MSJC Police Jurisdiction

An interesting discussion is developing on Ann Motte's blog regarding the Mt San Jacinto College...

MSJC PoliceAn interesting discussion is developing on Ann Motte's blog regarding the Mt San Jacinto College police, and whether or not they spending too much money on training exercises...

The MSJC police, along with the Riverside County Sheriff, CAL Fire, California Department of Forestry, American Medical Response, Mercy Air, and other volunteers, warned the public that many loud noises may result from their training exercise, to which Ann made the following comment...
Lots of your tax dollars at work here with the MSJC police department as lead player. At best, a public relations display.
That comment touched off a debate, criticizing Ann as being unsympathetic to the need for public safety.

To which Ann responded that MSJC is sorely in need of money just to provide an adequate education for its students, let alone public safety for the residents of Menifee.

And that brings me to these questions: Should the MSJC police use its funds to provide public safety to new City of Menifee? Is it the role of community colleges to provide policing to nearby residents? Or is state education money being used to address a problem that the Sheriff should be taking care of?

On the other hand, we saw what happened at Virginia Tech last year. There is definitely a need for safety and security at public schools. But how much are we going to spend on public safety versus public education?


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  1. No, we decided to become a city and it is time that we step up and pay for it. MSJC students should not have to fund for local residents safety, that is the responsibility of our worthless County Supervisors. I agree with Ann this is a publicity stunt and it stinks.

  2. I think it is a great that the campus has police and they help patrol the area. This idea that it is a waste of money is downright silly and Ann is wrong in not agreeing it is a good idea.

  3. I work at a Campus Police Department in San Diego County. The understanding between Campus Police and the local City Police is "you catch it, you clean it." The campus officers have jurisdiction on "an around" school property, but they also understand that their priority is what takes place on campus. I applaud MSJC PD for stepping up to help our community, however they are not staffed or funded to consistently patrol off-campus. The new City of Menifee should begin the steps to organize a City Police Department. DO NOT CONTRACT WITH THE COUNTY SHERIFF! Do it right the first time and create a City PD. Murrieta did it right and they have a great PD. Menifee should follow suit. If the city tries to save money and goes the cheap way now, they will never be able to fund a City PD in the future. Make it a priority and do it right from the beginning.

  4. Try this on for size...

    The new City of Menifee will not be staffing police, rather, we will spend our tax money on educating more of our children.

    I believe it is a waste of tax money and a publicity stunt to provide police services to the City of Menifee when we have budget cuts effecting our students. Let's spend that money on more teachers and students.

    Sound good now?

    What is the difference in argument? - NONE

    See how crazy that sounds if you put it in a different context?

    Lets' get real people.

  5. Just out of curiosity, is this training being paid for by means of a federal grant? There are certain federal grants that are earmarked for just this type of training operation.

  6. I have a few questions for the "campus" police officer.

    1. Some community colleges have full police departments, some have security guards. At what point does a college decide to have a police department? Enrollment, crimes on campus? Is there a point that it is required by the state?

    2. Where does the funding for a college police department come from?

    I am having trouble following the comments of Anon 10:13. I hope this person does not think that the city should not pay for a police department at all and should pay for a community college. The city is responsible for public safety, not paying for classes. The college is responsible for providing a quality education to the community. That might also require paying for a campus police department or security force to protect the campus if required by law.

    Having an "extra" police agency within the city of Menifee is a bonus to us residents, nothing else. It is no different if you live in a city that has a CHP office down the street. It is a bonus to that city to have extra officers in that city.

    I do not believe a grant is needed for this type of training. This type of training is conducted on a routine basis all around Southern California.

    While having a Menifee City Police department would be great, I think it is not possible due to the current tax base and the startup cost. I am sure that a new community substation will be going in right away once the city takes effect. I would imagine it will be were the new civic center is located.

  7. I think you missed my point. You see, Ann Motte would like to eliminate police and take thier budget money and apply it to more teachers.

    My point was that if you apply that same philosophy to the new city of menifee for instance, the following would happen:

    No police in menifee, but we would have more teachers for all our city schools.

    This doesn't make any sence. You have to look at the big picture. Having no public safety in exchange for more teachers is a rediculous proposal.

    They are mutually important, but neither should be eliminated to provide for the other. That was my point. Sorry for the confusion....

  8. In response to Anon at 11:34 -

    While it is true that this type of training is conducted on a routine basis all over the state, (in fact, all over the country), this type of training is frequently federally mandated training. As a result, federal grants are sometimes used to at least offset the cost of the training if not cover the cost entirely.

    In the event of a grant, while the dollars being spent would still be tax dollars, they would be tax dollars the federal government has set aside specifically for this type of training and would not be local tax dollars being used where they could be put to use elsewhere, i.e. for education, staffing, etc.

  9. That clears your comments up. I see what you were getting at now.

    Ann Motte does not support the campus police. I cannot get answered by her where the funding comes from and why a police department was started in the first place. If those questions are answered, then you can debate classes vs school police. If the budget for the police department comes from moneys earmarked by law only for safety on campuses, then it is a mute point to argue. If it comes from the same pot of money and a campus police department is not required by state law, then you have something to debate.

    She is also silent when asked about the empty Azusa Pacific University building. For those of you folks that do not know, Azusa Pacific University bought the property next to the college. The land is zoned for educational uses. They built a building to house evening classes for the region to provide 4 year and graduate degree programs to the region. MSJC did not have the money at the time to buy the land and build classrooms. During construction and after the bulding was built, MSJC took APU to court and was able to aquire the building thru eminent domain. One of the problems with the building is that it does not meet the building code requirements of a public school. They also had to take APU to court over the price of the building. Millions of dollars have been spent by MSJC for a building that has been sitting empty for several years. In addition, MSJC fought the building of Bell Mountain Middle School. Again, the school district had the money to buy the land and build a school, MSJC did not. I wish I knew how many tax dollars were wasted by MSJC in that fight. These are some of the examples of waste by the college board.

  10. The MSJC PD and the Azusa saga are completely different subjects except when it comes to wasted taxpayer money. MSJC could never agree on price because the State paid for grading and utilities on the site because it was in the MSJC master plan footprint for acquisition at a later date. They didn't wan't to pay twice. That was not a concern of the Elementary District when they secretly bought the site without consulting with MSJC. MSJC initiated eminent domaine on the remaing 30 acres prior to the Azusa purchase which was also done secretly without consulting MSJC. Then Azusa built the facilty???? Anyway MSJC paid about $2M in legal fees for a $10M project. But that has nothing to do with the MSJC PD whose budget is secret and it's cost/benefit is never questioned. Let's try to stay on one topic at a time.

  11. The state does not mandate a college PD. The Ed Code is posted on my website and addresses patrol by a campus PD for "owned college properties" and those areas "nearby the campus(es)". Patrol of "Menifee" is an over broad interpretation outside the state definition. The msjc PD is not funded by state categorical funds. The PD's expenses are not noted by the district in any one place on the public budget document. As trustee I have requested said info however administration has not disclosed it. There has been little disclosure to the board as to the total cost of the PD. The college is considered an under served district by the state (percent of students per 1,000 adult pop) and also has the lowest percent of full time faculty in the state. The mission of the cc colleges is to provide educational opportunity for students for transfer, work force training,etc. As trustee I have a fiduciary responsibility to oversee public dollars for that purpose. If no one knows the real costs,except administration and the PD, the value of trade off for student access cannot be determined. If the PD cost twice the current amount, would that be ok? Thank you for the comments/discussion.

  12. Again Ann Motte only wants to quote law that serves her own interest without being fair.

    MSJC Police have authority to enforce the law anywhere in the State of California. Here is the actual law section taken straight from the penal code:

    830.32. 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.

    Last time I checked Menifee is in California.......

  13. Yes you are absolutely right. This has been tested in the Supreme Court as well as the State Appeals court. Case law is clear on this issue, College Police, University Police, and K-12 school Police all have state wide authority.

    "Near" campus for purposes of 72330 of the Education Code only applies to Jurisdiction. Jurisdiction means the area of responsibility for responding to or reporting of crime. It has nothing to do whatsoever with "Authority."

    They are two different things.

    A Deputy Sheriff from Riverside can arrest someone in San Diego if need be. And a School Police Officer from San Diego can arrest someone in Los Angeles if need be.

    That's the way it is folks. So don't pass one on the freeway thinking you're home free.....LOL

  14. So let me get this straight, you as a MSJC board member have requested from the administration a breakdown of the cost of the college police department and they have not complied? That tells me that there is a real lack of leadership at the college. I am going to request thru the FOIA a request for just that, a breakdown of the police budget. I am sure that they will respond......matter of fact, they have's the law!

  15. The issue is not authority to enforce the laws and jurisdiction. That's not in dispute by anybody that I know of. The issue is the cost/benefit when the cost/benefit is known and disclosed to the public, like the city up north that went bankrupt due to police/fire costs. Why should MSCJ provide law enforcement services to the City of Menifee when it's the City's responsible to provide those services to MSJC? Can anybody answer the question?

  16. Let's address the training that is taking place this Sunday and the comments that Ann made regarding the exercise.

    1. If God forbid something "bad" such as a shooter or bombing at MSJC happended, do you think that for one second Ann Motte would stand by the police chief and his officers. I suspect she would be the first to hold him responsible, and she should if the chief did not promote this kind of training.

    2. This type of training is valuable to all our local agencies, not just MSJC. I expect them to conduct this type of training. It is a good use of my tax dollars.

    3. Ann, just curious, have you ever visited the MSJC police station or sat down and met with the chief one on one? I bet he would be happy to discuss the exercise, mission of your college police department and the budget.

    4. Since you are unaware of the functions of your police agency, maybe you should schedule a ride along with them. Maybe you should show up to the drill on Sunday to observe what training is taking place and listen the the after action review that will take place following the drill. You may learn something.

    5. Have you asked the police chief to provide you with crime stats on the campus? What were the crime stats before and after the arrival of the police department?

    6. You were on the board when a vote was taken to form a police department. How did you vote? Yes or No?

  17. Hey, to the guy that thinks he can get the MSJC PD budget from the college--good luck. If you make a legal request they have 10 days to respond and then you can sue them at your own expense. Keep us posted. Get familiar with GC 6250 et. set., the California Public Records Act, you are going to need it.

  18. If Ann can't get the MSJC PD budget from the College President I doubt she can get it from the PD chief. I thought PDs were big on the chain of command.

  19. "Why should MSCJ provide law enforcement services to the City of Menifee when it's the City's responsible to provide those services to MSJC? Can anybody answer the question?"

    They do not provide service to Menifee directly. There responsible to the college and streets right around the college. That is what the code says. They are on duty when the campus is occupied with students. They do provide automatic aid to other law enforcement agencies for high priority calls. No different then Murrieta Police will respond into parts of Menifee to assist on high priority calls. If and when the City of Menifee forms its own police agency vs. contracting with the RSO, you can bet that the Menifee Police department will respond into other jurisdictions for assistance.

    Remember also that the Perris High School district also has it's own police. Most people do not know that. They contract with the RSO to have at least one officer assigned for law enforcement and student safety at Paloma and Perris HS. That is paid for by the school. There responsible for the school, however if a high priority call goes down in a neighborhood near the campus or an officer needs backup ASAP, they respond. Some high school districts in Southern California have full blown departments like Santa Ana. They do the same thing as MSJC police. Patrol the schools and ajoining streets.

    Remember, the college board voted 5 years ago to form a police department for the safety of the students and staff on that campus.

  20. Good luck on your public records request.

    Of course I am aware that the msjc PD have state wide authority as certified police officers, just as any city or county PD, however the charge of the college PD is oversight of msjc college properties and "nearby the campus(es)" as the code states. May-be it would be less expensive and less liability for msjc to contract with the county for services. But then one would have to compare costs, and those have not been disclosed.

  21. While I may not get a response or run into roadblocks, you can bet that I will be at the board meeting in the very near future to make sure that my concerns are on the public record. I bet the Press Enterprise may be interested in giving it a shot. Most large newspapers have a staff and legal department just for these things. They can also interview Ann Motte and she can explain how the administration refuses to give this to her considering she is an elected official.

    While I am not impressed at all with Ann Motte, I will say that if this is true and the administration is not responding to her request, that needs to be investigated. I may be a thorn in her side right now, but any public agency or organization has to respond to our elected officials when they make a request unless that request is not legal.

  22. Trustee Motte states that the police budget is a secret. The truth is that it is not a secret at all. you see police officers are "classified employees" as such they are listed together with all classified employees under the adopted budget. The adopted budget is published for viewing on the colleges own website. Go look for yourselves.

    Here are the real numbers for 07/08..

    Acedemic salaries top 22 Million dollars. (That means instructors)

    Classified salaries top just over 12 Million. (those are all the worker bees, including police).

    Do the math. All classified employees together are less than half the cost of instructors.

    I don't think "police" are what is hurting the budget.

  23. Good God People, MSJC Police have a total of 12 employees.

    5 cops
    5 security officers
    1 secretary
    1 parking coordinator

    They have more janitors at MSJC than cops!!!!!

    WOW! Looks like we're breaking the bank here with "public safety"...LOL...what an idiot.

    What, do you actually think they have some secret budget in place? For what? A secret 2,000 man police force that is covertly patrolling your campuses and Menifee with stealth bombers and tanks at the ready? LMAO>.......

    Are you kidding me? 5 actual police officers protecting over 24,000 students? Sears can't get by on that few security officers. Good God woman shut your pie hole already will ya? This is already gonna get you un-elected next go around.

    How much of the $12 million dollar budget for classified employees do you think the 12 person "secret" police force is actually eating up lady?

  24. If you look at the MSJC PD budget remember to include the patrol cars, facilitiy costs, comunications, equipment, fringe benefits for the 12 employes, insurance, etc. Lets look at everything-right?

  25. Ann should go on a ride-along? Would that be through the parking lot or on general patrol of the community? The issue is not how they do it, it's where they do it and at what cost/benefit to the students.