Law enforcement, or lack thereof, has been one of the biggest selling points on why us folks in the Menifee Valley should vote for cityhood.
I received an e-mail today from a Menifee 24/7 reader who wanted to express his/her thoughts about contracting with the Sheriff versus building a homegrown police department. Here's what they said...
The latest article I read stated that the new city would initially "contract for services" with Riverside Sheriff. Nothing against them but I don't like that idea at all. Let me explain why.I think it's a foregone conclusion that the new city will contract with the Sheriff. I believe that the "feasibility study", that just barely shows us as being viable, was based on the expectation that we'd contract with the Sheriff.
We currently pay $1.5 million dollars for thier "services" now. $1 million to the Sheriff and $500K to CHP for "Traffic services." Now, that figure nets us (Menifee Residents) 1 Deputy Sheriff and ? CHP Officers (since I never see them providing traffic services). How exactly are we to benefit at all from cityhood and contracting unless we are willing to start our own police department?
Oh, and let me tell you this "it is not cheaper" to contract with Riverside Sheriff, just ask the City of San Jacinto how much they "saved" by contracting out to Riverside. Nothing, in fact they are paying a great deal more now than they ever did with their own police department. in fact I hear they are considering going back to thier own police department as a result (unconfirmed).
Folks we need to do this right from the start, lets' not make the same mistakes other cities have. No complaints against the Fire Department, they are doing a great job (plus at least I see them), but Law Enforcement isn't holding up their end of the bargain. Have you seen the graffitti, gang members, parolees, sex offenders, homeless, and basic thugs running around our soon to be city? Where are the guys in the uniforms being visible and running these folks out of our town (Except for the College Police)?
It's bad enough that there are over 300 forclosed homes in Menifee alone, but that is just the beginning. Next we will be a low rent district with little to no law enforcement until it's too late, can you say "City of Perris." Your Thoughts?
The important thing to know about this, is that by having our own city, it makes it easier for us to hold our city council members responsible. It's alot easier to vote them out of office than it is for us vote a Sheriff out of office.
If the Sheriff doesn't provide the improvement that we're looking for under the new incorporated city, then we need to vote the city council members out. It's that simple.
To do this, we must have a short list of our top law enforcement improvements, and refer back to this list everytime we evaluate our city council. We also need a public forum to discuss the city council's effectiveness. And I'll be glad to host that discussion here.
One issue I would like the first city council to address, is to have a police officer arrive on the scene within 15 minutes of your call, on average. Right now, if you called the Sheriff's substation, it's likely a Deputy won't even visit you.
So here's a list of top three law enforcement improvements that we should hold our city council members to...
- Improve in-person response times to 15 minutes on average, every call