.

UPDATE: French Valley, Winchester Could See More Deputies On Patrol

Riverside County Supervisors will consider whether to boost hiring over the next five years so that unincorporated communities can have a deputy-to-residents staffing ratio of 1.2 per 1,000. The current patrol ratio is .75 -- a level it reached las

UPDATED AT 2:09 P.M.: Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley's proposal for the sheriff to gradually increase the number of personnel who can be deployed to communities reeling from spikes in violent crime was approved today.

The Board of Supervisors accepted Ashley's "1.2 Budget Doctrine" in a 5-0 vote preceded by observations from all board members that crime was becoming more prevalent countywide, but particularly in unincorporated communities.

"It's really getting tough out there," said Supervisor Kevin Jeffries, a resident of Lakeland Village. "There's more gangs and crime."

He expressed concern about a local park being overtaken by "tweakers," or methamphetamine users.

Supervisor John Tavaglione said all signs point to growing criminal activity, not only in Riverside County but the entire Southern California region.

"Seems like every day, people are shooting at cops," Tavaglione said. "We have community members' lives at risk. We need a roadmap to get back to where we need to be."

Ashley's mandate calls on the sheriff to boost hiring over the next five years so that unincorporated communities enjoy a deputy-to-residents staffing ratio of 1.2 per 1,000.

The current ratio is .75 -- a level it fell to last year to meet the county's spending containment goals.

The last time the patrol ratio was 1.2 per 1,000 occurred in 2009, according to Ashley.

Most of the personnel reductions have been achieved through attrition, not pink slips.

Last September, the board authorized the sheriff to return to a one deputy per 1,000 residents ratio in unincorporated areas, but most of the 50 deputies hired under the plan won't be fully trained and on the streets until next year.

"In the meantime, Riverside County shows an increase in violent and property crimes in unincorporated areas around Hemet, Perris, Lake Elsinore, Cabazon, Palm Desert and Blythe," Ashley said.

"Assault with a deadly weapon and burglaries have risen ... in southwestern Riverside County. It is with a heavy heart that I continue to see reports of serious and violent crime within my district."

The supervisors blamed much of the surge on realignment legislation signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2011, which allowed the early release of many prisoners not convicted of violent crimes to relieve overcrowding in the state's 33 penal institutions. The county was the recipient of several thousand early releases, of whom Ashley noted two-thirds were known "high-risk" recidivists.

The realignment bill, AB 109, also required counties to begin incarcerating individuals convicted of "non-serious, non-violent" crimes that don't stem from a sexual offense. The result was more pressure on the county's overburdened jails. In 2012, the sheriff released 6,990 inmates to make room.

Under a two-decade-old federal court decree, the sheriff is required to have a bed for each inmate; if not, he must make space for incoming prisoners, typically by turning loose "low-level" offenders. The early releases are known as "federal kickouts."

Sheriff Stan Sniff applauded the board's decision to grant him the discretion to expand staffing, but noted it won't be easy.

"It'll be a heavy lift just to get to one per thousand," Sniff said. "Less than one percent of those who apply to be deputy recruits are hired."

District Attorney Paul Zellerbach said more emphasis should be placed on jail expansion.

"We need that mid-county detention center. Nothing is moving forward other than talk," Zellerbach told the board. "It's time to put our money where our mouth is. Things are going to get worse before they get better."

Ashley hoped that shoring up the sheriff's workforce would translate to a more inviting place to do business.

"We must bring job growth to Riverside County to preserve and enhance the quality of life for our residents and communities," Ashley said. "But these efforts will be threatened by a persistently rising crime rate and perceptions that our communities are at risk."

 

ORIGINAL POST: Unincorporated areas across the county could see more deputies on patrol.

Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley today intends to seek a mandate for the sheriff to steadily increase the number of deputies in unincorporated areas.

"I am increasingly concerned that the economic recovery of our county could be derailed by the threat rising crime poses, not only to our residents' safety and well-being, but also to our continued economic revival," Ashley wrote in a proposal submitted for the Board of Supervisors' consideration.

Ashley asked for fellow board members' support for a policy calling on the sheriff to boost hiring over the next five years so that unincorporated communities enjoy a deputy-to-residents staffing ratio of 1.2 per 1,000.

The supervisor called his idea the  "1.2 Budget Doctrine."

The current patrol ratio is .75 -- a level it reached last year to meet the county's spending containment goals.

General fund appropriations for the sheriff's department have been slashed 33 percent since 2009 -- the last time the patrol ratio was 1.2 per 1,000, according to Ashley.

Most of the personnel reductions have been achieved through attrition, not pink slips.

Last September, the board authorized the sheriff to return to a 1 deputy per 1,000 residents ratio in unincorporated areas, but most of the 50 deputies hired under the plan won't be fully trained and on the streets until next year.

"In the meantime, Riverside County shows an increase in violent and property crimes in unincorporated areas around Hemet, Perris, Lake Elsinore, Cabazon, Palm Desert and Blythe," Ashley said.

"Assault with a deadly weapon and burglaries have risen ... in southwestern Riverside County. It is with a heavy heart that I continue to see reports of serious and violent crime within my district."

The supervisor blamed the spike in part on realignment legislation, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2011, which allowed the early release of many prisoners not convicted of violent crimes to relieve overcrowding in the state's 33 penal institutions. The county was the recipient of several thousand early releases, of whom Ashley noted two-thirds were known "high-risk" recidivists.

The realignment bill, AB 109, also required counties to begin incarcerating individuals convicted of "non-serious, non-violent" crimes that don't stem from a sexual offense. The result was more pressure on the county's overburdened jails. In 2012, the sheriff released 6,990 inmates to make room.

Under a two-decade-old federal court decree, the sheriff is required to have a bed for each inmate; if not, he must make space for incoming prisoners. The early releases are known as "federal kickouts."

Sheriff's officials focus on "low-level" offenders when deciding who should stay or go, according to previous testimony before the board.

"We must bring job growth to Riverside County to preserve and enhance the quality of life for our residents and communities," Ashley said. "But these efforts will be threatened by a persistently rising crime rate and perceptions that our communities are at risk." --City News Service

Nita German - Dancin DJ March 27, 2013 at 01:46 AM
Perhaps, IF there were MORE JOBS & income opportunites, crime would not be rising at such a high rate. #'s Down = Jobs, The Economy, Citizens Morale #'s UP = Temecula Unemployment #'s UP = Number of young folks graduating and seaching for a job #'s UP = Number of new residents re-locating from higher-crime rate area's such as L.A., San Bernardino, San Diego, Orange County #'s UP = Crime, Suicide, Mental & Emotional Disorders
Artemis Gordon March 27, 2013 at 02:08 PM
You want crime to come down? Do what other states have done, ISSUE CCW PERMITS, then watch crime Free Fall. States with restrictive gun laws ALWAYS have higher crime, no matter how many cops you field. Cops don't prevent crime, they just try to apprehend the recidivist. States with open carry or CCW make it too dangerous for the tweaker or the wanna be gangsta. Be Smart, Protect yourself and your family. No One Else Will.
TVOR March 27, 2013 at 03:39 PM
Our issues are the result in the collapse of the economy. The housing crash created a huge increase in the number of single family dwellings being rented as opposed to the owner living in them. This and the fact that the cost of rent declined considerably resulted in more knuckleheads living in our city. This is reflected in an increase in property crimes. It is good the county has recognized the need for more patrol units but it will take a whole lot more to provide the county areas the level of service we enjoy here in Temecula.
Babs Scott March 28, 2013 at 02:16 PM
TVOR--Real estate racketeers. Realtors intentionally not returning calls for showings, knowing their clients need to sell, or in bank foreclosure situations, only submit "certain" bids to the banks. On a standard sale, client becomes desperate, and magically an "investor" will buy their property ( the investor is a good friend or relative of realtor!) I've done homework...agents in other counties (and states) are keeping up values. Until this racketeering and conspiracy is thoroughly investigated, flood gates for investors and renters are WIDE OPEN. Ethical and competing realtors won't file complaints afraid of retaliation (though they bitch about it). On my street: a renter hosts botox parties in the barn, advertising all over Murrieta and Temecula bringing large groups of people into the neighborhood. another has over 3 times limit of animals on property (bought at 50% discount); another neighbor arrested for animal cruelty & elderly abuse (bought at 50% discount); another stock piles/sells horse manure (the smell, the look, the flies); another has tried to harm/kill their neighbors horses, racing motorcycles next to them causing one to hurt itself, ($10,000 surgery required, & sprays poison next to their feed) so they can acquire that property at 50% discount; another creates situations to force neighbor to file lawsuits (which costs hundreds of thousands of $, hoping the litigating neighbor will sell at a 50% discount (she is an investor wanting the property).
TVOR March 28, 2013 at 05:57 PM
I have no doubt this kind of thing is common. It is very difficult to nail people for these kind of actions.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »