go to the CSD board this month for review. "The main function was to eliminate the provisions in there that dealt with the possession of police power ordinances," said CSD legal counsel Steve Rudolph. The draft version of the restructured code is available in the CSD Security Committee meeting packet. The committee also considered a citizen's arrest policy for patrol officers. The CSD board recently passed a resolution that provides officers with indemnity for making a citizen's arrest.
- A security survey the Joint Security Committee discussed developing in October has been put on hold.
- Cox said the RMA is "looking for some ways to ... close off the back area or get some cooperation out of (property owners) the Pension Trust Fund to give some authority to CSD to patrol that area. ... My concern is (kids) are lighting some substantial fires back there. ... My concern is they're going to burn half this community down some night."
- A problematic bar code reader at the South Gate is now history. It's been replaced with a new make and model that's "almost perfect," Remson said. The total cost, including installation, was about $8,500. The readers were installed at the North and South gates in 2002 and are "now past their shelf life" so additional repairs and replacements are expected, he added.
- Aside from a couple egging incidents, "Halloween was pretty quiet," Remson said. He added that pumpkin smashing was prevalent throughout October.
- Driveway parking and speeding topped the list of RMA rule violations cited in October.