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Citizen Crime Fighters In Lake Elsinore Get Red Flagged

Lake Elsinore Public Safety Advisory Commissioner Elizabeth Dana pitched the Citizen’s Patrol Program to City Council Tuesday but was told more details are needed before the city will consider funding it.

A Citizen’s Patrol Program expected to cost Lake Elsinore $246,426 to get started was put on hold by City Council Tuesday night pending more details.

The halt came during

Lake Elsinore Public Safety Advisory Commissioner Elizabeth Dana pitched the Citizen’s Patrol Program to City Council Tuesday, and said the $246,426 cost would cover such upstart activities as advertising, community promotions, administrative costs, and bringing volunteers on board. Two specific program activities would include sending a letter to all Lake Elsinore Unified School District parents warning that they are liable if their children tag property in the city; the letter would require a parent signoff. The program would also see a bounty program that would reward $1,000 for any tip that leads to the arrest and conviction of a tagger.

Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station Captain Dave Fontneau was at Tuesday night’s meeting and said graffiti is prevalent in the city, yet few taggers are caught and convicted. As part of Tuesday night’s budget review, council members gave their ok to move forward on hiring a new graffiti technician to help tackle the workload of cleaning up defaced city property.

While council members generally praised the Citizen’s Patrol Program, which would be spearheaded by the Public Safety Advisory Commission with input from the Lake Elsinore Police Department, they said they could not sign off on it without specific details on critical issues such as how volunteers would be selected, what type of training they would receive and would the city be held liable if a volunteer got hurt while performing patrol duties.

“I haven’t seen a plan,” said Councilman Peter Weber.

Councilwoman Melissa Melendez said she wanted to first see the city utilize its resources to put more deputies back on patrol before paying out for the new program. For budget reasons, the city has had to cut down on police services contracted through the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

“I would like to see us get (those patrol deputies) back,” Melendez said.

Captain Fontneau said the city is at a six-year low in terms of the number of patrol officers in the field.

“We value community patrol, but we need to get back to where we were (with sworn deputies on the street),” he said.

But Dana said the Citizen’s Patrol Program was better than nothing and warned that not having a community watch program was an injustice to the city.

“Quality of life is rapidly declining,” she said of Lake Elsinore.

Council members said they would consider the program once specific details were presented to them.

During Tuesday night’s discussion on public safety, Dana also called on the city to consider installing more cameras in crime-prone areas. After discussion, there was concern by council members that the cameras may not be very effective in helping to reduce crime. According to Captain Fontneau, the number of photos snapped by the cameras that have proved useful to law enforcement is negligible.

After discussion, staff was directed by council members to investigate the efficacy of the cameras.

All concerned community members will have a chance to learn more about proposed activities of the Citizen’s Patrol Program during an April 11 meeting of the Lake Elsinore Public Safety Advisory Commission at the Cultural Center on Main Street. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. (Click here for more information.)

Elizabeth Dana April 07, 2012 at 04:40 PM
To all the PSAC haters: PSAC is not here to take over as police officers, we are here to listen to safety concerns of the citizens and help implement solutions. Prior to my appointment to the PSAC, these guys & gals were responsible for bringing more safety to the lake; among other things. Things that I, as a resident, did not know they (the PSAC) were responsible for making happen. There is a lot more to PSAC then most think, I was one of them, until I was appointed, and now walk in their shoes. Also, to clarify the PSAC annual budget of $6000, it is public record to know that, to date, we, as the PSAC, have only spent $ 479, and our fiscal year ends in June. We are very cautious of our spending. We are taxpayers and residents too.
TRUTHBTOLD April 07, 2012 at 04:58 PM
I suggest all those that are against PSAC and against guns hang a big sign in front of your house saying so...... so I can sleep at night knowing the bad guys are at your house and not mine.
Elizabeth Dana April 07, 2012 at 04:58 PM
To all Lake Elsinore residents: I write this as a fellow resident, taxpayer and small business owner. Please ask yourselves this, “do I want less tagging, safer streets for kids to walk on (especially now with the elimination of busing), less squatters in vacant homes, less vacant homes in my neighborhood, would I like to see more special events come to Lake Elsinore now that businesses will be able to afford to hire a Citizens Patrol volunteer as opposed to the higher rate police officer as security? These are just some of the advantages to having a Citizens Patrol volunteer program. Maybe it’s the name of the program that throws everyone off, but the merit of the program is there. I want to see more sidewalks, less potholes, more walking/biking trails, more special/community events, less tagging. The kids in this town have nowhere to hang out. Thank goodness for Flour Fusion. It’s about the only hip place in town. Bottom-line: Until Lake Elsinore grows up and becomes a responsible adult it will always be looked at as the idiot brother. But until then, if our City and its residents continue to be negative and not support effective programs that will help clean up our cities image, we will never grow. (This is my last comment on this thread). Have a great weekend, All, and Happy Easter!
Anon April 07, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Flour fusion? Really? Don't we have a skate park at McVickor and parks with basketball hoops? Tons of sports programs to get involved in? A boys and girls club? We need parenting classes if anything!! People need to be responsible for their kids!
Tonto April 07, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Sounds like Obama gestapo to me :(
Katheryn April 07, 2012 at 06:28 PM
I knew Renee Cummings is a fraud but I must tell you Elizabeth Dana and Mikie Norkin are making the case for all to see why we don't need a Public Safety Advisory Commission in Lake Elsinore. This commission should be eliminated for the good of the community. As American Girl said their are plenty of programs for people to get involved with in Lake Elsinore and surrounding communities. The police need to be in charge of policing the community.
Renee Cummings April 07, 2012 at 06:53 PM
People who bring up Obama all the time - what does that have to do with anything on this thread. Good grief - to much politico. American Girl: On the contrary, there is not allot of sports programs in this city other than soccer. Great if you like soccer. McVicker is great but really servers skaters only and the Boys & Girls Club are great venues for kids but those that are under the age of around 14. You have a huge teen base here and nothing like The Crossings or other venues to have them hang out. Teens need to hang-out; thats what they do and if we as a town don't provide them with those outlets, we perpetuate their "bordeum" and thus you have issues. I agree good parenting is the key but it would be nice to have places out here for them to constructively hang-out and be kids. Most of us in town that have teens go into Corona or Temecula so the kids can go to the movies where local eateries are close by and police...get this..police patrol.
Katheryn April 07, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Like I said before you are showing everyone exactly why we don't need a PSAC.
Renee Cummings April 07, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Katheryn - your rhetoric on myself "pretending" and or being a "fraud" along with bashing the PSAC as a whole is frankly getting old. Let's do this - come out from underneath your poster name, contact me and let's sit down mono-to-mono and discuss what it is you THINK I am suposedly about or what you THINK you know me to be. No yelling, name slinging, swearing...we meet at a local place, you face me as a civil adult and then we can talk. I will hear your side and you can then hear mine. At the end of it all if you feel I am still this "fraud" or "pretender" than so be it - but quit coming into this thread and other threads (as I have seen you do) and bash people without giving those same people the respect that any normal adult person would do, by meeting with them personally to discuss your discontent. So easy to put it down in writing behind a "frauduantly" or "pretend" name and accuse, attack and bash than it is to confront people face to face.
Roberto April 07, 2012 at 07:12 PM
We need a Stand Your Ground Law like Florida. You threaten a homeowner, He Kills you all is good! 6000 dollars vs. 250,000 thousand dollars ? Someone isn't being forthright with the public and I'll it's the three blind mice on the Dais.
Anon April 07, 2012 at 07:55 PM
I am confused, last time I looked, we had dance studios, scouts,the schools had, wrestling, soccer, water polo, volleyball, drama, baseball, football, cheerleading and I know the city has a little league and a football program for the younger kids. I raised 2 kids in this town and they had plenty to do. They were not out tagging or doing beer runs either. This is a parenting issue people!!!!!!!
Major April 07, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Then just deny you are an Obama supporter.
Tonto April 07, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Fear the government that fears your gun?
Katheryn April 07, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Cummings, Elizabeth, Norkin and the rest of the PSAC are a waste of taxpayer money and the PSAC should be terminated. We shouldn't be giving them a dime for what they do. Renee and other PSAC people bring up hate when someone disagrees with their agenda, does that mean they are the true haters. From what I have read the only people who use the word "hate" are the PSAC people.
Renee Cummings April 07, 2012 at 09:56 PM
"Katheryn" - I think your crediability has been tarnished by your own lack of acknowledgment or even acceptance to meet with me face to face. I mention hate because you mud-sling hate "Katheryn". You seem to have an inner-hatered for others that you won't even get to know personally. I personally do not hate you - I don't know you on a personal level so I cannot make that judgement as you have so willingly taken the scales and have judged me and the rest of the PSAC without getting to know each and everyone of us. When you are ready to meet face to face with me, contact me "Katheryn". I will make myself available to you. I understand that you "commute" to the O.C. as do I at times so if it be more conveinent for you, we can meet down there. I will accomidate your demographics. I earnestly mean this when I say that I hope everyone has a great Easter weekend. Let go of the frustrations and enjoy the beautiful day outside. LE has some wonderful weather and the skies for the most are always a brilliant blue. Sometimes our computers become to much a part of what and who we are and we miss everything splendid on God's green earth. Enjoy!
Katheryn April 08, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Renee you are a true fraud like I said before everyone on this board now has an idea of what you people on the PSAC are truly like, and I am sure why they don't want any tax dollars going to the PSAC. Why don't you go do something useful to the community and work on yourself. Happy Easter, he died so we can live.
Diana April 09, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Well looks like the taggers didn't spend anytime with the Easter Bunny over the weekend, they tagged several buildinsg up and down Grand Ave and Riverside Dr. Billboards, buildings, fences and so on, and where is that hot dog, throw me down, gonna go get em tagger task force.........hmm I guess they were chasing the Easte Bunny!! The towns not that big people to catch a bunch of punks...
Renee Cummings April 10, 2012 at 12:38 AM
"Katheryn" - now - sadly - you are becoming annoying on this thread. You are just copying and pasting the same statements over and over again - just re-wording them a bit. You are correct - He died so we can live. So follow what Matthew preaches and confront those you accuse face to face.
Renee Cummings April 10, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Diana - The PSAC received some very ineresting information today from a citizen who read that we were looking into the tagging issue. Seems there is a program out there that some cities are adopting and we may just look into this. The tagging is way out of hand that's for sure. I work in a city that has probably has little or no tagging whatsoever so I know that we as a city together can make this happen.
Katheryn April 10, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Diana you are correct, we need more police and they can take care of our problems with the taggers. I am looking forward to receiving the reward for tagger convictions that Captian F. spoke about last week. Renee is a joke as you can all see, and a fraud. Along with her co-horts who have written post on the Patch, she continues to show why the PSAC is not needed, what more can I say. Renee Cummings you are a fraud (lol).
Diana April 10, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Speaking of taggers they had a field day all up and down Riverside Dr between Grand and Lincoln, not to mention all the way down Grand, buildings, fences, billboards. This is disgusting and we are turning into looking like East LA, someone, anyone needs to get a handle on this.
Tonto April 10, 2012 at 01:27 AM
I think the look outs signal the sprayers with their cell phones when the police hit the donut shop :)
Roberto April 10, 2012 at 03:03 AM
The way to stop tagging is to write "Putos" On top of what they wrote or immediatly cover it up. Your Choice but tagging cannot be stopped by allowing it to remain like it does. How about covering it up as soon as it happens? We can focus in on proactive law enforcement once Dickman, Malicious & Webe are ousted from office.
Diana April 10, 2012 at 05:46 PM
@Roberto, no disrespect but you are starting to sound like James Carvill will the Weber, Melendez and Hickman posts over and over and over.
Roberto April 10, 2012 at 06:29 PM
@Roberto, no disrespect but you are starting to sound like James Carvill will the Weber, Melendez and Hickman posts over and over and over. REPLY: No offense taken, everyone is entitled to their opinion. It's the few who have taken it to extremes that need a dose of reality. Levity and some mutual respect for differing opinions is lacking particularly when when illegal immigration is being discussed for example. Now, let focus on ridding ourselves of the 3 blind mice LOL!
Katheryn April 10, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Diana, I like what Roberto has to say about proactive law enforcement. His words may not be what you or I would have chosen but he did get his point across. Our police department is understaffed because of budget cuts, since we have found money lets put it back into the police department.
Renee Cummings April 10, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Everytime the kids are out for spring break or there is some "holiday" of sorts - the taggers go crazy...and I hear ya - we are beginning to look like the swats! The police caught two culprits but there is so many more to be caught. The worst part about it is - my fear is that the taggers are from other cities that may not be trying to do anything about their own tagging issues which result in our tagging issues.It's a vicious circle that is so out of hand for sure. As a PSAC, we are trying to look and recommend suggestions to help combat this tagging epidemic. We have a budget fo $6k a year for which we only spent approx. $450 for printed materials for our outreach programs.....I say all this to say that some on the PSAC would like to offer up whatever remaining budgte we have at the end of the year for a strong graffiti initiative. If the city says they can't afford it, than let us use remaning budget pots to lend to those needed efforts I say!
Renee Cummings April 10, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Diana - I concur. Bashing commissioners and council members over and over again really gets us no where. Where are all the other residents that you know have to be upset by all the tagging???
Diana April 12, 2012 at 03:23 AM
All great comments but you know what, this town needs action not bickering between one and another, as Roberto said. Katheryn, our Police Dept has had every opportunity to tackle many issues in our town before their department was cut, and guess what they didn't. They concentrate on "revenue" DUI's, cell phone tickets, expired tags, traffic violations, anyone with common sense or knows a cop will tell you they are not going to deal with the taggers, pan handlers and the minimal no revenue items, they don't want to do the paperwork. Someone, somewhere needs to get things done and if it take volunteers to do it in spite of what ever you and Renee's personal conflict is, then I for one am all for it as I am sure many other people in the community are, hey I will be your eyes and ears give me a phone number to call and I will use it.
Anon April 12, 2012 at 04:28 AM
I see a lot of tagging leading into the town houses over by machado. I think taggers live in there.

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