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Neighborhood Watch

About 40 people turned out Tuesday evening for a presentation on the Neighborhood Watch program conducted by the Sacramento Sheriff's Department and hosted by the Rotary Club.

“If you see something suspicious, if you see something weird out there, something that doesn’t feel right, you need to call the Sheriff’s Department, you need to call Security,” said Problem Oriented Policing Officer Mark Kuzmich. He’s with the Sacramento Sheriff's Department, and he was addressing Tuesday’s meeting on the Neighborhood Watch program at the Rancho Murieta Association Building.

According to Kuzmich, that’s not happening now. He reminded the audience of a string of car burglaries that occurred overnight a few months ago. “You know how many phone calls the Sheriff’s Department got that night? Zero. Nobody called,” he said.

But at the James L. Noller Safety Center the following day, Volunteers In Partnership with the Sheriff took reports on the break-ins and residents called to say they had seen three or four guys wearing black running through the neighborhood during the night, he said.

Kuzmich said the Neighborhood Watch presentations are usually done by the Sheriff’s Department crime prevention specialist, and he stepped in after learning phone calls made to a new person in the job hadn’t been returned.

Kuzmich announced at the meeting that a redistricting plan will move Rancho Murieta to a different sector of the Sheriff’s Department later this month. He said he expects the change to increase the presence of deputies here. Kuzmich will no longer be the community’s POP officer as a result of the change.

At the start of the one-hour meeting, Dick Cox addressed the audience of about 40 in his capacity as RMA president, saying the association intends to have follow-up meetings to establish the Neighborhood Watch program in the community. “We’ve got a little bit of paradise here … Unfortunately, this year, we’ve had a lot of vandalism. … We thought that something like Neighbor Watch could give us a leg up on it. We’re never going to completely stop it but with participation by the people who live here we can certainly cut it down.”

Kuzmich said Neighborhood Watch is about getting to know your neighbors and communicating with them.

Resident and VIPS volunteer Jacque Villa told the group, “It’s real simple. Neighborhood Watch is just being aware of who lives in your neighborhood … and what’s strange.” She encouraged residents to call Security when they observed something unfamiliar.

Cathy King attended the meeting with neighbors from the close-knit townhouse community around Laguna Joaquin.

“I think that we have Neighborhood Watch on our street, and we are one of the hardest hit streets in Rancho Murieta,” she said. “So do we go out in the middle of the night, and if we do, what are our rights then?”

“I would completely advise against going out in the street and confronting anybody,” Kuzmich replied. “The best thing for you to do is keep an eye on them, get the phone, call Security up, call us up so we can get out there.”

“The best thing for people to do if they see anything or hear anything is to call us,” said Security Chief Greg Remson. “That way we can check it out. … It lets kids know we’re trying to keep an eye on them.”

“If things are suspicious, you call Security. If it’s a major crime happening, if someone’s getting hurt, call 911. …But after you get off with 911, call Security up. I think it’s very important to make two phone calls,” Kuzmich said.

“The problem out here is if we do call the Sheriff’s Department, you don’t get a response for 45 minutes,” said Dick Cox, who sat in the audience during the meeting. “By the time they do get here, in the few instances I know of, it’s over. And our Security people, all they can do is observe and report. They can’t apprehend, they can’t arrest, they can’t detain, they can’t even ask the name of the individual.”

At the present time, there are three or four officers covering the area from Watt Avenue to the Amador County line, and from the river to Jackson, Kuzmich said.

The redistricting plan will add six officers, and “you guys are going to be happier with your service from the Sheriff’s Department,” he predicted.

Remson said Rancho Murieta will be the most populous area when redistricting occurs, instead of competing with Rancho Cordova. “One of the goals of the reorganization is to lessen the response time of the Sheriff’s Department for people countywide,” he said.

Kuzmich provided follow-up on two crimes in the community, saying “two kids” were identified in the vandalism of construction equipment at Bass Lake in July. The owners of the damaged equipment didn’t press charges. “They just wanted restitution,” he said.

Remson said, “We would have preferred some message to these two young gentlemen that crime doesn’t pay and their parents can’t take care of the issue.”

Kuzmich noted that the district attorney declined to charge six males in their late teens and early 20s who were arrested on marijuana charges in March after Security responded to a call from a resident.

“We do our job. We do the best we can,” Kuzmich said. “If the D.A. doesn’t file on it or the victim doesn’t want to press charges, we’re hands off.”

“We talk about the slashing tires and the vandalism.You know what? We’ve got to get lucky,” Kuzmich said. “We have to be lucky or we have to get that good description. … The Security out here knows everybody and the communication we get from them – for example, the kids doing the thing to the heavy equipment. … we wouldn’t be able to solve half the crimes (without input from Security).”

“Just because we know who they are doesn’t mean we can prove it … to the point of prosecution, doesn’t mean we can prove it to the point where we can have Mark or his people come knock on the door,” Remson said. “We have to be careful with accusing people and that kind of thing. Do the parents of some of these kids know their kids are doing it? Absolutely they do.”

Law enforcement officers have the power to detain individuals for probable cause, unlike Security patrol officers. However, “we still follow (the law) so you’ve got to be careful of what you think we can do and what we can actually do,” Kuzmich told the group. “If we have good ID, and the person’s been identified, we can stop and detain that person and do an investigation. We have probable cause to stop and detain that person so they can’t just take off from us. …”

When asked about possible repercussions for physically detaining someone for an act of vandalism on their property, Kuzmich cautioned, “You’re going to be held civilly liable if something happens to them …. The best thing to do is call us, let us handle it. Call Security.”

More than half a dozen members of the audience asked questions, made critical comments or expressed their concerns.

Wendy Feldman’s was a unique perspective. “I think for such a low-crime area we have tremendous law enforcement presence around…. I think we’ve got a perfectly fabulous level of protection,” she said.

Cox took a different view. “If you want security to change around here you need to vote somebody in at CSD that’s going to do something about it," he said. "We don’t have security out here because CSD, who is responsible for the security, is sitting on their hands. That’s my opinion. … They need to make some decisions, they need to raise our rates so that we can pay for security out here, and they don’t have what it takes right now to raise those rates. We went 10 years without an increase in rates over there and our security is now at the point where we might as well not have any.”

Sheriff’s, Security and Safety Center phone numbers

  • To report a crime in progress, call 911
  • For non-emergencies, contact the Sheriff’s Department at 874-5115
  • For assistance or to report suspicious activity, call South Gate Security dispatch at 354-CARE or 354-3743
  • To make a report on a crime for the Sheriff’s Department, call the James L. Noller Safety Center at 354-8509 or 354-8511

 


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

Not this November

From the article:

Cox took a different view. “If you want security to change around here you need to vote somebody in at CSD that’s going to do something about it," he said.

 

I absolutetly agree with you Dick, but I don't think it will happen duirng this election cycle. Here is some of what I know about the two candidates running that are not currently on the CSD board.


Betty Ferraro.
I completely respect and admire that she attends CSD meetings and is actively participating in an organization to which she wants to be elected. I would have to judge her stand on security not by what she has said, but by what she has not said. From what I have seen, she is not shy about speaking her mind at the meetings. I have not seen her speak in favor of the security officers having any authority, and she has been there in these meetings.


Steve Mobley.
I have not seen him look for information on our security debate, even where there is indication that he should. He has, in writing, stated that there is no reason to ask our officers about their calls because they are "only security guards" and also that they cannot be objective in answering questions about the calls that they go on. He has also "in writing" stated that there are no real "problems" with running of stop signs or excessive speeding on our streets. He has stated that he is not aware of any collisions (other than nearly taking out Matt Hatcher). However, when I asked my husband, he rattled of a number that he has gone on -- some solo accidents with injury, there were accidents between two vehicles, and there were accidents between vehicles and golf carts. But I guess that's not objective enough?

In a phone conversation awhile back, Mr. Mobley told me how the Sheriff of the Sacramento Sheriff's Department would not take kindly to us creating our own department. He told me that this is a very territorial issue and that the Sheriff would protect his turf. Perhaps it is not surprising then, that Mr. Mobley is a staunch believer in security remaining powerless and that they don't even need the former authority that they used for 20 years. He has also stated in writing that he believes that we need the addition of more off-duty sheriff. However, he also believes that we do not have enough crime that rises to the level of an SSD deputy. It appears as though he is speaking from an SSD perspective, and not from a community perspective when it comes to security issues. So many of our security events would never be dispatched to the radio of an SSD deputy, but they could be handled by local authorities, if we had any.

Mr. Mobley's mantra is to Preserve Rancho Murieta. Frankly, with this path, the very community he claims to want to preserve, will have to increase in crime, before our community problems reach that SSD threshhold. We no longer have a local force that can keep things in check with a changing demographic. I say, Preserve Ranco Murieta by preserving the security that we have had for the last 2 decades.

 

So Dick, I don't think getting anyone new elected to the current board is going to help this situation at all. At least not this November, but maybe in another 2 years?

 

**************

Lisa

www.indyeve.com

(site updated 10/1/08)

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

retaining our low crime status

A major point people make here is that crime in RM is low.  Lets help keep it that way.   We should attempt to maintain a department that will help us keep it that way.  Some feel low crime warrants no need for security.   I disagree.  If we illiminate or hobble our security it will send a message that RM is an easy place to target.  Perhaps we maintain a low burglary rate because the gates and security send a message to outside criminals to get their fix someplace else.  I have to say something in response to the person who wrote in to say that greater armed police leads to greater armed criminals.  Of the thousands of criminal suspect interviews Ive conducted I never had one suspect say they committed the crime armed because we were armed. 

I havent been keeping up with all thats going on due to some heart surgery but its been interesting trying to catch up.  Getting confused though.  President Cox seems to be single handedly creating friction between CSD and RMA.  As he is a member on the board I find it difficult to distinguish between his personal remarks from those as RMA President.  Sort of like being the head of the spear that is being thrown while declaring that he is separate from the shaft.   Wilbur is right.  We should be able to review and assesss our current form of administration, its costs and its efficiency. It makes civic sense.  Wilbur please continue to educate us on how the present system works or doesnt.      

 

Doug Lewis

 

Doug Lewis

Steven Mobley's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 261
Post rating: 325

Lisa has spun and twisted

Lisa has spun and twisted much of what I've written and said. Maybe that's one of the reasons she was banned from the other website.

I told Lisa the sheriff's department was in charge of providing law enforcement in Rancho Murieta and it was my belief he would not support the "sharing" of taxes or juridiction. Additionally, I told Lisa I did not speak for the sheriff or the sheriff's department. Everything I told her was my personal opinion based on my 20 years experience as a veteran of the department. I have nothing to gain, nor am I compensated in any way, for anything I have posted or said. My opinions, writings and words are my own.

 Lisa believes that security was recognized as "law enforcement" officers by other agencies and uses her belief that the sheriff's department recognizes Rancho Murieta's security to be a LE agency because they, according to Lisa, were dispatching our security to "violent crimes" like domestic violence calls etc... Lisa believes our security to already possess LE credentials and uses her argument with me as evidence of such.

 I told Lisa the sheriff's department has never dispatched RMCSD security to handle violent crimes. It would be against policy and common sense to do so. It would never happen. The liability would be huge. I admitted that individual officers may have requested security check on some types of calls to see if the deputies still needed to respond (due to delayed response). These types of "calls" would include suspicious vehicles (parked at bridge, etc..), audible burglary alarms, loud parties, speeding vehicles, firecracker calls etc... The same types of calls police agencies all over the state ask security officers to check (that's why places have security). Lisa insisted the sheriff's department dispatched our security to violent calls. Calmly, I disagreed and explained to her how calls are dispatched. Keep in mind, our security can not be "dispatched" as they do not have the sheriff's radio or car computers.

Lisa kept insisting I ask her husband, our security sergeant, to confirm her position. I declined and informed her that I was not about to bring her husband into it. I was not about to question, or argue, with anyone else about what I already knew.  I didn't need to take a poll with her husband, a biased/interested party. I told her if our security was listening to a scanner and responded on their own with deputies, that would be believable. I also asked her to contact and question the sheriff's department command staff for this area, since she refused to believe anything I told her. Apparently, she did not followed up on this.  

This was a private conversation between Lisa and I. I'm not very happy with Lisa for mentioning it and twisting what was said to further her agenda. After reading the spun garbage Lisa posted today, I would strongly caution anyone from speaking with her.

Lisa accuses me of wanting our security to remain "powerless". I only want what is best and most cost effective for our community. My family has 3 households inside the gates of Rancho Murieta. Of course I want them to be safe. Safe from crime and safe from traffic. I just don't see the small, but apparently visible, number of speeders and stop sign runners as a huge problem. Some do. The golf cart crashes Lisa mentioned were, I believe, both DUI's. One rolled over and the other hit/clipped a parked car. Neither cart ran a stop sign or was capable of travelling over our posted speed limit of 25 mph.

Although I work fulltime, I am still very interested in our security department. I have been since I moved here. I questioned/researched/disagreed with their claim of status under 836.5 PC, long before Lisa became a household name. I check the security logs on the website all the time and I have attended special meetings with the RMA and CSD. I also check the RMCSD monthly meeting information. Last week I attended the exploratory neighborhood watch meeting. I didn't know I was expected to inform Lisa of my plans to attend the meetings or research our security's authority.

I have the utmost respect for our security officers and the fine job they do for us. We are truly lucky to have them. I've told them so and have written letters on their behalf for jobs well done. Heck, Lisa needs to do a bit more research. I recall being the person who authored/proposed and later ordered the Sheriff's congratulatory plaque for our reitred security chief. (That was no small task) Our present chief has held the district's security officer standards high and has been working short staffed, as a result of such high standards. The chief should be commended for his hard work and efforts.

At the present time, I do not believe we need more than what our present security department can provide. Our crime rate and types of crimes (vehicle burglaries, vandalisms, nuisance calls) does not warrant anymore powers than they presently have. I would, however, like to see a couple of more officers added to the force to compensate for the dramatic increase in homes over the past decade. A larger security officer force, augmented with more use of off-duty sheriff's deputies, should do the trick. I believe that's precisely what the CSD board voted unanimously for. Lisa has a problem with them also.

For the record, I am not in favor of "real" tickets being written on our private streets. This does not mean I support drunk driving, vehicular manslaughter, speeding, stop sign running, road racing, loud stereos, skateboarder mayhem or any other demonizing thing Lisa can think up. I just think it would be a mistake, an erosion of our freedoms/sovereignty we currently enjoy on our little "island" paradise. Apparently. many in the community feel the same way. That's why the attempts by the few keep getting shot down.

This will be my last posting at this site until the election is over. I must add that Lisa has questioned my character, my integrity, my knowledge and my honesty in her postings. I am very displeased with her. To those who do not know me, I am a sheriff's sergeant in a very large and highly regarded/respected department. I assure you, I did not get to this position by having a failing in any of the above areas. 

 

Preserve Rancho Murieta!

Steven Mobley

RMCSD Candidate 

 

 

 

 

 

       

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

Let's unspin this Steve

 

Steve, let's unspin this, shall we?

 

First, I think that there are important issues with you running for a CSD board director. We have just barely scratched the surface on some of them. I do hope when those issues arise, you will post and address them - the residents deserve to hear what you have to say.

 

As an example, here was your take on the changes in the security authority:

 

I acknowledge security used to do their job differently...

...Now they know they cannot legally detain anyone, so they must do more work to identify the kids creating the "nuisances". Big deal. (Steven Mobley, 7/18/08)

 

I do think it's a Big Deal, and I bet those that have been vandalized, etc., think it's a Big Deal.

 

Now let's get to your spin. There are several issues that are jumbled in your post.

 

First, in our phone conversation about the Sheriff's turf, you did not state that this was just your personal opinion, and there was no disclaimer. The revision of the conversation sounds good, but it didn't happen. But, in reality, it's not important. I understood that this was your viewpoint. I understood that you were speaking of how you saw the attitude of your employer. To me, that understanding will no doubt carry into the attitude that you bring as a potential CSD director. To me, that says that there will be an issue of whose interests you will put first, your employer's, or the district's?

 

Personally, I'm of a different opinion, I don't think that the Sheriff will have such a territorial approach. For years, there has been cooperation between our security and the local law enforcement, SSD and CHP. If the right people are involved in negotiating the future relationship, this shouldn't change. Whether it will or not, is another story.

 

Second, the entire conversation regarding what type of calls our security gets dispatched to was a public conversation. If anyone wants the written proof, I have it.

 

In the past, your employer's Comm Center has dispatched law enforcement calls to our security officers, through our dispatch at the south gate. Some of those calls in the past even included domestic violence calls, and other potentially violent calls. Those are not security guard calls. Yes, occasionally individual deputies will call our officers and ask them to do something, but much more frequently it was the actual SSD Comm Center. You steadfastly refused to believe that this was the case. Repeatedly. Since you have such a hard time believing that, I asked you to talk to one of the officers that has taken those calls. I know that you have spoken to my husband before, so why not on this issue? Sounds reasonable, right? Your response?

 

Let me get this straight. I'm supposed to ask a security guard (your husband) , who may be more than a little biased with his answer, what my own departments' policy and my own experience has been in regards to this issue? You must be freaking joking. Are you serious? (I'm reallly having to bite my tongue here). I'm not supposed to believe myself? I'm not an outsider, and what I stated is not my opinion, its fact. (Steven Mobley, 7/18/08)



Ignoring the fact that you called my husband a liar, and ignoring the fact that you misrepresented what was in our phone conversation, let's focus on some of the important issues that voters need to be aware of.

 

Instead of looking into what our district has actually done, you reject the notion that it could even happen. We don't need another board member that is blind to what is happening in the district. We need a board member that is willing to read new information, evaluate, allow input, and then to make an informed decision. No matter what topic is being discussed.

 

You know that the logs are incredibly sanitized. You know that important events occur at the district meetings, yet I have not seen you at a regular board meeting once. I've seen every other candidate that is running, but you are absent. Last time you ran for the board, if I recall, you hadn't read any of the CSD materials, including the Strategic Plan. It appears that only the superficial things have changed, but that you still have not done your homework.

 

I've never said that we should have "real" tickets, and that is not what my previous post was about. It was about you asserting things to be true, when you don't have the facts. It was about you asserting false information as true, when it would be easy to find the actual answer. That seems to be a pattern, and that greatly disturbs me - that should not be a trait that is condoned in a potential director.

 

We don't have a lot of financial wiggle room in the CSD budget. Mistakes made now have the potential to be very costly mistakes. No matter what topic is being discussed, I want someone that can openly evaluate information. I haven't seen that yet.

 

Let's take your slogan, Preserve Rancho Murieta. That's a great slogan, but what does it mean? Is it just designed to get the "feel good" vote, or is there substance behind it?

 

Preserve it as it is? Stop Development? As a CSD director, your job, is to make sure that the developers pay their way once development has been approved by the county. One question that I would love to have answered, is how do you reconcile preserving Rancho Murieta, when you are charged, as a director, for providing the structures so that they can build? Do you not provide water, is that how you preserve RM? That would be illegal? Exactly how does your catchy, feel good slogan, fit in with the actual job of being a director?

 

The only way I can see to preserve RM is to get control of land use around here and have a planning agency. Ooops, that would mean incorporating, or finding some other clever path, say via the Ad Hoc Governance committee. But, you are dead set against any change. So to preserve RM, your angle is to roll over, let the county approve whatever it wants, and let the crime escalate until it reaches the SSD threshold? That doesn't sound like preservation to me.

 

It's not well thought out Steve. Our board needs folks that can think about the community problems of the future instead of hiding our heads in the sand and rolling over, as the other cities move in and take our tax dollars, and determine for us, instead of us, how our community will grow.

 

**************

Lisa

www.indyeve.com

(site updated 10/1/08)

Kim Smith's picture
Joined: 08/23/2007
Posts: 37
Post rating: 14

Mr. Mobley

Mr. Mobley, please do not let Lisa's inflammatory rhetoric discourage you.   I completely understand why you aren’t going to participate in these forums- her deplorable remarks and unfortunate choice to take your words out of context are enough to make anyone quit posting.  You are an absolute asset to this community, and I'm happy to say that you have my vote in the CSD election.

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