Red Phone: Policing Christmas Hill Park

Red Phone: Low branches need to be cut

I was reading the Dispatch today looking at the court case about
the two homeless men who who (allegedly) raped the girl.I know we
have had issues there in the past few years.
“I was reading the Dispatch today looking at the court case about the two homeless men who who (allegedly) raped the girl. I know we have had issues there in the past few years. It is a lovely place for families to enjoy when that’s not happening. I was wondering what police have done to step up to patrolling that area. Maybe they could go out on bike or on horseback like they do during the Garlic Festival. I don’t know if it is illegal to have an encampment there, but it would be nice to let people know there are regular patrols there to keep people safe. Thank you.”

Red Phone: Dear More Patrols Needed, Christmas Hill Park is indeed a good place for families. Unfortunately that incident has put the park in a bad light.

With the budget cutbacks, it is tough for police to be everywhere at once, and there are many areas that also need attention. The city generally doesn’t use horse or bike patrols except for holidays and events, but it occasionally deploys those units for crime suppression and prevention, Sgt. Jim Gillio said. Police are trying to be more visible in the park, he said

“We have stepped up patrols with patrol officers during the course of their normal shifts,” he said. “Given the current economy, with our resources at this time it has been difficult to deploy specialty units.”

To report general problems in the park, you call the police non-emergency number at 846-0350. If you or your family are threatened or in danger, call 911.

Safety around Verizon box

“I am calling about an old Verizon switch box phone apparatus on Wren Avenue between Ortega Circle and Montebello Drive. This box has metal doors that used to be locked, but now they are open. Kids on the way home from school are playing around this box, and I think it is just a matter of time before someone gets hurt. Maybe you can do something about it.”

Red Phone: Dear Concerned, The box in question could indeed pose a safety hazard for people walking near it. But the box should be secured now, said Verizon Spokesman Jonathan Davies.

“One of our technicians went out to the location and locked it back up again,” he said. “The box is not in service any more but obviously we are concerned about the safety issue and we are looking into removing it entirely. I’ll let you know if I get an update on that process.”

So hopefully that helps. Stay tuned and we’ll let you know if we hear anything more about this box.

Follow-up on right turn lane

Red Phone: In August, a caller wondered if the city could add a right-turn-only lane on eastbound Mantelli Drive near Santa Teresa Boulevard to help improve the traffic flow. At the time, City Engineer Don Dey said nothing was in the works but he would look into the possibility of adding a lane there.

He recently said he has not forgotten about the request and it one of his top priorities. He said he is still looking into feasibility and the best ways to proceed. So continue to stay tuned, and we’ll let you know what the city decides at this intersection in the near future.

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