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Lake Elsinore Public Safety Gets Praise And Scrutiny

During a joint study session of the two bodies, it was agreed that members of the Public Safety Advisory Commission and Lake Elsinore City Council would work more closely together in the months ahead.

The Lake Elsinore City Council, along with residents who’ve pledged to help make the city safer, agreed Tuesday to do a better job of communicating with each other about public safety issues affecting the community.

During a joint study session of the two bodies, it was agreed that members of the Public Safety Advisory Commission and Lake Elsinore City Council would work more closely together in the months ahead.

Commissioners Marney Fairchild and Renee Cummings were absent Tuesday.

Communication broke down over the last week after a special in which council members determined they could not fund a quarter-million dollar PSAC Citizen’s Patrol Program without more specific detail on how the money would be spent. During last week’s meeting, council members also urged that taxpayer dollars should first be spent on ramping up Riverside County Sheriff’s Department patrol hours that were lost due to city budget constraints. ( to read more about the Citizen’s Patrol Program and what happened during the April 3 meeting.)

PSAC Chair Mike Norkin said Tuesday that while the commission had voted to move forward with a request for funding, he contended commissioners were not prepared to provide specific details on the Citizen’s Patrol Program during the April 3 meeting.

“We were not notified,” he told the council members, adding the commission had approved the funding request during its regularly scheduled Feb. 8 meeting, but in March the commission voted to hold off on the request pending more investigation on how the money should be spent.

While council was not willing to bring back the Citizen’s Patrol Program Tuesday, they praised PSAC’s efforts in the community despite a handful of letters and a public comment that called for the elimination of PSAC.

“We are very appreciative of all the work you do,” said Councilwoman Melissa Melendez.

Tuesday the council members agreed to keep supporting PSAC.

Council members asked the commissioners to focus on key areas in the city, including helping to maintain safety around the lake’s edge; watching for code enforcement and public nuisance issues; working to encourage crime-free housing; and communicating with residents in neighborhoods to help bring safety concerns forward to public officials.

Norkin, Vice Chair J. Stewart and Commissioner Elizabeth Dana told the council members they were grateful for the backing.

“Thank you for your respect,” Stewart said. “You’ve shown us support today.”

PSAC is an all-volunteer effort. According to Norkin, among the commission’s key public safety achievements over its six-and-half-year history are city ordinances to regulate street parking of oversized vehicles; charging residents for police service when deputies are called to squelch large parties; offering $1,000 rewards for arrests and convictions of taggers; regulation of tobacco retailers; regulating news racks in public places; restricting hotel/motel registrations to adults only; adopting boat speed limits on the lake; and an aggressive anti-panhandling ordinance.

PSAC next meets April 11 at 6 p.m. at the Lake Elsinore Cultural Center. The public is invited.

 

Diana April 11, 2012 at 03:06 AM
PSAC While we can appreciate you out and about looking for over sized vehicles, charging folks that are having a party and Police show up, let's concentrate on other things in the town that are not so "revenue" based. Why don't you start with trying to catch a few taggers, be the eyes for the blighted areas that break all kinds of code enforcement ordinances that are already in place and not enforced. While you out there please pay special attention to the four corners area and also the shopping center on Riverside Dr. where the new Subway is. Panhandlers, gang bangers and the like all hang in these areas, it is very frightening especially at night when one might want to go mail a letter at the Postal Annex and is afraid to get out of there car for fear of being car jacked. Someone having a Saturday party or parking their fifth wheel on the street doesn't threaten me or anyone else, there are some major concerns that have gone on in the areas I just mentioned for a verrrrrrrrrrrry long time, why don't you challenge yourselves to clean up and make those areas safe. BTW this is a pretty heavy tagged area too, kind of go's with all the apartments around on Riverside, Lincoln and Grand I would suppose, or maybe not.
Katheryn April 11, 2012 at 01:23 PM
We need to completely eliminate the PSAC, we need to take away their $6,000.00 and the extra $10,000.00 they were given last week. I am sick of the PSAC's asking for money when the city doesn't have the money. The City needs to do the right thing and add more police officers and to hire more city staff, to replace the ones which continued to be laid off. There were 12 city employees laid off and 8 were brought back to work, because the city has no money. This lay off has caused a hardship for many city employees who are overwhelmed with extra duties. If someone has a problem with taggers, then call the city graffiti hotline. Why do we have to send home memos to parents who probably don't care what their children are doing. Let the police do their jobs and give them more money for their budget to do more for the people of Lake Elsinore. http://www.abetterlakeelsinore.com/documents/links.html Read what Major has to say in the article below on Tuesday, April 10, 2012, he makes alot of sense. http://lakeelsinore-wildomar.patch.com/articles/citizen-crime-fighters-in-lake-elsinore-get-red-flagged#comments
David Pereira April 11, 2012 at 03:26 PM
the city still had all these problems when the police were in full force, before the lay-offs. That is exactly why the PSAC was formed, because the police weren't doing their job. And how many officers do you really think can be rehired with $16,000? You're insane if you think the Sherriffs or LEPD are so outstanding, that by disbanding a group of comcerned volunteers you'll be bettering the city. Absurd. This cit needs all the help we can get, not just complainers like yourself. Unlike yourself, at least the PSAC volunteers are brave enough to get out from behind their computer, go out into town, and make a difference. What do you do for this city besides complain? Tell me.
Diana April 11, 2012 at 04:26 PM
David well said. While I support some of your comments Katheryn i'm afraid that there is just no pleasing you and that no matter what the City Council does other then your selected few, Magee and Tisdale you disagree, actually if i didn't no better I would think that Chris Hyland is fueling your fire because you are starting to sound just like her. People need to get involved in the community and quit relying on the City to be solely responsible for everything that goes on, and if PSAC is willing to volunteer their time to make a change then I say go for it, it certainly can't hurt no matter what your agenda seems to be. Bring us some positive for a change, all this negativity is really non-productive and does nothing to help the City.
Anon April 12, 2012 at 04:49 AM
Is there a phone number where we can call the police when we see taggers that isn't 911? I hate to tie up a 911 line because of this. Anyone?
Mike Norkin April 12, 2012 at 06:00 AM
Anytime you see a crime in progress, no matter how small, the Sheriffs department recommends you call 911 immediately and become a credible eye witness.

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