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Mike Martel

Mapping crime incidents could help discern patterns and suggest security priorities, CSD Director Mike Martel told the community's Joint Security Committee.

The idea of mapping crime incidents in the community to highlight areas that need attention was brought to the Joint Security Committee at its meeting Friday.  “I hate that we just report what (crime) happened, and there’s no pre-thought or prevention on what we’re going to do,” said Community Services District Director Mike Martel, a member of the committee.

“We know  where all the kids live in our community,” he said.  “We know the different age groups of the community.  Different crimes are committed by different age groups.”

Martel, a retired prison warden, said mapping incidents is the key to being able to predict them. “In my business, that’s what allowed me to start thinking about what’s going on,” he said.  “Is there some similarities?  Is there some patterns?  Does it happen on Friday night?  Does it happen on Tuesday night?  Is it a certain age group?  Who do these kids hang around with?  Who do we suspect?”

Security resources could be deployed to address patterns that are found, Martel said.

The hour-long meeting, held at the Rancho Murieta Association Building, was attended by representatives of the RMA, CSD, Murieta Village and Country Club. 

Security cameras were the dominant topic of the meeting, with CSD and RMA representatives talking about bringing in vendors in the next few months to let the governing bodies get a look at the hardware possibilities and make some plans.

“Cameras are not to be Big Brother,” Martel said, “but they allow you to see where movement is going on in certain areas of our community.”

Stan Van Vleck, whose family has operated a neighboring ranch for a century, offered Security a $5,000 camera system if it helps manage people -- many of them Murietans -- who trespass on his property.

Van Vleck said the trouble is caused by young people and those in their 40s, 50s and 60s.

And while it has gone on for years, he said the breaking point came seven years ago, when he faced a party on his property with about 500 youths.  He said partygoers desecrated the graves of his parents and grandparents.

He has installed thousands of dollars’ worth of signs and video cameras, and they’ve had an effect, but still the problems continue.

He said he has had trespassers tell him they should be allowed to walk on his property; they’ve cursed at him and his 8-year-old daughter, and the trespassers’ dogs have run Van Vleck’s pregnant cows into the river.

“We try to be tolerant.  We want to be tolerant,”  he told the group.  “...You don’t know if a person’s there for good or bad. ... You don’t know, when someone’s coming up to your house, from a safety standpoint, what the issue is.”

Van Vleck said he would donate the wireless, battery-operated camera system if Rancho Murieta officials would use it on this side of the Cosumnes River to discourage people from crossing over to his property.

Van Vleck and Security Chief Greg Remson identified a key river crossing to monitor, but Remson said local volunteers have carved a trail there, which could lead to many false alarms on the camera system.  Committee members said they would ask the trail builders to see about locating the trail elsewhere.

T. Hanson's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 318
Post rating: 474

Security, trends, monitoring and proaction

Great analysis and recommendations, Director Martel. I'm surprised, actually stunned, if our Security Team and Chief with all that training and background, do not already "map" criminal incidents, patterns and timelines within Murieta PUD, including demographics, and then target areas for monitoring and followup with law enforcement. All along I thought we were paying the bucks to see that was done. Wrong? I have confidence that these professionals are already doing that, and have great respect for them. They know the perps and where they are, just need the "caught in the act" evidence. I agree there are more modern "tools" to ease their overburdened duties, and the surveillance technology tools you recommend, should be explored. Good debate.   

Wilbur Haines's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 474
Post rating: 470

Actual cooperation between CSD and RMA?

Good ideas!  More importantly, I am SO glad to see the Joint Security Committee actually functioning again to the benefit of the community both entities exist to serve.  Fingers crossed that the childish "sibling rivalry" bickiering of the past is gone for good.

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