Almost two years ago, Rancho Murieta became part of the South Bureau of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department in a plan to cut deputy response time and increase law-enforcement presence. That short-lived era comes to an end this month with the closure of the South Bureau. According to Lt. Rosie Enriquez, commander of the South Bureau, “all the service centers and Bond Station (in Elk Grove) where the deputies have been deployed from (are) all slated to close July 31 by order of the sheriff.”
Enriquez said the South Bureau officers are expected to “still be deployed out in this area. I venture to say they would probably end up at Central Station, which is at 65th and Florin at the Florin Mall. That would be the closest one.” Asked if response time would be affected by the closure, Enriquez replied, “I would imagine so.”
At Rancho Murieta's Joint Security Committee meeting Wednesday, Community Services District Security Chief Greg Remson said the James L. Noller Safety Center, one of four South Bureau centers slated to close, will remain available to deputies. “We’re going to keep the key in the lock box so deputies can have access to that any time they want since we pay for it,” he told committee members.
The CSD installed the prefabricated building for the center at its own expense. It’s staffed by residents who serve with Volunteers in Partnership with the Sheriff (VIPS). The Sheriff’s Department provides an officer to supervise the center three days a week “and we’ve only got two very part-time volunteers,” Remson said.
Jacque Villa, one of the first residents to join Volunteers In Partnership with the Sheriff, received a five-year service award in 2009. She plans to continue as a Sheriff’s Department volunteer after the safety center closes. (2007 file photo)
By contrast, the Wilton Service Center is “really like a substation,” he said. “You’ve got deputies that work out of that. ... That’s why I want to keep ours available. ... I’d rather have them out here than at the Central Station.”
Remson said centers throughout the county are closing July 31 “clearly due to budget cuts. ... The Sheriff’s Department is putting all their resources into patrol services.”
Enriquez said the South Bureau is staffed by 22 deputies, one sergeant, one lieutenant and four records officers, and it covers 554 square miles, from Rancho Murieta to the city of Elk Grove, to El Dorado and Amador counties, and down to the Antioch bridge.
Enriquez said the “small cadre of officers -- dedicated officers I might add -- really loved working in the community. ... We would like to stay here ... and keep the same relationships....”
She said Wilton and Walnut Grove residents have called and sent e-mails to Sheriff John McGinness and Sacramento County Supervisor Don Nottoli and “been extremely vocal about their displeasure at the entire South Bureau closing. You are the taxpayers.”