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Response time to violent crime too long


Last updated 1/18/2007 at Noon

Last weekend a man died needlessly in Fallbrook – whether legal or illegal – a man died because of our lack of public service supplied by the County of San Diego.

To recap what most do not know, a man was shot to death in the 700 block of East Elder while doing his laundry. He died within a block of the hospital, within a few blocks of our million-dollar Sheriff’s station.

According to the “other paper,” the Sheriff responded within “five minutes.” Anyone who knows the area – the 700 block of East Elder – knows you are within a block of Fallbrook Hospital and three blocks of the Sheriff’s Substation. Why did it take so long to respond?

I asked this question to Supervisor Bill Horn’s office only to get a mailed response saying, “Forwarded to the Sheriff’s Department,” which means it’s going nowhere. For the last seven years I have complained that the services provided to the residents of Fallbrook are seriously lacking, and to this date nothing has changed.

When I moved to Fallbrook in the summer of 1999, the population was approximately 35,000 and after the 2000 census our population has risen to over 41,000. When I moved to California in 1984, that was the population of Escondido at the time and they had their own police department.

Here are some facts the residents of Fallbrook don’t know, using reports from both publications.

Fallbrook has an area of approximately 110 square miles. The county of San Diego allocates only four deputies per given shift, meaning that our officer-to-citizen ratio is one officer for every 10,000 citizens. The national average is one officer for every 1,000 citizens – give or take a thousand.

This means we do not have enough deputies to handle the day-to-day responses other cities receive and this could result in serious calls not being responded to in a timely manner. The incident last weekend only goes to show what could and would happen because of our lack of law enforcement in Fallbrook: someone died.

Maybe when the citizens of Fallbrook realize what we are paying for in tax dollars does not match the services we receive in police protection, people will not have to experience long response times at the cost of lives lost.

I think the citizens of Fallbrook deserve better than a five-minute response time for violent crimes.

Ray Carney


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