By Eric Heinz
For some time, some residents of San Clemente have been asking for more police enforcement around the city, particularly regarding crimes involving petty theft and assault. San Clemente Police Services Lt. Dave Moodie said the Targeting Reduction Investigation Prevention (TRIP) program will have officers working certain overtime hours in order to ascertain the problems with crime around San Clemente.
The program started as a way to evaluate panhandling, drug abuse, petty theft and other crimes reported in the Camino De Los Mares 600 Block area, where proponents of more enforcement said crime has been prolific. This program would increase that scope to the rest of the city.
Moodie said there’s an estimated cost of $60,000 to $80,000 for the additional hours police officers would work.
Residents asked why sheriff’s deputies can’t arrest or cite homeless people in certain areas, and Moodie said areas like the train station at North Beach and the canyons where they reside are private property and OCSD has to get permission from the property owners or authorities.
“The second component would be to contact the crime prevention specialists to the persons living in the area, and a lot of these are being advised of criminal activity and for people to be our eyes and ears,” Moodie said. “Our goal is to have a neighborhood watch program and leaflets and alert the folks that they have crime in their areas. The goals are to apprehend suspects and get more patrol.”
Moodie said these goals would include getting written permission to enforce certain areas of private property.
The program is expected to debut Friday, Oct. 21, at the earliest. This type of policing is similar to the “broken window” policing that was enforced by the New York Police Department in the late 20th century in an effort to reduce its own crime.