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Local deputies find a whole new way to patrol

Live from City Hall

Posted: November 19, 2008 9:31 p.m.
Updated: November 20, 2008 4:55 a.m.
 
The city of Santa Clarita's 60-plus miles of trails and paseos provide a great place for recreation, relaxing and even an alternative means of commuting that is friendly to the environment.

However, the same great characteristics that make these areas so beneficial and attractive to our residents can also provide a convenient means of transportation and access for those with ill intentions.

These unlawful activities are a frequent concern of our residents who have expressed their desire to see more visibility, patrols and a stronger sheriff's deputy presence in these areas.

A unique challenge created by the seclusion of these paseos is the ability of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station personnel to access them in the event of an emergency, to respond to calls for service or to conduct routine patrols.

Many are not designed for access by deputies in patrol cars, and walking several miles of the trail to look for a suspect or suspicious person is not always possible or practical. In recognizing these challenges, the Sheriff's Station personnel partnered with the city to explore alternative means of providing visible and effective patrols in these areas in an effort to ease any community concerns or complaints about the paseo systems and help maximize their use and community safety.

The city has purchased two T3 Series Motion three-wheel electric personal mobility vehicles for the Sheriff's Station. The popular sheriff's Bicycle Patrol Program will continue to be used in addition to this new program.

Through this partnership with the city, a new Paseo Patrol Program is being implemented which will utilize these new electric vehicles. The T3s can reach speeds of up to 25 mph, feature a zero-degree turning radius, are environmentally friendly with zero gas emissions and are completely equipped for emergency response.

They operate at a cost of 10 cents per day of electricity, which is equivalent to getting 500 miles per gallon in a car.

Utilizing these vehicles, deputies will be able to cover several miles of paseo patrols in a single shift and will be able to carry equipment necessary for patrol and enforcement operations.

Further, these electric mobility vehicles will be available for use at other functions within the city such as Concerts in the Park, the Fourth of July fireworks show, holiday mall patrols, park patrols and many other events.

These vehicles will also be useful in other CIT and COBRA operations to combat criminal challenges, such as graffiti, vandalism, drug use, sexual assaults and gang loitering on our trails and paseos and in our residential areas. They can also be an effective tool in crowd control situations.

Look for T3 electric mobility vehicles on a paseo or in a park near you soon.

Questions can be directed to sheriff's Sgt. Darren Harris at (661) 255-4991.

Frank Ferry is a Santa Clarita City Councilman. His column reflects his own views, not necessarily those of The Signal. "Live from City Hall" is a column provided to The Signal by the city of Santa Clarita.

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