The commander of the Fallbrook Sheriff’s substation provided members of the Fallbrook Revitalization Council with a law enforcement update at their Feb. 21 meeting.
Lt. Todd Richardson explained to the group that based on a recently updated FBI Crime Index report, “Fallbrook was one of the only unincorporated areas in the county that experienced a decrease in crime.”
“We had a five percent overall decrease in crime on the FBI Crime Index,” he said.
Richardson said that violent crime did increase by three percent, but due to the area’s low numbers in that category, one crime can easily make that difference.
“We did see a seven percent decrease in property crimes, which we were very pleased about,” he said.
While Richardson said he was gratified that his staff’s crime suppression work is being successful, he credited Fallbrook residents for the improved statistics.
“What this shows is that the members of the Fallbrook community are being very effective by keeping their eyes open; that’s what really helps keep these numbers down,” he said.
The lieutenant reviewed how the Sheriff’s Dept. has tried to increase their presence at schools throughout the county, and that he has asked Fallbrook deputies to be more proactive at all school campuses locally.
“The deputies are visiting a certain number of schools each week, and that includes all the elementary schools as well as the high school,” he said. Richardson said while the majority of threats made against schools in general are “baseless,” all are taken seriously.
Richardson said his agency has created a Fallbrook Impact Group – an intelligence driven task force that does crime analysis weekly and generates valuable data to street deputies that helps suppress crime.
“This data helps us target our resources as wisely as possible,” he said.
Another tool that has proven successful for the Sheriff’s Dept, Richardson said, are License Plate Reader devices installed on the top of Sheriff’s cars.
“These readers have cameras and sensors and they constantly scan license plate numbers around where a Sheriff’s car is located at any time,” he explained. “It shows the officer a read-out inside the car with information on those license plates. It’s very effective.” Richardson said it doesn’t matter whether a vehicle is moving or parked for the device to pick up information.
One of Richardson’s greatest concerns about Fallbrook, he said, is the number of apartment complexes that have not become involved in the Sheriff’s Crime Free Multi Housing program.
“We have about 45 apartment complexes in the greater Fallbrook area; only 16 of those are certified crime-free,” explained Richardson.
Richardson said some of the property owners are being “very uncooperative” when contacted about enrollment.
“I would like to see us have at least 50 percent of the apartment complexes at least enrolled in the program by mid-year,” he said.
Additional information discussed at the meeting included a proposal by Roy Moosa for the Fallbrook Revitalization Council to be re-structured into two focus groups.
“We would like to propose that we have two groups – a Fallbrook Community Forum, which would be comprised of members from all the organizations in town with the goal of sharing information and assisting each other in problem solving. The other group would remain the Fallbrook Revitalization Council and include participants from organization that have economic influence in town,” said Moosa.
“The revised revitalization council would be a working committee to revitalize Fallbrook economically, culturally, and physically,” he said. “The goal would be to develop, implement, and communicate plans.”
“In other words, it’s time to get to work,” said Moosa.