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When the Community Services District Security Department announced a hit-and-run driver was going to make restitution for damage he caused to the front yard of a Rancho Murieta home recently, some people wanted Security to release the driver’s name.

Questions about what’s public information arise regularly in Rancho Murieta.

The California Public Records Act guarantees citizens access to records held by governmental agencies, including special districts like the CSD.  But it doesn’t apply to homeowners' associations, like the Rancho Murieta Association.  And other laws cover criminal incidents and charges and offer limitations and guarantees on public access.

CSD officials recently answered  questions about what Security does -- and doesn’t -- make public through communications and the release of its daily department logs.

What is Security’s policy about naming names?

Security Chief Greg Remson:  “Our policy is now and always has been that we do not release to the public names of victims, suspects, arrested people. We do not release addresses. ... We do the same as other communities that have security and homeowners associations. They don’t release names either. They don’t even release the names of the people they arrest if they make arrests for drunk driving or something like that. ... How do you decide whose name to put in, whose name not to, whose address? So we don’t put any of them in (the security logs). If someone really wants to know about a crime that’s resulted in an arrest or a crime report, then they can contact the Sheriff’s Department or the CHP to get that information. I’m not sure that’s our venue or responsibility to do that.”

Director Steve Mobley, member of the Security Committee: “The information’s there. You’ll just have to go to another location to get it. ... You’d have to ask the CHP that. If it’s a hit and run, I’m sure they’ll release that. ... It’s public information. I can’t see us doing that, or RMA. And that’s right in the middle of a criminal investigation. Can’t do that. ... It’s just not going to be available here because it’s not our arrest reports.”

General Manager Ed Crouse: “We’re trying to respect the privacy of the individual involved, both the victim and the, quote, suspect, if there is one. We acknowledge that Rancho Murieta is unique in that there is a small minority of the community that would like to publicly humiliate, pillory,  the suspects,  and then there’s a small percentage that live in a private community because it’s private and they feel that there’s no laws that can affect them behind the gates so they like to have free rein. Then there’s the middle group, 80 percent, that really just, ‘I’m here to live and enjoy the community, and leave me alone.’ So we’re trying to respect the majority of the people that truly value their privacy. And we’re following just the general practices of the majority of the private communities.”

What is the function of the Security logs, and how much information is shared?

Remson: “We’ll give a broad description of the event and that’s it. The questions that come up periodically are how much information should we give to the community, how much information is needed. So we struggle with that all the time.”

Crouse: The goal of the logs is to provide the community with basic information on “the types of service and the calls for service that we respond to.”

Remson: “We’re not going to write half a page on each incident. ... The goal is to give a brief rundown of an incident and that’s it. ... They’re a brief snapshot of an incident.”

Should Security report the Sheriff’s Department’s response to incidents?

Remson was asked about a May 27 incident where sheriff’s deputies responded to a home on Domingo Drive.  The entry in the security logs lists it as an “SSD assist” with a request to block off the street and describes the incident as a “disturbance,” not as substantial as the report on RanchoCordovaPost.com that said a gun had been fired and a man was arrested.

Remson: “We got bits and pieces of that information, but not enough that I could comfortably write that in the log.  We were told it was an air soft gun. ... We have to rely on the Sheriff’s Department ... If they don’t feel it’s a serious enough incident to let us know, then we have to take their expertise on that. ... We don’t go through arrest records. We can only report as best we can when it occurs.”

A citizen who wanted to look into the incident would have to go to the Sheriff’s Department downtown to request the information.  An employee there said a person requesting information would be required to show identification.  The law requires basic information to be released, not the full arrest report.

In the May 27 incident, Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Sharon Chow said the Sheriff’s Department responded to a call about 10:44 p.m. from a woman at a home on Domingo Drive who said her husband was drunk and had a gun that she believed he had fired in the bedroom when he was alone. Deputies arrived, made announcements from outside the home, got no response and eventually went inside, where they found the man passed out on the couch.

He was charged with domestic violence, making threats, and discharge of a firearm within a dwelling,  Chow said, although the firearm was found to be an air gun. “It’s still a weapon,” Chow said.

Where is information available?

  • The Sheriff's Department's records office is at 711 G St., Sacramento.
  • Rancho Murieta's Security logs are available for inspection at the CSD Building, but key information -- names and addresses -- are blacked out.  Those logs are published by RanchoMurieta.com.  The River Valley Times publishes an abbreviated version.
  • The Sacramento Sheriff’s Department has an online crime-mapping program but doesn’t provide a daily summary of police activity, unlike the Elk Grove Police Department, which summarizes incidents and identifies adults who have been arrested in a daily watch summary online.

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

A comparison

What was reported in the link above for the Rancho Patrol District: 

Rancho Murieta

5/27/10: Herald Corti, 29, was arrested on suspicion of negligent discharge of a firearm, criminal threats and domestic violence on the 6800 block of Domingo Drive. The suspect allegedly armed himself with a semi-automatic handgun and fired a single round into the ceiling. Officers were called, and when arrested, the suspect allegedly told the victim he would kill the victim and the victim’s family when he got out of jail, the police report said.

 What was reported in our CSD logs:

2328 SSD Assist Tornpkins/Bieg
Domingo, req to block off street, disturbance, SSD handled

 

This is just one very blatant example of how the residents of RM are not kept informed of what is happening in our own backyard :( 

Perhaps the CSD can at least arrange it so that the SSD creates a separate log for RM that residents can read online? Somewhere?  Anywhere?  Most cities and areas have this, why do we not have this?

 

Hmmmm, this was in the Rancho Cordova log, does this mean that the deputies in the South Bureau were too busy or too far to help?

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

Great....not

O....M....G....  Are you kidding me!   I know we're kept in the dark about a lot of things that go on here but geeze this one takes the cake.   I did read about this in the RVT Security Log but of course had no idea of the details.  

So I'm guessing this is just another case of domestic violence that we don't need to know about....?   I'm also guessing if it was a more dangerous situation, then we'd have the helicopters flying over looking for an armed suspect on the loose.  And hopefully we'd all be receiving that community alert phone call.

Andy Keyes's picture
Joined: 08/22/2007
Posts: 289
Post rating: 120

Proactive Leadership

Any society no matter the education level, wealth, or ethnicity cannot exist for very long without law enforcement of some degree.  Anyone who thinks simply because its not being reported that nothing is happening out here to warrant a change in the powers of local security officers is also misinformed.  Its time that we allow CSD those powers once again and stop plunging our head in the sand.  CSD's lack of reporting notwithstanding this community needs better law enforcement before the person in the report follows through with the threat.  A proactively led community is a safer community for all.  

Al Dolata's picture
Joined: 08/09/2007
Posts: 94
Post rating: 129

Important to Know

RMCSD GM Ed Crouse the other day was quoted to the effect that the reason  "certain" Murietans  want to know more about the "incidents' investigated by CSD officers is so they can "humiliate" the persons involved and that is the reason  so little information is divulged .(Ms Taylor's report  shows that  CSD reporting is not only meagre, but cryptic, apparently on purpose).   GM Crouse's remark is insulting and wrong.   The reason a community needs and is entitled to know about crime (and/or other anti social behavior) is in  order to protect itself!  For my safety and that of my family, I would surely want to know if the next door neighbor was threatening people with a firearm.  Not GM Crouse, tho.  He would only want to know in order to humiliate the guy  

Al Dolata

Janet Nicholson's picture
Joined: 10/28/2007
Posts: 236
Post rating: 380

Public Information Comments

Very well said, everyone.  The attitude presented by CSD here just reflects their attitude to the needs and safety of the community in general.

Bill Clark's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 194
Post rating: 690

Great Job Lisa

Thanks for doing the research and figuring out what took place on Domingo.  For our own CSD to think that the use of a firearm in the community is not worthy of reporting the details to the dues paying citizens is nothing more then ridiculous. 

Ed Crouse,, Have you ever given any thought to the notion that maybe the people that pay your salary deserve the right to know who to protect themselves from.  Your quote above is nothing more then plain stupid!!!!

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

credit to Matthew

Bill, I can't take credit for doing the homework, I was inspired by something Matthew posted awhile back.  Occassionally I do look for SSD reports, but I guess looking in the South Bureau isn't always the right place to look shrug  The incredible difference in the two reports I think is very telling - I can tell you from personal experience that this has been going for years, but it's much more tight-lipped nowadays.

 

Bill Clark's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 194
Post rating: 690

Noller

How times have changed.  Back in the 90's when we had a shooting here our chief put out the word, had us checking our yards looking for a gun, and had us on alert.  Today, with Remsom, it's "no big deal, you don't need to know."  If SSD's reporting is correct and I have no reason to believe that it isn't, CSD is making a mistake by not allowing the community to know this knucklehead may come back to kill some resident.  Us oldtimers haven't forgotten the two members of our community that were sadly lost to gun violence.  And just to clarify, it was NOT an airsoft gun that was used recently on Domingo, it was a REAL FIREARM.

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