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Tim Brown
Tim Brown

By Mayor Pro Tem Tim Brown

To this City Council and the city of San Clemente, there are no issues of greater importance than that of public safety. To enjoy the beauty and friendship of our community, it is absolutely critical that we as residents feel safe and secure, and that we take strong steps toward addressing any shortfalls in this area. For this, we rely heavily on resident feedback to understand where we should be focused.

Over the past few years, we have received more and more residents’ complaints about group homes and vacation rentals in residential areas. In response, the city conducted meetings with residents, held a public safety workshop and eventually made modifications to our ordinances to restrict this use to areas more fitting. A sober living forum was also held in San Clemente with Congressman Darrell Issa, California Assemblyman Bill Brough, State Senator Pat Bates, myself and other experts, who discussed proposed federal legislation that could help. The panel also discussed other solutions that could be pursued statewide and locally. In following up, the city has sent support letters for the federal legislation, increased police patrols in targeted areas, enhanced code compliance staff hours and other measures to help alleviate issues that our residents said were affecting their quality of life and peace of mind.

We also heard frequently from residents about homelessness, soliciting and trespassing. In response, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) in San Clemente created a new special enforcement team called “TRIP,” which stands for Targeting Reduction Investigation Prevention. This is an outgrowth of a strategy deployed last year to deal with the problems at Ocean View Plaza shopping center. We were successful at remedying issues there, so we are utilizing the approach in other areas of need. The goal is to target problem areas of the city and apply a “zero tolerance” policy to issues such as trespassing in business areas, illegal encampments in canyons or near the beach, chronic erratic behavior, crime and drug dealing. This team does not require additional staffing and is a reallocation of existing personnel. The team’s hours and locations are never disclosed, but the early results are promising.

Last fall, the City Council also commissioned the “Matrix Public Safety Study,” done by Matrix Consulting, to dig deep into residents’ concerns about OCSD’s deputy staffing and assess our city’s current public safety model and whether changes are needed. In particular, the Matrix study looked at all facets of our police services locally, including patrol, investigations, enforcement, community support, crime prevention, drug education, parking control and more. We hope, at the end of the day, that we can have greater understanding on all fronts on how to improve public safety as a community.

The city will have the results of the Matrix Study to share with the public during the first week of March at the Long Term Financial Plan meeting on March 2 at 4 p.m. at City Hall, City Council Chambers at 100 Avenida Presidio, San Clemente, CA 92672. I welcome you to attend.

As a community, we are deeply fortunate to have the sheriffs and Orange County Fire Authority personnel who are vigilant, professional and committed to protecting us. I hope you can join me in making a point to, whenever you see them around town, stop and thank them for who they are and for all that they do.

I enjoy hearing from you, so please feel free to email me your comments or questions at

Tim Brown is a City Councilman in San Clemente. He was re-elected to City Council in 2014 and served as mayor during that year

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comments (10)

  • I’m looking forward to actions following these words. I spoke tonight at the council meeting, and spoke directly about how Prop 57 will be letting out more felons, addicts and the mentally ill from our prison system.

    Unfortunately it’s already happening. From the Crime in San Clemente & Safety Tips/San Clemente Cares forum comes this TONIGHT (March 2nd):

    “We were just on Barcelona picking up our son and we literally had just pulled over and within 10 seconds the back door flew open and my husband turned back to look and started yelling get the F out, Get the F out! I was shocked and turned around to see this random guy with no shirt on, panting heavily in the back seat of our car. He was wired on something. I started yelling at him too, my husband got out of the car and was going to drag him out when he finally opened up the door and left as quickly as he came in. Yes, I called the police but I was so freaked out that we got our son and got the heck out of there. Scariest thing I have ever experienced! Can’t stop crying. This is not how I want to raise kids. God help us! ??

  • Tim, when citizens have approached you, you have been nothing but hostile regarding public safety. The city has not addressed the changes due to Prop 57, 47, and AB 109. The Matrix study puts the blame squarely on OCSD and not on the city council or the laws in the books and fails to address the ratio of citizens per deputies. In the last week, three have been three car invasions (one in Del Mar where a 5-month pregnant woman was injured), a house burned down by a transient and according to you, everything is fine.

  • Thank you Tim for the update! There is a obvious cry for protection in certain areas, and unfortunately more & more people are crying every day. We don’t feel comfortable letting our kids go out and play. Our safety is at risk! I appreciate you and the rest of the council for researching our current situation and looking to better our community. I know you care and will do what it takes to protect us.

  • I am grateful for the efforts of local leaders on issues we inherit from failed state leadership.

    These state leadership cowards, who are set on building bullet trains no one needs or can pay for, keep handing down unfunded mandates which lead to this kind of nonsense.

    The lack of resident participation is the survey is disheartening. Only 500 residents took the time to participate in the survey. In a city of @ 66,000 residents with only .007% response rate means the measurements are clearly not a representation of the majority of residents.

    It is scary how the commenters just don’t get it. They share embellished click-bait stories without facts or context. They also seem to believe that spending money (cities do not have) to throw at adding more emergency responders will fix a statewide systemic leadership failure. It will not. It is like attempting to heal a mortally injured patient who is hemorrhaging with internal injuries using miniature bandaids. Consider what would happen if all the cities in California exponentially grew the number of their emergency responders on the payroll. The state leaders, who are clearly deluded, would think that Prop 47, 57, and AB 109 were successes and put even lamer laws with false advertising on future ballots. Not a good idea, right?

    What is saddening is how little critical thought is being exercised by people complaining to local leaders about a statewide leadership issue. While many who are behind this are just stirring the pot for politically motivated reasons. Some may actually think that adding more emergency responders will somehow prevent crime without any consideration for how the laws have been changed. Laws that now prevent officers from arresting perpetrators and a legal system that cannot keep the few that can be arrested behind bars.

    Then there is the self-promotion by individuals or their look at me groups which have not accomplished a single thing in addressing the statewide root causes (which are Prop 47, 57, or AB 109.) Who instead of partnering with law enforcement, court officers, state assembly, state senate, and local government to combine efforts to repeal the laws causing this, they go around instilling fear and hatred towards authorities or anyone they do not agree with. You have to think at some point they will realize that demonizing the disadvantaged or the people who are trying to point out their methods are going nowhere is not getting them anywhere.

    There are so many misconceptions out there. We are living in an era that is technology rich gadgetry and yet are information poor. When we combine this with the clear lack of problem-solving and reasoning being demonstrated by the more vocal residents you end up with a collection of noise, angst, and no progress. It has become an era where slacktivism has taken hold. Where people misguidedly think that clicking a like button where bellyachers are gathered or complaining to get more band aids will somehow cure the mortally wounded.

    In summary, if people want to fix a statewide problem they need get off their pity pots and stop the local hatemongering. Instead, they need to get to work in partnering, building relationships, and collaborating with state assembly, state senate, county, court officers, law enforcement, and local leadership to take repeal and replace the idiotic legislation that created this mess.

  • Enrique Romero, you can absolutely, “work in partnering, building relationships, and collaborating with state assembly, state senate, county, court officers, law enforcement, and local leadership to take repeal and replace the idiotic legislation that created this mess.” Good luck with fighting through the state’s super-majority control, or in other words fighting against the people who continue to spew these ridiculous laws.

    OR, you could focus on your local town and hire more officers. Dana Point has nearly our officer count, but with only 34,000 residents and 5 square miles to cover. We’re 66,000 residents, 19 square miles, 2 million visitors. Who thinks 38.5 officers is enough? If I do the math for you–12 hour shifts, 3 day week, 24 hour coverage, you will very quickly see that my family and your family are wide open to violence, theft, you name it.

    Ask Tim Brown about adding more officers and you’ll get two words–recurring expense. Let’s see some action.

  • So Enrique, in short you want to change the laws of the largest state in the Union, which is controlled by a supermajority political who advocated and fought for those laws in the first place?

    Perhaps we should just focus on our city and add more officers, using Dana Point’s model of one officer per 1,000 residents. We’re at 38.5 officers now for 66,000 residents and 2 million annual visitors, covering 19 square miles.

    • Astounded by the continued lack of critical thinking in Mr. Bauers response. Seems fine with spreading fear and hatemongering as he gives it a pass, not cool.

      Instead shows fear and/or laziness in tackling the root cause, and seems to want to pursue the tiny band-aids approach which will not work (because of the changes to the laws), local cities have no way to pay for the added costs, and will only further enable the state leaders to come up with laws worse than prop 47, 57, and AB 109.

      Hoping the people start opening their eyes and see that in order to fix a problem you have to address the root cause. That attempts to mask the symptoms accomplish nothing and are nothing more than a continued waste of resources, time, and money.

  • Enrique and friends, you are always judging a group you don’t belong to and have absolutely no idea what they are about.
    For your information that group has accomplished a whole lot.
    What have you done?
    1) Forum members (FM) have met with Lt Moodie to ask for better security around Ocean View Plaza and met with him at least every other month to discuss issues around town.
    2)FM have met and written to Mayor Kathy Ward.
    3) FM have met with city Manager James Makshnoff
    4) FM have met with Brent Panas and walked around Stater Brothers/Ocean View Plaza.
    5) FM have met councilmember Chris Hamm.
    6) FM have met councilmember Lori Donchack
    7) FM have met councilmember Steve Swartz..
    8) FM have written letters to the editor for SC Times
    9) FM have spoken at council meetings, budget process and long term financial meeting
    10) FM have met with Sgt Russ Chilton from DP for enhanced collaboration
    11) FM have met with Congressman Darrell Issa TWICE
    12) FM have met with Debra Lewis and Paul Wyatt – Mayor and Mayor protem Dana Point
    13) FM have written to many corporate offices around town to ask for enhanced security and no loitering sings
    14) FM have reported many illegal encampments and worked with Marblehead management to clean up pico canyon. FM have contacted other property owners to clean up encampments
    15) FM actively patrol their neighborhoods and created neighborhood watch programs
    16) FM have reported illegal campers and nefarious activity
    17) FM have toured FAM and financially contributed thousands of dollars
    18) FM have written to Caltrans and supervisor Chamberlain to clean up encampment ramps
    19) FM have visited Santa Ana twice to see Supervisor Lisa Bartlett to advocate for more deputies and more homeless resources in the city
    20) FM have attended Sober Living town halls and discussions for enhanced regulations for that industry
    21) FMs have designed and created NO on 57 signs and placed them through out south OC.
    22) FM have created repeal prop 47 petitions
    23) FM have met with city attorney Scott Smith.
    24) FM have met with city planner Cecilia Gallardo Daily
    25) FM have met with new code enforcement supervisor Adam Atamian
    26) FM have provided meals and snacks for Deputies
    27) FM have met with COA to find ways to collaborate
    28) FM are participating in the San Clemente Alliance for Law Enforcement SCALE to honor our deputies
    29) FM have written to council members
    30) FM have written to Sacramento, HUD secretary, Senate, Congresses, Jerry Brown Congress, President Trump, President Obama
    31) FM fave called the CAT team, adult protective services, paramedics, sheriff to seek help for the various mentally ill individuals around town.
    32) Brought awareness about locking car, setting your alarm, adding flood lights, sensors.
    32) Have talked to the director of the Rescue Mission in Tustin

    • My comment was about the need to address the root cause instead of complaining about downstream symptoms. .

      This newest reply to my comment makes a lot of assumptions and ignores what I have just said here. I know plenty of people who are part of this non-transparent group mentioned above and am fully aware of their behaviors.

      This comment above just reinforces my point. These people have accomplished nothing to address the root cause. Let’s hope at some point they will figure it out.

  • WHEN WE SQUNDER law enforcement on snob laws we all lose ,having a ladder on a truck should not be a crime

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