Saturday, January 29, 2011

Local Town Hall Meeting With Law and Fire Officials

We attended a town hall meeting with representatives from all the law enforcement branches that serve our foothill and mountain area: resident deputy, other deputies, CHP, Fish and Game, law enforcement from the Forestry Service, local fire chief, County Fire, Cal-Fire. Everyone said that because they are all understaffed, they help one another.

Recently, all sorts of law enforcement drove by with lights and sirens going. They blocked off one of the roads into a popular mountain ares--which prevented the locals from leaving or retuning to their homes. When question time came, it was asked what happened because nothing was ever in the paper or on the news. Up that particular road and in the mountains is a minimum security prison where being there is a privilege. The men incarcerated there fight fires and do other jobs as needed. What happened is the inmates rioted. Law enforcement took care of it, and now there are no prisoners there--all were transported to regular prisons. In the past, individuals have "walked" from there, but it's a long, long walk to anywhere. When it did happen, helicopters flying overhead usually signaled that law enforcement was looking for someone.

Before fire season, I'm sure some model prisoners will be chosen to come to the mountain facility.

The biggest problem mentioned for our area is the marijuana farms on federal land way up in the mountains. At the moment there is only one Forest Service Officer and she has a huge territory to watch over.

Our local deputy has asked people like the FedEx drivers, the UPS drivers and others who come into the area to keep their eyes open and report anything suspicious. He asked those of us in the audience to do the same, stating that community involvement would help keep us all safe.

During fire season all of the agencies watch of fires because they are usually caused by humans.

The Game Wardens gave tips to prevent visits by mountain lions and bears. (Yes, we do have those where I live.)

Other problems brought up were people drinking at the river, broken glass even though glass bottles are prohibited but that's difficult to enforce. By the time a law enforcement person gets to the area where it's going because they have to come on foot, the bottles are hidden.

Someone asked if there were pedophiles in the ares. The answer was yes and the deputy said he checks on all four of them on a daily basis.

What I thought was great was how all these agencies work together and help each other out.


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