San Diego County Sheriff`s Department San Marcos Station
San Diego County Sheriff’s Department
San Marcos Station
Growing with our Community
Sheriff’s San Marcos Station
The Sheriff’s San Marcos Station provides law enforcement and traffic
enforcement services to the City of San Marcos and law enforcement services
to the unincorporated areas around San Marcos and Escondido.
Total service area of 105.03 square miles
31.19 sq. miles – City of San Marcos
73.84 sq. miles – unincorporated areas
Service Area Population of 111,412
79,812 - City of San Marcos
31,875 - unincorporated areas
97 – Sworn Personnel
8 – Professional Staff
60 – Volunteers
7 -- Reserves
Calls for Service
2007 – 28,716
2006 – 28,383
2005 – 27,760
2004 – 27,210
2007 Crime Rates
FBI Index Crimes per 1000 Residents
24.5 – City of San Marcos
11.2 – Unincorporated areas
Violent Crimes per 1000 Residents
3.6 – City of San Marcos
1.3 – Unincorporated areas
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction from Captain Crist……………….………
Staffing Overview and Contract Compliance…..………
Calls for Service………………………………………….
School Resource Officer Program………………………
Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving….
Street Narcotics / Gang Detail…………………………….
The primary sources for information utilized in this report were the Sheriff’s Crime Analysis Unit, ARJIS,
SanDAG, the City of San Marcos, and CSUSM and Palomar College websites.
INTRODUCTION FROM CAPTAIN CRIST
We are pleased to report that 2007 has been a great year for the Sheriff’s San
Marcos Station and the citizens served by its staff. We continue to receive
tremendous support from the City of San Marcos and to enjoy an excellent
relationship with the city’s citizens and those living in the surrounding
unincorporated areas of San Marcos, Escondido, Deer Springs, Hidden
Meadows, Jesmond Dene, San Pasqual, Elfin Forest, Harmony Grove, Del Dios,
and Lake Hodges, as well as other nearby areas outside of the city limits.
The volunteers, professional staff, and deputies from the Sheriff’s San Marcos
Station provide law enforcement services to over 100,000 people who live in and
around lakes, rivers, open space preserves, agriculture, farming, suburban, and
business communities; all spread over the 100 square miles that makes up our
area of responsibility. As you read through this report, you will see that our
personnel have worked hard to make San Marcos and the surrounding
communities some of the safest places to live with one of the most consistently
low crime rates in the county, year after year.
Although the largest part of our station’s law enforcement service is devoted to
policing the City of San Marcos, the law enforcement budget consumes a
surprisingly low percentage of the city’s total budget compared to other cities with
higher crime rates. A strategic focus on crime suppression, coupled with the
city’s dedication to providing the resources to preserve public safety (i.e.,
contracting for additional special units such as the School Resource Deputies,
Street Narcotic and Gang Detectives, Community Oriented Policing and Problem
Solving deputies and sergeants), and effective teamwork by all of the diverse
units and personnel in the station, are some of the principal reasons we are able
to do more with less.
Our personnel partner with community and related public service agencies
whenever possible. During 2007, we formed the Sheriff’s San Marcos Station
Captain’s Citizen Advisory Committee. The committee is a very valuable source
of informal feedback, information from the community, and advice on meeting the
concerns of our citizens. It is made up of 15 leaders from the community,
including representatives from religious groups, civic groups, service clubs, and
associated student bodies of the local high schools, college, and university.
A Senior Volunteer Patrol force totaling 60 volunteers patrols the city and
surrounding communities, providing a variety of necessary services which would
otherwise have to be done by deputies. Employees from Child Protection
Services, Adult Protective Services, Crime Prevention, Juvenile Probation, and
the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team have been provided work space at
the station so that they are immediately available for consultation and can
assume follow-up responsibilities for circumstances encountered by deputies that
are better suited to social service agencies. The availability of all of these
agencies in-house allows the deputies to get back to the streets in a timely
A civil gang injunction was brought against the members of one of the two
criminal street gangs in our jurisdiction. The gang injunction capped over oneand-a-half year's worth of work by members of the Sheriff's San Marcos Street
Narcotic and Gang Detail. This injunction has provided law enforcement with
additional tools to curtail undesirable actions by gang members, such as
gathering in designated recreation areas in order to intimidate others or disrupt
family activities. The gang injunction allows law enforcement to arrest gang
members for what would typically be considered legal actions except when
committed by that particular gang's members. This injunction has already
significantly decreased gang activity.
The Sheriff of San Diego County has been “Keeping the Peace Since 1850” in
the unincorporated communities around San Marcos and for the City of San
Marcos since it incorporated in 1963. The personnel assigned to the Sheriff’s
San Marcos Station provide the highest quality public safety services in
partnership with our community, as evidenced in the report which follows.
resident population in the
unincorporated areas has
increased 7% over the
past five years. The City’s
population increased 21%.
This resulted in an overall
population increase of
28% within the San
continuing build-out of the
development has been a
major contributor to the
City of San Marcos
City’s increased number of
San Marcos Command
growth in coming years is
expected to correlate with
additional home building, which is contingent upon economic conditions.
Since we are located at the intersection of two major freeways (Hwy 78 &
Interstate 15), and our municipal arteries offer commuters from North County
inland homes a tempting shortcut to Interstate 5, the coast, and the greater
metropolitan area, we have a significant transient population traversing the city
each day. The extensive eating, shopping, and commercial outlets within the city
also attract customers to the city from throughout San Diego and neighboring
California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) and Palomar Community
College are also major, albeit predominantly daytime, population factors.
CSUSM has approximately 1,000 staff and faculty with a student enrollment of
8,734, which is expected to reach 11,000 by 2010. Palomar College has
approximately 4,000 staff and faculty. Their approximate student enrollment is
30,000. Together, these two institutions alone add over 43,000 people to those
making regular visits to San Marcos.
San Diego area, in general,
fewer peace officers shoulder
the burden of responsibility for
enforcement mission than in
America as a whole. The
most recent ratio of officers
per 1000 residents for the
United States was 2.3 per
1,000 population (with an
average of 1.7 for those cities
with populations of 50,000 to
Sworn Officers per 1,000 residents
City of San Marcos
SanDAG (see CJ Bulletin
“Public Safety Budgets in the
San Diego Region”) found that the number of sworn officers per thousand
residents in the San Diego region averaged 1.43 in FY 06/07. In cities with
police forces, the ratio ranged from a low of 1.12 (Chula Vista) to a high of 1.68
(Coronado) officers per thousand.
San Diego, 1.61
Regional average, 1.43
San Marcos, 1.03
For most jurisdictions in San Diego County, the number of sworn officers per
1,000 population has not increased since FY 2002-03. Similarly, in San Marcos
the officer staffing levels have not kept pace with local population increases, with
the result that the ratio of
Sworn Officers per 1,000 residents
officers to residents has
decreased. The number of
officers per 1,000 residents
fell 10% from 2001 in San
Marcos and 42% in the
unincorporated areas. In the
City the ratio is 1.03 officers
per 1,000, while in the
unincorporated areas, it is
0.61 officers per 1,000
But this is not the complete
picture because the City of
San Marcos provides sufficient additional resources to allow patrol deputies more
time to be proactive and spend more time on the streets, protecting citizens. In
addition to contracting with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department for its law
enforcement and traffic enforcement services, the City of San Marcos pays for an
additional 10 Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving deputies
(COPPS) and 2 COPPS sergeants who attack neighborhood and community
problems that would otherwise draw patrol deputies away from service.
Additionally, the City of San Marcos pays for 4 Street Narcotic and Gang
Detectives (SNGD) and an SNGD Sergeant to attack street level drug sales and
concentrate solely on the city’s two gangs. The City of San Marcos also pays for
half of the service for 3 School Resource deputies who are assigned strictly to
schools within the San Marcos Unified School District to alleviate patrol deputies
of the responsibility of responding to school-related problems during school
hours. More information on these programs can be found in their respective
chapters of this report. These programs, coupled with partnerships with several
social services, allows patrol deputies more time to respond to calls for service
and to be proactive in preventing crime.
Beyond the constraints on appropriations devoted to public safety services that
incoming revenue levels impose on elected officials, this circumstance is related
to the sparse pool of individuals who possess both the interest and the
qualifications to enter the profession, exacerbated by the high cost of living in this
county. Agencies are taking a variety of steps to cope with this, including
employing innovative recruitment strategies, converting sworn positions to
administrative personnel, and enhancing salary and benefits. Parenthetically,
expanding the pool by lowering standards has repeatedly and compellingly been
proven to be highly imprudent, potentially dangerous, and exceedingly costly in
the long term, as numerous jurisdictions have discovered to their lasting regret.
Over half of the
San Diego region’s public safety
budget is devoted to law
enforcement, with the rest
funding correctional facilities,
prosecution, courts, probation
and public defense.
jurisdictions allocate different
amounts to public safety.
The chart to the right shows
current law enforcement budgets
as a percent of overall budget
and compares San Marcos’
budget to San Diego and nearby
cities. The regional municipal
Law enforcement budgets vary
% of city 25
Per capita spending on law enforcement
in San Marcos
average is 35 % of
general funds slated for
law enforcement. The
range is from 21% to
allocates 28% of its
budget to public safety.
Figures are from FY 07
The City of San Marcos
Department through a
FY 03 FY 04 FY 05 FY 06 FY 07
negotiated contract. The
cost of providing law
enforcement services includes not only patrol and investigation, but also local
support staff, as well as shared regional services such as Search & Rescue,
Special Enforcement (SWAT), detentions, helicopter and fixed wing aircraft, and
Regionally, law enforcement budgets have increased 16% over the last five
years. The cost of providing law enforcement services to San Marcos residents
has risen 34% since 2003. Nevertheless, law enforcement consumes a smaller
percentage of the City budget this year (25%) than it did last year (27%).
Per capita spending figures are calculated by dividing the contracted law
enforcement budget by the estimated population. San Marcos per capita
spending decreased as a result of increased population and steady costs.
The Sheriff’s San Marcos Station. Paid staff and volunteers provide services
to an area encompassing approximately 105 square miles. The population within
the station’s area of responsibility currently numbers more than 111,000
Our goal is to provide these residents the highest quality public safety services.
To achieve this, the San Marcos Station was staffed as follows in 2007:
School Resource Officer
Admin Sec II
Admin Sec I
Senior Office Assistant
Property and Evidence
Staffing level changes. During FY 2007, all contracted staff positions for the
City were filled with the exception of approximately one COPPS position due to
personnel movement and department staffing issues. For similar reasons, about
eight county patrol positions went unfilled. The county (unincorporated) area
covered by San Marcos Station personnel was authorized 18 positions, but
fielded about 10 deputies. The Sheriff's Department has addressed this staffing
shortage through additional hiring and enhanced retention. All vacant positions
are projected to be filled next year.
One K-9 unit is assigned to patrol. K-9 deputies and their dogs are trained to
conduct building and field searches, as well as track for articles, such as
weapons or evidence.
Although she is not listed in the staffing level chart, we share the County Crime
Prevention Specialist with the Valley Center Station. This position is responsible
for providing Crime Prevention services to residents in unincorporated areas.
She works very closely with the Crime Prevention personnel employed by the
City of San Marcos, who provide this service to city residents.
Also not listed, but working at our station, is a full-time crime analyst who
supports patrol, community policing, traffic, and investigations.
Contract compliance. The staffing levels for which the City contracted from the
Sheriff’s Department during the last completed contract year was shown in the
staffing level chart above. This level of staffing would ideally result in patrol
contract hours of 55,845; traffic contract hours of 15,112; and Special Purpose
Officer hours of 39,933, for a grand total of 110,890 deputy sheriff hours of
service. Administration, necessary equipment, training and liability coverage, as
well as the supervisors’ hours, augmentation by specialized units (such as
Homicide, Bomb/Arson and SWAT/SED), access to crime lab expertise,
helicopter support, and a myriad of concomitant assets essential to the
prosecution of high quality law enforcement operations are provided by the
department as an adjunct to the contracted hours.
The most important indicator
of the quality of public safety
services is “what does not
happen” since the primary
goal is the prevention of
crime and disorder within
the community. Obviously,
this is difficult to measure
and involves some forces
that are beyond the control
agencies. However, we do
know that adequate staffing
is a critical factor in ensuring
that the law is effectively
enforced and that the peace
of the community is preserved.
One useful metric to evaluate is whether the number of deputy hours worked
comports with the staffing level for which the City has contracted. It is important
that the department deliver the additional amount of service that the City
residents’ taxes have paid for, while also providing appropriate levels of service
to county residents in contiguous areas within our area of responsibility.
Therefore, we carefully monitor these hours each month to ensure services are
provided in close compliance with the contract.
Our goal is to approach a zero balance at the end of each year. Since some
positions are contracted without relief, this would be achieved only in the unlikely
event that, throughout the entire year, no deputies were sick, injured, or absent
due to training or earned time off. During the last completed fiscal year, patrol
services were less than contracted hours by 1,255.7 hours, traffic by 377.5
hours, and Special Purpose Officers (including Community Oriented Policing
deputies) by 1,113.5 hours, for a net of 2,746.7 hours. This computed to less
than 2.5% under contract.
CALLS FOR SERVICE
Calls for service are one indication of station activity. A call for service (CFS) is
registered when a citizen or another unit or agency requests assistance for public
safety services. Examples of calls for service include crimes reported by the
public such as burglaries, assaults, thefts and so on. Most calls are to 9-1-1 or
the non-emergency lines at the dispatch center. Calls for service can be an
important measure of how busy deputies are.
continuing expansion of the
number of events that San
Marcos deputies respond to
over the last five years. The
total number of incidents
nearly 17% since 2003.
Within this time, calls for
service have increased
more than 11%.
Deputies also initiate numerous actions based on their own observations while
patrolling or in support of their own projects. A deputy initiated action (DIA) does
not require a request from the public or another agency. These events also
include traffic stops, field interviews, prisoner transport or other situations
requiring action by a deputy.
Calls for service (CFS)
Deputy Initiated Actions (DIA)
Data Source: CAD Extractor
CALLS FOR SERVICE (continued)
While maintaining their responses in the field, deputies have substantially
expanded their proactive activities. The total number of events handled by
deputies increased nearly 5% this year and almost 17% over the last five years.
Within this time, CFS have increased more than 11% (14% in the City). While
calls for service increased only about 1% this year, DIA were up 10%.
Calls for service and deputy initiated actions are presented in the chart below.
This chart depicts law enforcement activity trends for the last five years.
Law enforcement activity in the San Marcos
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Two common indicators of an agency’s ability to respond quickly to the needs of
its community are “Received to Arrival” response time (R-A) which measures the
time between when the dispatch center receives the call and the time a deputy
arrives on scene, and, “Dispatched to Arrival” (D-A) which measures the speed
with which a deputy responds once a call is dispatched. Increased population
and traffic impede a deputy’s ability to reach an incident once dispatched. These
times are reported below for different call priorities.
Call priorities are assigned from
greatest urgency (Priority 1) through
non-emergency calls. Examples of
Priority 1 calls: officer needs help, foot
or vehicular pursuit. Priority 2 calls
include: injured person, robbery in
progress, bomb threats, carjacking,
rape, and stolen vehicles. Priority 3 call
disturbances, tampering with vehicles,
and burglary alarms. Security checks,
animal noise disturbances, traffic stops, harassing phone calls, illegal dumping,
abandoned vehicles, and numerous other calls are included in Priority 4.
In the following table R-A and D-A times are based on only those calls for service
where times are available.
City of San
Priority Priority Priority Priority
Response times in all San Marcos jurisdictions were reduced this year. Average
P1 R-A time was 7.0 minutes, compared to 8.7 minutes last year. The other
priorities increased slightly. Two factors are primarily responsible for this
favorable result: the opening of San Elijo Road, facilitating travel within the City,
and a redistribution of sectors and deployment within sectors, enhancing
coverage by patrol deputies.
According to U.S. Department of Justice figures, the City of San
Diego is one of the safest large cities in which to live. It had the fourth lowest
violent crime rate
and the fifth lowest
Annualized FBI Index Crime Rates per 1,000 population
property crime rate in
2005. The FBI Index
is a standardized
method of reporting
criminal activity. The
Index includes four
rape, robbery, and
and four types of
Average, all jurisdictions
Compared to 25
years ago, the San
Diego region is a
safer place to live in
terms of both violent
and property crime.
number of homicides
and robberies, also
faced by other jurisdictions across the country, remains a significant concern.
Violent crime increased slightly, nationally, according to the FBI.
Regional crime figures for 2007 showed reduced violent crime, except for an
increase of robberies. Property crime in the region showed a decrease for the
fourth year in a row.
The City of San Marcos continues with one of the lowest crime rates in the
region. Only four of the county’s cities had a lower crime rate.
CRIME ANALYSIS (continued)
In the City, the number of reported crimes increased ½% this year (Source:
ARJIS BCS Reports). The increase in the number of crimes since 2003 is 15.8%.
Violent crimes increased 2.1% in 2007 due to the second consecutive year of
increased robberies primarily of retail establishments. The number of robberies
increased substantially due to an exceptionally large number of series. These
series impacted six of the North County’s cities.
FBI Index Crimes
City of San Marcos
Total Violent Crimes
Motor Vehicle Theft
Total Property Crimes
Property crimes, on the other hand, increased less than half a percent since last
Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the nation. An increase in retail
targets in the form of businesses and parking structures near freeway on-ramps
also offers greater opportunity for theft. Not surprisingly, then, the most frequently
reported of all crimes in San Marcos is larceny/theft. There were 936 cases
reported last year, an increase of 2.8% over 2006.
FBI Index Crimes
Total Violent Crimes
Motor Vehicle Theft
Total Property Crimes
CRIME ANALYSIS (continued)
A trend of increasing crime in the unincorporated areas around San Marcos early
in the decade has reversed, and crime in these areas has declined in each of the
last three years, with the largest declines showing in property crime categories.
Property crimes declined 10.6% since last year, and 36.2% since a peak in 2004.
Violent crime was unchanged in 2007, and has remained stable over the last five
Crime rates: Crime rates, usually expressed as crimes per thousand people, are
convenient measures for comparing crime in places with different populations or
in the same place over times when the population has changed. Shown in the
graph below are FBI Index (both violent crimes and property crimes) crimes per
1,000 residents for the City and unincorporated areas over the last 5 years.
By accounting for population growth, a different picture of changes in the region’s
crime is presented. Crime rates in the City are generally higher than in the less
urban areas, both for violent crimes and for property crimes. However, the rate of
crime has not risen as dramatically as the changes in the numbers of crimes
would imply, reflecting overall differences in the increases in population.
FBI Index Crime Rates
Crimes per 1000 residents
City Violent Crime
Unincorporated Violent Crime
City Property Crime
Unincorporated Property Crime
CRIME ANALYSIS (continued)
The rate of violent crimes has not changed significantly over the last five years,
either in the City or the surrounding unincorporated areas. Similarly, there has
been little change in the rate of property crimes in the City. However, the rate of
property crimes in the unincorporated areas has declined substantially over the
last four years.
In 2007, there were 1,638 arrests made in San Marcos. This is an
average of about 4.5 arrests per day. Of these, 594 arrests were for felony
charges. Arrests with less serious misdemeanor charges totaled 1,044. Adult
arrests comprised 74% (n=1,221) of the arrests. There were 417 juvenile arrests
Since last year, in San Marcos, adult arrests are 12% fewer and juvenile arrests
are 30% fewer.
All categories of arrests showed an increase in 2006 over 2005. In 2007,
however, arrests decreased to levels not seen since 2003. Total arrests
decreased 22% over last year, to within 2% of the total number of arrests in
Arrest trends in the City of San Marcos
There are nine Area Detectives (five Contract City and four
Unincorporated positions) and one Detective Sergeant assigned to the San
Marcos Sheriff’s Station. During the past year, two detectives were promoted to
sergeant and transferred to other Commands. These detectives were replaced.
One detective was temporarily assigned to NetRMS for one year. He was not
Throughout the year, detectives handled a variety of
complex investigations, involving robberies, assaults, burglaries and sex crimes.
In the course of these investigations, they served numerous search warrants,
conducted fourth waiver and parole searches, and utilized specialized technical
equipment during surveillance operations.
Some of the more notable cases were:
¾ In a coordinated effort, San Marcos Detectives, Vista Detectives,
Oceanside Police and Escondido Police conducted surveillance in their
respective jurisdictions of Taco Bell Restaurants due to a robbery series.
The suspects were identified and arrested.
¾ The San Marcos Detective Unit investigated a series of small business
robberies occurring in San Marcos and other North County jurisdictions.
The San Marcos COPPS Unit, San Marcos Detectives, and San Marcos
Patrol set a perimeter around a projected target and subsequently
captured the suspects after a short pursuit. Coordinating with the Carlsbad
Police, Vista Detectives, and Escondido Police Department, San Marcos
Detectives executed 4 search warrants in the City of Oceanside to collect
evidence linking these suspects to 32 armed robberies of small
businesses in the North County.
¾ The San Marcos Detective Unit worked with the San Marcos COPPS Unit
on a felony vandalism case in a quiet San Marcos neighborhood. Several
neighbors living in a cul de sac were having rocks thrown at their houses
causing damage and having paintballs shot at the back of their fences and
houses. Nightly surveillance was instituted. After weeks of surveillance, a
neighbor, who also claimed to be a victim, was observed throwing rocks at
the primary victim’s house. The suspect was arrested and convicted.
Additionally, during the year, the Detective Unit was deployed in its ancillary
capacity as the Mobile Field Force. The Unit was deployed to Vista, Escondido,
and San Diego for demonstrations involving issues of immigration. Also, they
were activated for five large fires in the county area.
Number of Cases: Crime cases are divided into two categories, workable and
non-workable. During the calendar year 2007, Area Detectives were assigned
1,057 workable cases (a 9.8% increase over last year) and 2,288 non-workable
cases (3.4% fewer than last year).
In 2007, the average caseload per detective was 132 workable cases and 286
non-workable cases. The clearance rate for workable cases was 52.8% (vs
53.4% last year). From their cases, detectives made 110 arrests in 2007.
Of all the cases submitted to the District Attorney’s Office for review, criminal
complaints were issued on 81.9% of them. The San Marcos Sheriff’s Station
continues to have one of the highest issuance rates in the Sheriff’s Department.
SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER PROGRAM
The San Marcos Sheriff’s Station currently employs three School
Resource Officers (SROs). The SROs are uniformed detectives who are
assigned to schools in the city. Their areas of coverage include: Mission Hills
High School, San Marcos High School, Twin Oaks High School (Continuation
School), San Marcos Middle School, Woodland Park Middle School and San Elijo
Middle School. All three SROs report to the elementary schools on an as-needed
Responsibilities: The SROs handle most law enforcement situations that
occur at the High School and Middle School level. In addition, they handle any
incidents that occur during the students’ travels to and from school. During 2007,
SROs made a total of 237 arrests, including 217 juvenile arrests. They also wrote
300 crime cases that were varied in nature, and 47 Field Interviews.
The SROs attend School Attendance Review Board hearings,
where students have to answer for their attendance records. They help eliminate
truancy problems by arresting those students that are truant. In some instances,
the School District proposes expulsion. At an expulsion hearing, the SROs testify
on behalf of the School District.
SROs act as liaison between the School District and community organizations,
facilitating programs that benefit students. As part of their daily duties, they walk
the school campuses during nutrition and lunch breaks to increase visibility and
act as a deterrent to crime or student fights.
In addition to law enforcement, the SROs assist the school with emergency
planning; provide instruction in such subjects as drug education, personal safety,
and gang identification; and present a positive role model for the students to
Lastly, the SROs often help parents with solutions to behavior problems they are
having at home.
COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING AND PROBLEM SOLVING
During 2007, two sergeants, and ten deputies were assigned to the
COPPS Unit. The deputies are divided into three 3-person teams, with each
team assigned to a “sector” of the city, plus a “rover.” The COPPS Unit is a highly
responsive, cohesive force of well-equipped, very experienced deputies that
adds a unique degree of flexibility to the crime fighting effort. This significant
capability ensures serious crime is adequately confronted at the earliest
opportunity, maintaining San Marcos’ enviable reputation as one of the safest
cities in San Diego County in which to live, work, and raise a family.
Most importantly, as an added benefit beyond the reach of most municipalities,
the Station Commander now possesses a “Force in Reserve” to expeditiously
target priority matters. At his direction, the entire twelve man COPPS Unit can
be deployed to address dangerous situations, critical incidents, or crime series.
They form the major component of the station’s “Mobile Field Force”, a quick
reaction platoon for emergency riot control, civil disorder, catastrophe response,
etc., which is properly equipped to deal with such situations including terrorist
The San Marcos COPPS Unit promotes both pro-active problem solving and
police-community partnerships to address the root causes of crime and fear of
crime, as well as community quality-of-life issues. Throughout the year, they
conduct various youth programs in an effort to impact young people before the
attractions of gang involvement or drugs can take hold. They also make
presentations to citizen groups tailored to incorporate awareness of the latest
threats relevant to each particular audience.
COPPS Deputies enjoy a different time perspective allowing wider latitude and
the opportunity to use non-traditional strategies. Rather than responding
repeatedly to the same complaint, the COPPS strategy brings together all the
stakeholders to formulate an effective way to address the underlying source of
the problem. One example is by performing site analyses of new construction in
order to incorporate Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)
concepts into the built environment.
As the primary recipient of the majority of citizen input, the COPPS Unit is
frequently the first to hear of residents’ concerns and reports of problem
locations. They can respond quickly and in force to address transient situations
in an expeditious manner for as long as it takes to resolve them.
From July 2006 through June 2007, the San Marcos COPPS Unit increased their
focus on alcohol education and enforcement after being awarded a $124,771
grant by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). The
approach to the grant year was the combination of education followed by
During the grant year, patrol personnel, ABC licensees, and members of the
public were educated on the laws and dangers related to alcohol. The COPPS
Unit conducted 56 alcohol enforcement details during the year. San Marcos
Station personnel made a total of 999 alcohol-related arrests during the grant
year, which was over double the number of arrests from the previous year.
Additionally, 30 administrative accusations were filed against ABC licensed
COPPS Bicycle patrol
STREET NARCOTICS / GANG UNIT
The San Marcos Street Narcotics and Gang Division (SNGD)
consists of two narcotic detectives, two gang detectives, and one supervisor. All
of the positions are contract positions fully funded by the City of San Marcos.
Narcotic detectives made 24 arrests, down from 30 in 2006. San
Marcos gang detectives made 56 arrests of which 46 were San Marcos gang
members, compared to 32 (24 of which were gang members) last year. 104
arrests were made by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent
assigned to the San Marcos SNGD. These arrests were primarily criminal aliens
with a gang or narcotic nexus.
There were 35 narcotic complaints received in 2007, up from
25 in 2006. Gang detectives investigated 271 cases in 2007, up from 242 cases
The narcotic detectives seized 36.4 grams of methamphetamine,
91.9 ounces of marijuana (5.7 lbs.), 573 marijuana plants, 21.7 grams of heroin,
43.9 grams cocaine, 5 misc. tablets of controlled substances, indoor marijuana
grow equipment, and $5,288 in cash.
The gang detectives seized a Tec 9 assault weapon, a .357 magnum revolver, a
9mm pistol, various dangerous weapons, and gang paraphernalia.
STREET NARCOTICS / GANG UNIT (continued)
Warrant Services/ Searches/ Assists: The narcotic detectives initiated 29
searches (9 search warrants, 10 probation searches, 6 parole searches, 4
consent searches), assisted other units or agencies on 29 searches, and
assisted other units or agencies on 51 investigations. They were called out 28
The gang detectives initiated 18 searches (10 search warrants, 7 probation
searches, 1 parole search), assisted other units or agencies on 24 searches, and
assisted other units or agencies on 52 investigations. They were called out 17
Based in part on citizen tips, the narcotic unit targeted
numerous dealers operating within the City of San Marcos. Utilizing informants,
they were able to obtain and serve 9 search warrants, resulting in 24 arrests and
The narcotic unit continues to provide support to other SNGD units, as well as
NTF, DEA, ICE, and various other law enforcement agencies. In addition, the
narcotic detectives provided training to various civic groups, patrol deputies, and
the Senior Volunteers.
The gang unit spent considerable efforts throughout 2007 preparing a Civil Gang
Injunction against one of the two gangs that claim San Marcos as their turf. In
October 2007, a temporary injunction was approved. Permanent injunction
approval is expected in July 2008.
In spite of the time consuming efforts given to the gang injunction, the gang unit
launched twelve gang suppression operations throughout the year, resulting in
dozens of arrests of documented gang members and their associates. These
pro-active suppression operations contributed to the increase in gang cases in
The gang unit continues to work closely with the District Attorney’s Gang
Prosecution Unit, as well as Probation and Parole, the San Marcos COPPS Unit,
patrol, and other agencies throughout North County.
As with the narcotic unit, the gang unit provides training to various civic groups,
educators, community organizations, and Senior Volunteers.
The San Marcos Traffic Division is staffed with one sergeant, two corporals, four
deputies, and two motor officers. They provide traffic enforcement for
approximately 31 square miles and a rapidly growing population of almost 80,000
One of our most significant achievements has been the reduction of fatal
collisions. Through assertive enforcement, fatal collisions were reduced from four
in 2006 to two in 2007.
Additionally, in an effort to prevent drunken driving collisions we enhanced our
DUI enforcement index resulting in triple the statewide standard, without
additional staff or expenditure.
Other accomplishments during 2007:
Documented 558 collision investigations, issued 8,025 citations, and stored
approximately 1,100 vehicles.
In 2007, San Marcos City Engineering, San Marcos Department of Public
Works and the Sheriff's Department Traffic Unit met and collaborated on a
monthly basis. We initiated and maintained consistent relationships with these
departments resolving many difficult traffic issues.
Participated in San Marcos City Traffic Safety Commission meetings where
various traffic related issues were discussed and resolved more efficiently.
Awarded California Office of Traffic Safety Grants for San Marcos resulting in
over $10,000 of funding for two DUI enforcement checkpoints enabling us to
raise awareness, identify and arrest drunk drivers, and allow for a safer
driving environment within the City of San Marcos.
Several road improvement projects in San Marcos were completed including the
“SPRINTER” Rail construction.
The “SPRINTER” is a new passenger rail system that extends 22 miles along the
State Route 78 corridor, spanning the cities of Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos and
Escondido. A total of 15 stations were constructed with parking, access and a
1.7-mile loop to serve Cal State San Marcos.
Traffic congestion received substantial relief when San Marcos finished
connecting Twin Oaks Valley Road to San Elijo Road. The new five lane, 2.4 mile
road provides commuters from Encinitas, Carlsbad and southern San Marcos
with another way to reach Cal State San Marcos and other destinations along
These two projects added to roadway congestion throughout much of 2007.
However, they now provide substantial relief to the motorists traveling in San
This section presents traffic collision statistics for 2003 through 2007. In the City
of San Marcos during 2007, total collisions decreased 20%, injury collisions
increased less than 1% and driving under the influence related collisions
decreased 4 %.
Trend of Traffic Collisions
The overall enforcement goal is to prevent traffic collisions involving injury and
fatalities. To accomplish this goal, the California Highway Patrol as well as Police
and Sheriff’s Departments statewide utilize a standardized enforcement index of
20 hazardous citations for every 1 injury/fatal collision. We have attained a level
of 25 hazardous citations for every 1 injury/fatal collision for the year 2007.
25 citations issued for every 1 injury/fatal traffic collision
24 citations issued for every 1 injury/fatal traffic collision
32 citations issued for every 1 injury/fatal traffic collision
34 citations issued for every 1 injury/fatal traffic collision
25 citations issued for every 1 injury/fatal traffic collision
During 2007, the five intersections with the most traffic collisions within the City of
San Marcos were:
Location of Accidents
S. Rancho Santa Fe and W. San Marcos Blvd.
Number of Collisions
Grand and W. San Marcos Blvd.
Knoll and W. San Marcos Blvd.
Business Park Dr. and W. San Marcos Blvd.
E. San Marcos Blvd. and Twin Oaks Valley Rd.
The intersection with the highest number of collisions in 2007 was S. Rancho
Santa Fe and W. San Marcos Blvd. During 2007, approximately 25 million
vehicles passed through this intersection with 41 collisions occurring.
The following table displays the number of citations written for each of the top six
primary collision factors for 2007:
Auto Right of Way
Number of Collisions
Number of Citations
A major goal of the City of San Marcos and the San Marcos Station Traffic Unit is
to reduce the number of victims killed and injured in alcohol involved crashes.
The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) provided a grant in support of the
“You Drink & Drive…You Lose” national campaign. The grant resulted in
approximately $10,000 of salary reimbursement for personnel to staff two
“Driving Under the Influence” checkpoints in San Marcos in 2007.
We also secured funding from OTS for several checkpoints and saturation
patrols during 2008.
An index used throughout law enforcement is the maintenance level of one
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) driver arrested for every one injury/fatal
accident. The DUI index for San Marcos in 2007 was 3.0. These results are over
triple the statewide standard and reflect the most successful index in six years
(see chart below)
1.4 DUI arrests for every 1 injury/fatal traffic collision
1.8 DUI arrests for every 1 injury/fatal traffic collision
1.3 DUI arrests for every 1 injury/fatal traffic collision
2.3 DUI arrests for every 1 injury/fatal traffic collision
3.0 DUI arrests for every 1 injury/fatal traffic collision
In 2007, we identified the intersections with the most collisions and directed our
enforcement efforts toward these intersections. We are planning to continue this
strategy in 2008 with monthly updates of results to ensure efforts are focused in
the most beneficial manner.
In May 2007, we received approximately $14,000 in grant funding from OTS to
enforce seatbelt violations. We utilized traffic, motors, COPPS and patrol
deputies to enforce applicable seatbelt violations. The deputies were assigned to
roving patrols throughout the city, providing directed enforcement, conducting
traffic stops and issuing citations for seatbelt violations and related offenses.
A post-operational seatbelt survey revealed a 93% seatbelt compliance rate in
San Marcos, well above the statewide seat belt usage rate of 90.4%.
We are currently utilizing all available resources for directed enforcement. Patrol
deputies often assist with enforcement, issuing hazardous citations in high risk
The Senior Volunteer Patrol (SVP) has been extremely helpful to the Traffic Unit.
The SVP provided a marked unit presence and traffic violation deterrent at
various problematic locations throughout 2007.
The countywide Sheriff’s Department Motorcycle Strike Team conducts
operations in San Marcos twice per year resulting in approximately 300 additional
citations at high risk locations throughout the city.
On 08/17/07 at approximately 7:22 a.m., a fatal vehicle collision occurred
at the intersection of W. San Marcos Blvd. and Knoll Rd., in the City of
San Marcos. A Suzuki GXR motorcycle being driven by an adult male was
traveling eastbound on W. San Marcos Blvd., approaching the intersection
of Knoll Rd. A Nissan pickup truck was traveling southbound across the
number one lane on W. San Marcos Blvd., making a left turn into a
shopping center. The motorcycle driver applied his brakes but was unable
to stop in time and the motorcycle collided with the front of the Nissan
pickup truck. The driver was ejected off the motorcycle, becoming lodged
underneath the Nissan pickup truck. He was transported to Palomar
Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries from the collision. The
video camera at the Ramada Inn motel recorded the collision. The cause
of the collision was determined to be unsafe speed by the motorcyclist.
On 09/15/07 at approximately 1:07 a.m., a fatal collision occurred at the
intersection of E. Mission Rd. and Mulberry Dr., in the City of San Marcos.
A Suzuki GXR motorcycle being driven by an adult male, was traveling
southbound on Mulberry Dr. approaching the intersection of E. Mission
Rd. He entered the intersection and suddenly applied his brakes. He
continued through the intersection, losing control of the motorcycle. The
driver and his adult female passsenger were ejected from the motorcycle.
The driver succumbed to his injuries at the scene. The female passenger’s
injuries were not life threatening. Drunk driving was the cause of this fatal
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) annually recognizes the work of law
enforcement officers working to prevent deaths and injuries that are caused by
impaired driving. In 2007, they recognized Deputy Rosas for his superior work.
The San Marcos Professional Staff consists of one Administrative
Secretary II, one Senior Office Assistant, one Administrative Secretary I, one
Property and Evidence Clerk, three Office Assistants, and one Station Aide, as
well as two Office Volunteers.
Responsibilities: The Professional Staff provides varied services to the public
during normal business hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. During
this time we provide support to the station and its specialized units (Traffic,
Detectives, C.O.P.P.S., etc), and are responsible for the processing of all
evidence and station payroll management. Data, such as pawn slips, field
interviews, stolen/recovered property, purchased firearms and parking cites are
entered into Sheriff’s and regional computer systems. Traffic citations and crime
reports are processed and also provided to the D.A.’s office and court. We
process and issue stored vehicle releases, as well as provide ink fingerprinting to
the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Hundreds of telephone calls from the
public and outside agencies are handled weekly.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department instituted a “paperless” report writing
system this year which will greatly improve how we do business. Our station
began using the program in June 2007.
Summary: During 2007, there were 7,785 case numbers issued to the San
Marcos Station. This was 496 less than last year. We processed over 7,650
items of property or evidence during the course of the year.
Including parking citations issued by our Senior Volunteer Patrol, approximately
8,744 traffic citations were issued within the San Marcos Command. This was an
increase of 1,800 (21%) from the previous year. All citations are routed through
the Professional Staff and checked for accuracy before being forwarded to the
Traffic Court or D.A.’s office.
Staffing: Veronica Martinez and Bebe Nares, with the City of San Marcos,
provide Crime Prevention within the incorporated area of San Marcos. The close
working relationship that has developed between the City Crime Prevention Unit
and the Sheriff’s Department continues to strengthen both programs. Sheriff’s
Department Crime Prevention Specialist B.J. Williams provides Crime Prevention
for the unincorporated areas of San Marcos and Escondido. Her time is shared
between the San Marcos and Valley Center Stations.
Overview: The purpose of the Crime Prevention Unit is to develop and maintain
programs that educate citizens on the most current methods of deterring and
preventing crime in their communities. Crime Prevention serves as an integral
part of a cooperative effort by citizens and law enforcement to recognize,
anticipate, and evaluate the risk of crime in both the incorporated area of San
Marcos and the unincorporated areas of San Diego that fall under the jurisdiction
of the San Marcos Station. Residents are crucial to the success of crime
prevention programs because they provide essential information to law
enforcement by reporting suspicious activity, sharing information, and following
recommended security precautions. Crime Prevention practitioners provide
resources and education through neighborhood watch meetings, security
inspections, community events, displays, and special presentations. The focus
of these activities is to determine vulnerable areas and make recommendations
that improve awareness and security by implementing crime prevention
Crime Prevention Activities in 2007
Residential Security Consultations
Commercial Security Consultations
Neighborhood Watch Meetings
Crime Prevention Presentations (Child Safety)
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)
and Crime Free Multi-Housing (CFMH) Assessments
Community Events / Displays
CRIME PREVENTION (continued)
KidzWatch Academy 2007
National Night Out 2007
Reserve Deputy Sheriffs are trained peace officers who volunteer their time to
provide additional resources to the Sheriff’s Department. The San Marcos
Station Reserve Unit’s staffing consists of five deputies and two sergeants. This
unit volunteered 2,183 hours and donated 3,216 miles in 2007.
Sheriff’s Reserves serve to augment patrol and provide additional law
enforcement personnel on special details or at special events such as:
DUI and CDL Checkpoints
Valley Center Western Days
San Marcos Street Fair and 4th of July Celebration
San Marcos V.I.B.E. neighborhood improvement function
Assist C.O.P.P.S. on special details such as curfew sweeps
San Marcos Christmas Parade
Several San Marcos Reserves have also volunteered to work at the County Wide
level assisting the Sexual Offender Management Unit, Off-Road Enforcement
Team, and Regional Communication System.
The San Marcos Reserves operate a fully outfitted patrol vehicle and two dualsport motorcycles. These vehicles are owned by the City of San Marcos and
maintained by both the City Of San Marcos and the Reserves.
The San Marcos Reserves participated in 925 hours of training in 2007. This
includes state and department mandated training and self-improvement optional
SENIOR VOLUNTEER PATROL
The Senior Volunteer Patrol (SVP) Unit in San Marcos formed in
February of 1994 and consisted of 18 volunteers. In 2007, there were 60
members. They volunteered 6,482 hours in the unincorporated area and 20,513
hours in the City of San Marcos for a combined total of 26,995 hours.
Activities: The SVP Unit is non-confrontational and their radio is their weapon.
They are extra eyes and ears for the Sheriff’s Department. Applicants receive 2
weeks of SVP academy training, in addition to yearly training on various subjects.
Radio procedures, bomb/arson situations, traffic and crowd control, and search
procedures are just some of the areas of training they receive. Their assignments
cover a variety of activities as they assist not only law enforcement personnel,
but the community at large.
Three units are deployed five days a week in the City and one unit on Saturdays.
One unit is deployed five days a week in the unincorporated areas. They also
assist with traffic control at DUI/CDL checkpoints, traffic accidents and major
events, such as the Christmas Parade, July 4th, and the Street Fair. Throughout
their patrol areas they enforce various parking regulations, including handicap
station is provided by
staffing the front counter
transferring vehicles to
the County or City
garage for maintenance
or repairs, transporting
evidence to the Crime
Lab, and delivery and
pick up of arrest reports
to the Vista Court.
checks, You Are Not
Alone welfare checks,
Return program for
Alzheimer’s patients is
monitored and kept up
to date. They provide
children at community
Traffic collisions involving station personnel and citizen complaints are important
indicators for the station commander to monitor.
San Marcos Station personnel were involved in a total
of 18 traffic collisions during 2007. This equates to a 133% increase from 2006.
There were 2 more chargeable collisions (with a total of 7) than in 2006, but there
were 11 non-chargeable collisions compared to 7 in 2006. A chargeable collision
is one in which the employee is responsible, while a non-chargeable collision is
not the fault of the employee.
In 2007, Internal Affairs received three complaints arising
from actions within the San Marcos Station. One complaint alleged a courtesy
violation, one alleged a conformance to law violation, and one alleged conduct
unbecoming. This total was three less than the number of complaints in 2006,
which is a reduction of 50% in the number of complaints against deputies
compared to last year.
Courtesy – 1
1 – Not Sustained
Conformance to Law – 1
1 - Sustained
Conduct Unbecoming – 1
1 - Pending