Article by Shelley Hescock
River Park Patrol
Recently in River Park, there were three vehicle accidents–one overturned vehicle on Camellia; a multi- vehicle collision on Carlson & Camellia in which a vehicle landed on a lawn, taking out part of the hedge, and another vehicle landed directly behind it; and a single-vehicle accident where the vehicle hit a stop sign at Carlson & Callister. These accidents all happened within the same week.
The overturned vehicle on Camellia was due to distracted driving. No drinking was involved.
The vehicles that landed on the lawn and curb at Carlson & Camellia were drinking and driving. The occupants were treated for their injuries and arrested. The 3 cars were racing 3 wide down Carlson from the river.
The vehicle that hit a stop sign at Carlson & Callister was due to drinking and driving. The occupant was arrested. This person also came from the river.
I have been in contact with the Lieutenant who covers our area, the Police Captain and our Councilman to look into these accidents and see what can be done to safeguard our neighborhood, curb the drinking at the river and the drunk driving.
I spoke with Sargent Matt Armstrong with the Sacramento Police Department Metro Division/ Traffic Section/ Motor Unit today. We had a lengthy conversation regarding the nature of these accidents and how best to move forward with a plan to deter the drinking and driving. River Park will now see a much bigger police presence with DUI Saturation Officers & Traffic Patrol officers. They will be coming during the week & weekend at different times. Their primary focus is drunk drivers and traffic infractions.
There is a lot of talk alleging drinking and speeding with the drivers after spending a day at the river.
I would like to talk about these issues and how to move forward together as a community to keep our neighborhood safe.
We are a very committed group of volunteers in our Neighborhood Watch. Most of you know, I head up our Neighborhood Patrol and have done so for a number of years. Together with some amazing patrol members, we patrol on a consistent basis at all times of the day and night. Our main focus in the warmer weather is the partying that occurs down along the river. Justin Wisley & I have made it a mission to patrol along the levee/river during the day during the week and weekends and at night to identify the parties and partiers. We report the activities to the Rangers & SacPD, with great responses from them. With this commitment and vigilance, we have seen a large decrease in the number of parties that go on down at the river year over year, with this year being the lowest we have seen.
Some of you have asked about having DUI checkpoints on a regular basis in River Park. I have also had that thought in the past & inquired about it, however River Park did not qualify. With the recent accidents, I reached out again to SacPD, and was told the following.
“Checkpoints are setup by our traffic unit using grant money from the Office of Traffic Safety. The checkpoint locations are determined by a number of factors including quantity of vehicular traffic and number of DUI related incidents in the area. My understanding is that the law requires, and it is definitely our department practice, that checkpoints be placed in locations where drivers have other routes of ingress/egress. There is only one real way into the neighborhood, I don’t believe that we have many DUI’s out there, and the vehicular traffic is too light to really justify a checkpoint.”
We also do not qualify for alcohol checkpoints up on the levee like the one that happens on the 4th of July.This being said I think as a community we can come together to work on a solution. One idea I have would be to have our own type of checkpoint up on the levee with patrol members in vests informing the individuals heading down to the river with alcohol that it’s not allowed and that the Rangers/Police will be called. Put them on notice! With consistent activities like this we can make a difference! This is where you come in.
I NEED MORE VOLUNTEERS! IF YOU WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE DON’T WAIT FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO STEP UP. THE TIME IS NOW. PLEASE CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING TODAY. Contact Shelley Hescock RiverParkPatrol@Gmail.Com
There has been talk about the speeding down Carlson and Moddison and other River Park streets. That is a conversation I have been working with SacPD, and together we are working on solutions. You can help be being vigilant getting license plates, vehicle descriptions, subject descriptions etc. and calling the information in to SacPD. The non-emergency number is 916-264-5471.
Neighbors have said that they feel that we are not being served by law enforcement, but I beg to disagree. SacPd and the Rangers play a vital and great role in our community, we as patrol members have worked to establish a great relationship with them. They are very responsive when called. They are there to help problem solve and come up with ideas. As a patrol member, my job would be a real struggle without the great response & support we get from them.
What ideas do you have as a community?
How can we help ourselves?
What role can the City, Police and Rangers do to help?
These are just a few of the questions that will be on the next RPNA agenda. I would encourage all of you to attend. It will be on August 16th, at 7:30, at Fremont Church, room 210.