April Phelan MAC Meeting – New Sheriff For Pinon Hills and Phelan Areas

April Phelan MAC Meeting – New Sheriff For Pinon Hills and Phelan Areas

Copley holds Crime Analysis Map
Photo By Dan Wilson

(Best Syndication) Local residents of Phelan and Pinon Hills were able to meet the new Phelan Substation commander, Sergeant Robert Copley, at the Phelan Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) meeting in Phelan. It was announced that Sergeant Jim Morgan had retired and Sergeant Robert Copley will be taking his place. Copley said that Morgan “all of a sudden” left after 27 years because of another “offer”.

Copley has been assigned from the Victor Valley station to Phelan. He told us that he had wanted this post for the past 10 year. When Copley said he is due to retire in August, the audience broke out in laughter. He said he will try to “take it on and give it another three more years.” He said “We will see”.

Copley said that in the past month he had broken up two auto theft rings in the area. One was right behind a chain link fence on the corner of Johnson and Phelan Roads. A Helicopter picked up a LoJack signal from the residence. They “door knocked” the house and found the vehicle putting off the LoJack signal. It had been stolen earlier in the day in North Hollywood. They recovered six more stolen Toyota pickups as well.

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On April 10th they broke-up another ring. This one was near Wilson Ranch Road and Smoketree, or “somewhere in that general area”. This discovery was made after a vehicle pursuit. They identified some information inside that truck and that lead them to the Wilson Ranch Road house.

Copley said that the Phelan Station is at “full staffing” for the first time in a long time. He said there are now nine full time deputies working out of the station. Copley said that he is going to re-implement “Problem Oriented Policing” (POP). He said that the Sheriff has a strong belief in the POP program, but because of manpower it is hard to keep one up and running.

He said that the POP program involves assigning the deputies to separate specific areas. The deputies are responsible for what goes on in that quadrant. The officers will be able to focus on their particular “beats”. They will get to know the neighborhoods and will be able to identify things that appear out of the ordinary.

Copley mentioned that the officers will also watch for code enforcement issues including trash, junk cars and other violations. The Sheriff will use county resources to clean that property up. He did not go into detail, but this will likely involve code enforcement.

Also, if the deputies are notified of or witness possible illegal activity, they will make that location a “project” and try to clean it up. They will keep an eye out of graffiti or vandalism as well.

Copley brought a “Crime Analysis Map” of the Phelan area to the meeting. The map he displayed was for last March. The map had keys at the bottom that described the various crimes that were committed. He said that the thefts and the assault and batteries were concentrated in the downtown area. The sergeant said that crime is on the decline and it was looking “real good”.

MAC member Carolyn McNamara asked Copley how communities can put together a neighborhood watch. Copley said that the Sheriffs department plays a center role in the procedure. He said that neighborhood watch also “trails” with problem oriented policing program. So far, he has not found time to learn about the neighborhood watches in this area yet.

MAC member Anona Gasca said that her neighbors got to know each other after they dealt with the sex-offender half-way house that tried to move into the area. Gasca said that her local community members now have each other’s emails and can talk back and forth about what is happening.

This prompted Copley to mention a purse snatching at the State Bros the week before. He said it wasn’t really a purse snatch, but her son took the purse and the local community helped the police catch him.

Someone mentioned that he wanted to put together a community watch program in his neighborhood but when he approached people for their email address or phone number they did not know who he was. Copley told him that the Sheriffs department would act as a liaison and promote the program. They would help set-up a block captain or act as one.

Copley said they would start off with a meeting and see who was interested. He said that the neighborhood watches need to be managed and it was very “time consuming.” The citizen patrol manages that program. When a community wants a neighborhood watch, Copley will notify Public Affairs which would start an advertising campaign.

Copley said that although crimes against people comes before crimes against property, he is interested in helping neighborhood watch programs get implemented.

He said the substation will have three deputies on day shift (in separate cars), two to three on swing shift, and maybe two on graveyard. Because of vacations sometimes there may only be one officer on during the graveyard shift.

Copley announced that there will be a fundraiser event for the Search and Rescue Team in May. They will want to buy some new equipment. The date and time will be announced when that information is available.

By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Writer

YouTube Video Of Meeting

Part 2

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