Some insight on Law Enforcement services in Menifee

Greetings to All Menifee 24/7 visitors.

A little about myself: My name is Todd Reed and, with the exception of a 6 month period after getting married, I’ve lived in the Menifee/Sun City area for the last 14 years. I recently came upon the Menifee 24/7 website quite by accident while searching for information regarding development in the area. One of the things that caught my eye is a large number of posts regarding law enforcement services in the area. Hopefully, I can shed some light on why we can or can not do certain things, such as contract with Mt. San Jacinto College Police Department for law enforcement services.

From January 28th - "We should look into contracting services from a small agency like the Mt. San Jacinto Menifee College Police Department."

Although this would be a great solution to obtaining more reliable and effective law enforcement in the area, it just isn't possible due to various state codes (primarily the Education Code), despite the fact that the community college police department officers' powers extend throughout the state.

Education Code section 72330 states that a community college may employ personnel as necessary to enforce the law "on or near the campus of the community college and on or near other grounds or properties owned, operated, controlled, or administered by the community college or by the state acting on behalf of the community college."

As a general rule of thumb, the state grants community college police departments a 1 to 2 mile radius around campus property. So while this is great for the residents and businesses in the Menifee Lakes area, it really doesn't do those of us west of the 215 any good.

From February 28th - "I agree we should contract with a smaller agency but it really does not matter who, as long as it's not a big agency where everything regarding services like: CSI, Helicopter, Boats, Bicycles, etc. is not a charge back when we need it." "Let's play this smart, I feel the jr. college PD is a start and maybe we could arrange something in the meantime, see how they pan out and go from there."

Believe it or not, contracting for specific services with the Sheriff's department (as opposed to the services they are required to provide because we are currently considered unincorporated county) would probably be cheaper than developing a new department. When services are contracted for, they would include the use of Riverside County’s crime lab, helicopters, and specialized units within the department.

In a nutshell, we really only have two choices until we become a city: contract for specific services (i.e., a specific number of deputies per shift that are responsible for the specific area), from the Sheriff’s department rather than being a sub-station of the Perris station, or deal with the services we have. We will have more options once we become a city, but some of those options can be pretty costly.

I hope this has answered some of the questions that have been popping up recently.

Respectfully,

Todd A. Reed




9 Comments:

  1. Todd,

    I read your posting regarding the recent inquires about contarcting la enforcement services with the college police department in Menifee and about contracting with the Sheriff's department. You are a very well spoken person and I'll have to say hands down to you on a well put blog. However there have been two community college police agencies in the state of California who have had law enforcement contracts with the city that thier districts fall in. Your research regarding the education code is absolutley right and so perfect that it apears to be directly cut and pasted from the Education Code. Those laws of the code are true and 100% correct, however contracts can still be made. I find your insight interesting and commend you for not being one of those folks who just complain about the menifee college police have no authority off the campus. That is a great tool that you used to educate the local community in that area because the first person who decides to pop off at the mouth to one of those officers and challenge them is more than likley going to buy themselves a ticket or a evening in jail. Whatever decision is made, I just hope it is made in the best intrests of the community. I really don't care who provides publis safety as long as we are getting more service than we are now. Very well put and good research. Thanks for adding your thoughts

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  2. Anonymous,

    First off, thank you for the compliments.

    Second, to all readers, it was brought to my attention in private e-mail that I might want to qualify my analysis of the law enforcement services in the area. I work in law enforcement and, as such, have knowledge of and access to information the general public also has access to, but may or may not be aware of. I have been in law enforcement for 11 and a half years and am currently a sergeant on my department. Due to policies and procedures set in place by the department I work for, I am prohibited from using the name of my department in conjunction with anything that may be construed as political in any way, shape or form. Even though this is a public “blog” and, for the most part, a posting forum for information and opinions, it is still quite possible that my particular comments can be viewed as political in nature. Let’s just suffice it to say that I am NOT employed by Riverside County Sheriff’s Department or Mt. San Jacinto College PD.

    Now that that’s out of the way, you are correct in your assumption that the portion of the Education Code I quoted was cut and pasted directly from the code itself. I figure, since I quite literally have access to it at my fingertips, I might as well take advantage of it. It prevents me from misquoting anything and the fact that I copied and pasted it is why I put in quotes. Incidentally, everybody reading this also has the same access to the same information. After all, the various state codes are public knowledge.

    Something I didn’t mention in my original post was the fact that the section I quoted specifically deals with community college police departments. The University of California and California State University Police Departments are each governed by their own sections of the Education Code (92600 and 89560 respectively). In fact, 89560 specifies one mile outside the boundaries of a campus for Cal State. In addition to the community colleges, UC and Cal State systems, our state also have several private universities, colleges and public schools that have police departments. I haven’t checked into each and every school with a department, but I’m sure each of these departments are governed by their own section or sections in the education code.

    Besides the Education Code, which gives the college(s) the right to employ people for purpose of enforcing the law, we also have the various penal code sections and sub-sections, which actually define what each of those departments (as well as other law enforcement agencies throughout the state), are permitted to do or not do.

    Now, I was quite unaware that any community colleges in the state had ever been contracted to provide services for their area. And I guess if I had thought about it, I would have realized that anything is possible since laws can be changed. But, as the laws are written right now in 2006, it isn’t possible. Nor would it be as easy as just contacting the College Board of Trustees (or whoever is ultimately in charge of the department) and asking them if they would contract out their departments services. If fact, it would be a whole lot easier if it were the other way around: the college wanting to contract for services from a city police department.

    If you have the names of which community college police departments have or have had contracts to provide services in the areas where their districts are located, please share the information with me, either here in this forum or via e-mail. I am willing to do more research as time permits to explore the avenue of contracting with an agency other than the Sheriff’s department and will continue to share the information here.

    Lastly, I know my original post and this follow-up comment haven’t answered all of the questions I’ve seen regarding law enforcement services in the area. I’ll take it one step at a time with my posts since there is a large amount of information I’m passing on. I don’t want to lose too many readers because of the length of my posts.

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  3. Good day Mr. T. R. reed,

    Thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge with us!!

    How can we get a team of Menifee/Sun City Citizens together to discuss ways of improving the safety and well being of our Community in general? I thing there are al lot of people that, might be interested in putting our heads to gether in order to improve our Community. I am willing to help out as much as I can, please feel free to contact me whenever is most convenient for you.

    I look forward to hearing from you in the very near future.

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  4. I AGREE WITH YOU ALL, THIS IS A DEFINITE PROBLEM THAT HAS TO BE ADDRESSED QUICKLY! I FIND THAT SINCE I HAVE BEEN HERE, FOR 4YRS NOW, THE CRIME RATE AND SCARY STORIES ARE RISING! THE GRAFITI HAS BEEN MORE AND MORE FREQUENT AND THE RECENT MURDER OF THE PERSON BEING THROWN OVER THE OVERPASS OF THE 215? WHAT IS IT GOING TO TAKE? IF I WERE LOOKING TO GET INTO TROUBLE, WHAT BETTER PLACE TO GO THAN A PLACE WITH NO POLICE? WE HAVE A LOT OF MILITARY, MAYBE WE CAN ORGANIZE SOMETHING.....BUT WE NEED TO START SOON! LET US KNOW, IF YOU GOT ANY IDEAS! THANKS

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  5. I've read the postings in here about Mt San Jacinto Police. I find them very interesting. I always find it amazing to see how uneducated people are about the law. The original poster of this insight on Law Enforcement is absolutley right, however, lets give some credit where credit is do...I live in Menifee Lakes and really appreciate the increased presence of law enforcement by the college police department. They chase the unwanted out of our area, slow down the Nascar residents and passer through people, and have really impacted the youth in our community. These kids around here are thinking twice about committing crimes and getting involved in drugs or gangs. I have actually heard my son say to his friends, stay clear of the menifee lakes area or college area if your up to no good. I think that is great....keep it up!

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  6. Well Mr. Reed, how about in the meantime the Riverside Sheriff works out some sort of plan with the Menifee College Police on servicing the Menifee-Sun City area as a combined effort. A sort of Joint Powers of Authority, Allied agency, or Combined Law Enforcement Duties. They may already be doing this but if not someone should bring this up. There's no legalities or liabilities involved in forming some type of a formal understanding between the two agencies on a combined effort to respond to priority calls of service in the area. This would at least provide more coverage than what we have.....I'm sure the Sheriff has these type of relationships in adjoining jurisdictions such as Murrieta, Hemet, Beaumont, Banning, etc. What is different here?

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  7. I am new to the area and live in a new community at end of New Port Rd. and Lindenburg. It is a gated community and I thought it would be a safe place to raise our young children. As it turns out there are suspected gang members who live in the neighborhood. Also in the last few weeks there have been cars broken into, and toys stolen from yards. We have beautiful homes here and wonderful young families. I am very concerned that if we as a neighborhood and community sit back and let gangs move into our area and don't fight for our own police station, Menifee will turn into a very scary place to live. I am willing to help fight for our town but I just do not know where to start?

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  8. Mr. Reed and all of you that have responded to the comments regarding the law enforcement issues in the Menifee area. I have done a little research into contracting with the MSJC Police Department to perform law enforcement duties in the area. Mr. Reed is correct in that the Police departments primary duty is to enforce the Laws in and around the college, but I see that he is only partially correct. Under section 830.32(a) of the CA Penal its states the following:
    The following persons are peace officers whose authority
    extends to any place in the state for the purpose of performing their
    primary duty or when making an arrest pursuant to Section 836 as to any public offense with respect to which there is immediate danger to person or property, or of the escape of the perpetrator of that
    offense, or pursuant to Section 8597 or 8598 of the Government Code.
    Those peace officers may carry firearms only if authorized and under terms and conditions specified by their employing agency.
    (a) Members of a California Community College police department
    appointed pursuant to Section 72330 of the Education Code, if the
    primary duty of the police officer is the enforcement of the law as
    prescribed in Section 72330 of the Education Code.

    Under this section it DOES extend the authority to any place in the state for performing their PRIMARY DUTIES, but also DOES give them the authority when making arrests pursuant to P.C. 836 as to public offenses anywhere in the state as well. If they are performing their primary duties it does not limit any secondary enforcement areas, such as the areas outside of this"1-2 mile radius" area. I have checked with the MSJC Police and I believe they do have a MOU with the Sheriff's Department in place.

    The Ed. Code gives the college the authority to setup a Police Department and their primary duties, but the Penal Code extends the coverage state wide when there are public offenses outside their primary area. The word to look at is "or" when reading it in section 830.32(a). It gives authority to enforce laws anywhere in the state.

    Now, however great it would be to have the College Police Department patrol the entire city, there is a problem. The College department does not have the resources to handle the kind of incidents or volume of calls they would receive. They all have the training and are POST certified, but do not have access to: K9, Helicopters, etc. etc. I think they should be able to assist the city when needed and handles some primary incidents that occur in which they have the resources to handle. In that way it would be a GREAT idea. Anyways, I thought i would give my two cents.

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  9. All I can say is the police at the college seem to target motorcycle riders. I was pulled over and my bike impounded. I have talked to many motorcycle riders who said an officer pulls over and tows away a lot of motorcycles. This officer tried to take mine for 30 days but I complained to his boss and got it back. I think the officer who targets motorcycle riders name is officer cool.

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