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With “wish lists” totaling more than a hundred camera locations, the Community Services District Security Ad Hoc Committee continued planning this month for a community-wide surveillance system. The committee’s second meeting took place at the CSD against the backdrop of a map studded with color-coded pins marking some of the proposed camera locations.

CSD Director Mike Martel initiated the committee and named Brian Skinner, Ray Matheny,  Rancho Murieta Association General Manager Greg Vorster, CSD Security Chief Greg Remson, and RMA Director Sam Somers Sr. as its members. Skinner and Matheny are residents who work in the technology and security fields. Developer John Sullivan of Cosumnes River Land LLC, while not a designated committee member, plays an active role. RMA Assistant General Manager Danise Hetland attended the May 1 meeting in Vorster's place.

Martel said the committee’s role is “to come up with a strategy or plan to submit to the CSD board of directors and to get the cooperation from all the entities here on enhancing our security using surveillance cameras.” The committee would recommend a surveillance camera policy, keeping in mind “confidentiality and that kind of stuff when we develop that policy, remembering that kids and people with mental illness ... are protected a little bit different from the law,” Martel said.  The goal would be “to prevent crime, to solve crime, but not to embarrass,” he said.

Joint Security Committee

Discussing security cameras for the community are, from left, Security Chief Greg Remson, RMA Director Sam Somers Sr., RMA Assistant General Manager Danise Hetland and developer representative John Sullivan.

Martel said he had received a list of camera locations from the Country Club. The RMA also provided locations, and Sullivan gave the committee a list he said covered the Murieta Gardens hotel and commercial area, the Country Club,  the training center for operating engineers, future subdivisions on the North, and other areas. At Somers’ suggestion, all the lists were turned over to Sullivan to coordinate and eliminate duplications. The lists were not made available to media representatives.

Martel said the lists will be evaluated by the committee. “I think we’re either going to add locations or take locations out,” he said.

Remson said it was important to get “a rough number of how many cameras that are going to be in the community. If we need them all, who’s going to pay for them, where the storage is going to be. Storage is a huge part of it. ... The district already has a handful of cameras set up at the gates.” There are also cameras at the water treatment plant and other CSD facilities. “One of the important things is the ability to watch them either live or after the fact and get good video,” Remson said.

Hetland and Remson talked about recent meetings with surveillance system vendors, noting that their approaches vary widely. Instead of a vendor, Skinner suggested bringing in a distributor representative to give the committee  an overview of cameras and their specific surveillance applications.

During the two-hour meeting, the committee touched on privacy issues, security concerns, increased security needs related to development, bandwidth and infrastructure requirements, and other topics.

At its next meeting, the committee plans to start developing a video surveillance policy and evaluate camera capabilities that are applicable to specific security needs. The committee meetings are open to the public.

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Ben Hardt's picture
Joined: 08/08/2007
Posts: 34
Post rating: 34

How do we not get a say in this as a community?

We are a community of diverse individuals with varying political and social values, and my political opinion certainly has a bearing on my opinion of this project, but how is 100+ security cameras a benefit to me or to this community?  If I want a camera or security system at my house I will install one. I DO NOT want to be told I rolled a stop sign at 2am or missed my blinker at a left turn on Guadalupe. I don't want security (or anyone else) in my every day life.  I don't care that there are juvenile deliquents in the neighborhood.  I'll call security, as I always have, and if it's a serious issue, I'll call 911.  

What are these going to be used for?  The description in this article is pretty ambiguous.  I vote no.  I don't care if the cameras are free.  I don't live in a police state, nor do I want to. 

Bill Gengler's picture
Joined: 06/26/2008
Posts: 99
Post rating: 167

Cameras or Drones

I agree with Ben Hardt.  A few cameras where they are absolutely needed.  But, if that doesn't sound good - how about a fleet of drones cause we are such an insecure community?  If we load up with cameras can we delete the front gate rebuild?


William Gengler


Steven W King's picture
Joined: 09/16/2010
Posts: 249
Post rating: 216

This is WRONG!

Nor do I Ben!

This is very wrong and I vote NO as well.  I would really like to know what these guys think they are doing here? Resignations are in order gentlemen! You are WAY off track!!! 

I can't see how I would want to even continue living in this neighborhood if there are 100+ cameras installed throughout our community!

Steve King

Blake Carmichael's picture
Joined: 07/30/2007
Posts: 278
Post rating: 434

Solution looking for a problem?

In reading the piece here on rm.com, it is unclear to me if there is an existing crime problem, or a projected crime problem that these cameras are supposed to address.

As a private community (RMA, not CSD), I would think that the membership, or the elected directors for RMA, would have a final say on whether or not the camera system would record within the gates?

That would be good to clarify, and if it has, I'm sorry that I missed it.


Betsy Guzzetta's picture
Joined: 10/09/2007
Posts: 129
Post rating: 170

What will the Cameras change?

Just my observation from reading the security logs from time to time that many times security catches folks at things but there is no consequence to their actions besides a slap on the wrist.  How will cameras change things?  Not saying it is a totally bad idea - but seems to me the lack of accountability and consequences needs to be sorted out first.

Betsy Guzzetta

Jacque Villa's picture
Joined: 07/11/2009
Posts: 539
Post rating: 701


Answer to your question Betsy.....NOTHING WILL CHANGE..Security still can't do anything about anything.....it may help RMA to issue cites if they see someone on film going through a stop sign or other violation...so...more money for RMA coffers!!!!!!

Mark Gross's picture
Joined: 08/18/2009
Posts: 19
Post rating: 11

This thing should not be advertised as an deterrent to crime.

Camera surveillance systems should not be considered as a valid deterrent to crime, unless there is dedicated staff to monitor the systems and report any anomalies in a timely manner. I didn't see anything in the original posting that suggested that CSD is going to hire staff to perform this function. It *might* have some value in forsensics related to investigation of a crime, but it will not prevent the crime from happening unless the system is monitored and reaction times are quick for the upstream security agency, be it the county sheriff's staff or CSD staff.  It's unlikely that the community in general will get any value from this proposal, and yet we're expected to front the cost. Sure seems like we're being exploited (again) by parties on the committee whose affiliates stand to make money on the deal.


Beth Buderus's picture
Joined: 08/03/2007
Posts: 926
Post rating: 706

Camera @ North Exit

While some of you I expect will "rant" this really does have to do with "residents"  vs. traffic cameras.  I say one of the 100 cameras should be place to witness the residents who deem that they are above the law of "human" decency.  

I have a friend who walks to the Plaza a few times a week.  She very carefully waits for the cross walk sign which gives her THE RIGHT OF WAY.   She looks before she dares to cross as she knows many residents making right turns will not wait for her legal right to cross. 

She has encountered several "residents" who deem they are above the law and have cussed her out, flipped her off, while she is walking in the cross walk delaying their depart.   She is not a slow walker or an older person who cannot walk fast...she wants to get across as quickly as possible as she knows this could be the death of her.



Jacque Villa's picture
Joined: 07/11/2009
Posts: 539
Post rating: 701


It always amazes me what folks will do in cars to save a minute, or even seconds getting where ever they are going!!!!  What the drivers do not know is....if you enter a pedestrian walk while folks are in there, they can get a TICKET!!!!  Most drivers figure as long as they are half way in the walk, they can go....well, legally, they are not supposed to!!!!!  I have waited to make a right turn, but waited for the folks, kids, to get almost to the other side and guess what....I get honked at!!!!!  Then the driver passes me on Jackson Hwy....

Well, that's fine with me...I never hurry while driving...to many hazards and crazy drivers out there....

Beth Buderus's picture
Joined: 08/03/2007
Posts: 926
Post rating: 706

Someone actually waited!

I am amazed, someone actually waited until I crossed from the Plaza side to the RM side before he made his right turn.  He even had 4 cars stopped behind him and no one honked.   Now granted, he was an elderly gentleman who probably remembered the rules of the cross walk and pedestrians.   Thank you kind Sir.


Andrew Robison's picture
Joined: 03/24/2013
Posts: 37
Post rating: 24

Cameras, Security, Guards

How about instead of wasting money for cameras where someone noted that security still won't be able to hold people accountable, we just get the RMA Security California POST Certified as their own Police Department. I could then justify spending millions on a new front gate, cameras, and everything else. I don't think cameras is a good idea or a good purchase for the commiunnity. RMA Security has been stripped of power and I feel that if we give them some power things will be handeled properly.

For example, one family member on my "do not enter" list made it in the gate, no consequence. I don't blame security and I'm not ragging on them for this mistake. It ended okay, and I didn't need to call Security either, but really they have no authority over the matter. But, people like driving their golf carts recklesly and drinking beers while doing it. I see it all the time and thier nothing they can do. California laws still apply inside the "Pearly Gates of Rancho Murieta" as its been so descrbed. 

How about we spend money on a fleet of patrol cars. Has anyone else noticed that their patrol cars are getting old and beat up. I'd rather see a fleet, meaning more than 4 patrol cars, roaming the area for issues, with an officer able to handle business if needed. 

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

Security Cameras...where?

I'm really surprised that there more people have not been providing input on this.  This *might be* a huge intrusion of privacy for most of us, and it's guaranteed to be a huge expense for all of us.

Looking back at this last year, I would like to hear what effect these cameras would have had?  Or is this a way for sullivan to get his hotel, etc. increased security at our expense?  He was vocal in stating that security didn't need any authority, and, like the rest of us, he should have to live those consequences.

I am particularly interested in where these cameras will be placed.  I certainly do not want them in residential areas.  Do we honestly think that some people don't watch what some residents do?  Who is sleeping with whom?  If you want to know some of the recent dirt on people, I know who some of the most knowledgeable people are around here....   If some of the rumors I've heard are true - do we really trust all the people at CSD/RMA to not use these cameras for their own benefit in other ways??? Do people really want that kind of intrusion into their lives, in exchange for something that essentially provides little to no benefit to them?  The cost/benefit ratio here just doesn't make sense.

I have no clue on the law of security cameras in residential areas, but I am fairly certain that they cannot be placed so that they see inside people's houses.  So where would they be placed?  I sure would like a legal discussion and explanation before this moves much further.

Anyone that has worked with technology knows that the initial financial output is expensive.  But this stuff will also have to be monitored, and how will it actually be used?  What is the cost associated with that?  And the software?  The annual cost for that, upgrades, etc. ?

This whole thing sounds like a boondoggle.  I'm sure it will be an advantage to someone, but the case that it will be an advantage to the community has not been made, at least in my opinion.

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