Ocean Beach to Benefit from San Diego Police Department Realignment

by on May 26, 2011 · 1 comment

in Civil Rights

City Council looking into selling advertising at city’s beaches.

San Diego Police Department Community Liaison Officer David Surwilo said last night that the police department was in the midst of doing some redistricting of its own in the wake of studies that show a much greater concentration of calls in some divisions while others tend to be comparatively quiet.

The SDPD Western Division, which currently covers the area of San Diego from North Park and University Heights to the east, Linda Vista and Morena to the north, and out to Ocean Beach and Pt. Loma, would see most of North Park handed over to the Mid City Division, lessening the burden on the Western Division that over the last several years has seen the highest concentration of calls for service in the city.

Surwilo, who spoke in front of the Ocean Beach Town Council meeting, said that the division would not lose any officers, but would benefit from having less of the city to cover.

The realignment that is currently being proposed will have the Northern Division taking over the College Area (SDSU) from the Mid City Division, which will take over North Park.

The Western Division, Surwilo said, leads the city in arrests, and also has the lowest amount of time per officer not spent on a service call.  Officer Ron Wise—whose primary beat is Ocean Beach—said that this lack of “proactive time” prevents police officers in the division from being able to actively seek out trouble spots or effectively patrol their beat.  For example, Wise said, officers do not have the time to venture over to Sunset Cliffs to deal with drug dealers in the area.  And while Ocean Beach is his area, he is often sent to cover calls in North Park or Hillcrest.

The division has been so busy, said officer Ray Rowe, that typically as soon as officers check back in from one call they are immediately sent out on another.  The entire police department is so short staffed that they simply don’t have enough officers to cover the service calls and head out on routine patrols.  By handing over some of the division’s service area to other divisions that will hopefully change.

City Council Report

City Councilman Kevin Faulconer is hosting a “Community Coffee” today from 3:30 to 4:30 at the Pt. Loma Living Room Café located at 1018 Rosecrans St.

Faulconer staffer Mike Patton reported to the Town Council said that the push, led by Faulconer, to preserve funding for the city’s libraries has led Mayor Jerry Sanders to seek out other sources of funding or budget items to cut in order to keep rec centers and libraries open.  Specifically, Sanders has called for the elimination of city provided cell phones for city employees and an increased emphasis on the collection of unpaid parking tickets, which will amount to a significant sum for the city.  The final budget plan is due to be put to a vote in the City Council on June 7th.

The City Council is looking into discreet ways to sell advertising on the city’s beaches as a source of additional revenue.  The ads would likely come in the form of public service announcements provided by a sponsor.  The current plan is for each ad to come in an 80/20 ratio of PSA to advertisement.  This type of advertising, Patton said, has been done in Los Angeles for several years and has worked well there.  He said that San Diego will likely start a pilot program in Mission Beach to test the concept before spreading it to the rest of the city’s beaches.

Community Events

June 11th:  Ocean Beach Community Garage Sale.  Participants will each host their own garage sale to be included on a map provided by the Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association.  Ads will be placed in the Union Tribune, The Reader, The Pennysaver, and on Craigslist.  Deadline to enter your home in the OB Community Garage Sale is June 3rd.  For more information, click here.

Also on June 11th, volunteers are needed for a Dog Beach Cleanup at 4pm.

June 25th:  32nd annual OB Street Fair and Chili Cook off.  See OBMA’s Ocean Beach Street Fair web page for more information.

Volunteers are needed to participate in “Mulch Madness.”  Help spread mulch at the new Ocean Beach entryway on Sunset Cliffs Blvd next Thursday, June 2nd from 5-7 pm.  Contact Nancy Vaughn for more information.

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dave rice May 26, 2011 at 9:30 pm

I’ve noticed there hasn’t been the typical cruiser creeping down my relatively quiet southern block every half hour or so lately, and I haven’t been popped for a California stop on my bicycle in almost six months…maybe with beefed up patrols things can get back to normal!


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