It’s too early to tell how the county’s budget problems will impact law-enforcement protection in the area, the Community Services District’s Security Committee was told Thursday. The committee also discussed recent ticketing of golf carts crossing Jackson Road and crimes in the community.
Scheduling of patrol deputies is still being worked out, Security Chief Greg Remson said, but the sheriff’s South Bureau has lost assigned staff. The problem-oriented policing officer has been reassigned to a different position and a detective who worked exclusively in the South is being pulled into a central location, he said.
Remson said the county may close all sheriff’s service centers, though the expenses for Rancho Murieta’s center, a small building on the CSD property, are borne almost entirely by the CSD. “So we may be just fine because of that,” he said.
Remson said the sheriff’s department will unveil an online reporting system on Tuesday that will allow residents to file crime reports over the Internet. If a person needs help, the Volunteers in Partnership with the Sheriff can assist with the report, he said.
Carts with more than two seats face stricter requirements
Murietans whose golf carts have more than two seats have to use seat belts, meet safety requirements and register the vehicles or risk getting ticketed if they cross Jackson Road in the vehicles, Remson told the committee.
He said he had worked with CHP Lt. Greg Ferrero after June 17, when several Murietans were ticketed while driving their carts across Jackson Road at the North Gate.
“The officer who was out here issuing those citations ... was correct and within the letter of the law,” Remson said. “That officer is not one of our local officers, but he is familiar with the (relevant) laws from previous assignments.”
As Remson has indicated in posts here and here, a regular two-seat cart with a bag rack on the back has basic requirements -- brake lights, one rear reflector, a horn, head and tail lights. The requirements are greater for carts designated as Neighborhood Electric Vehicles or Low Speed Vehicles, which also require seat belts, turns signals, mirror, parking brake and windshield.
But a cart with more than two seats, or its bag rack removed, either from the factory or modified, is neither a golf cart nor a Low Speed Vehicle, Ferrero wrote to Remson. “It becomes a motor vehicle,” Ferrero wrote. “As a motor vehicle, it must meet the same requirements as a car (seat belts, lights, turn signals, bumpers, registration, etc.)”
Said Remson, “It appears to me they’re looking at two seats and two bag racks (to define a golf cart).”
Remson added, “Lt. Ferrero of course can’t tell officers ... what they can and can’t enforce. He doesn’t think, and I don’t think, that this (enforcement) will become a regular thing. But having said that, the law’s the law. You’re probably better off following the law when you cross Jackson Road.”
He said Security will update the cart-information pamphlet it distributes at the gates and through the Rancho Murieta Association, the Country Club and Murieta Village.
Three instances of ‘preventable crimes’
There were incidents on June 5 on Lindero Lane and June 15 on Lobo Drive where someone entered unlocked cars parked in driveways.
“It’s the usual things (stolen) -- contents of a purse, a garage door opener, an iPod, a wallet,” Remson said. “So again, it’s the same old story -- lock your cars, don’t leave anything of value in cars. And report any suspicious activity to us immediately.”
In another incident, a man remodeling a home on Puerto Drive reported someone came through the unlocked front door between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., while the man worked upstairs, and stole a wallet from the kitchen counter.
“Again, these were all preventable crimes,” Remson said.
There was a report of a five-foot-tall lemon tree being dug up and taken from a yard on Lago Drive on June 22.
July 4 staffing by Security
Remson reported there will be six off-duty sheriff’s deputies and four private security officers on hand for July 4, along with Security officers. He said the Rancho Murieta Association has handed out more than 1,000 gate passes for visitors to help move traffic through the gates.