PUBLIC SAFETY BRIEFS – January 18, 2018

Hemet pimp sentenced to 30 years to life

A 34 year old Hemet man will have plenty of time to reflect on his criminal behavior having recently been sentenced to prison for 30 years to life for trafficking a 15-year-old girl in San Bernardino, according to news reports.
Known as “Penguin,” Jeremiah Banks was recently sentenced following his conviction last December on one count of human trafficking of a minor for a sex act by force, one count of pimping a minor under the age of 16, and one count of pandering by procuring a minor under age 16, according to 24/7 Headline News.
The news service quoted Deputy District Attorney Tamara Ross as recounting trial testimony of the girl testifying that Banks taught her how to post ads to solicit sex, how to talk to customers, how much to charge, and directed her to give all the money she made to him.
“The victim testified that the defendant could quickly become violent,” Ross was quoted as saying. “He hit her with his fist and belt whenever she ‘messed up a date.’ The violence occurred almost every other day.”
Banks, then 30, became friends with the victim back in August 2014 when he invited her to his apartment to “hang out.” The teen agreed, and Banks offered her beer and marijuana before having sex with her in the bedroom of his home.
Banks eventually told the juvenile victim that he was a pimp and talked to her about becoming a prostitute. He later gave her a cell phone to take provocative pictures of herself that he then posted on backpage.com. The online advertisement was seen by San Bernardino police officers, who launched an investigation.


A note from the Chief: Hemet Police R.O.C.S update

Since the passage of Measure U, the Hemet Police Department has been working hard to bolster our staffing levels. What does that mean to you? Well, we’ve increased our police staffing levels by about 20 percent and this has allowed us to begin filling important “non-patrol” functions such as our Restoring Our Community Strategy Team (R.O.C.S. Team). Our R.O.C.S. Team focuses on quality of life issues such as nuisance properties, trespassing, vagrancy, and panhandling.
In September of last year, the department launched the team with four detectives and one supervisor and their main focus has been the enforcement of laws in our city’s parks and the protection of property-owner’s rights against trespassing. The Team also works with state, county, and local agencies to try to help people get off the street and into permanent housing, although this isn’t a traditional police function. The Team sends a clear message – we will try to help, however; we will not tolerate criminal behavior of any kind.
Our ROCS Team also works hand in hand with our Public Works Department, and they have deployed a team we call “ROCS 200.” They respond to help clean up, impound and hold any property we remove from our parks or the public right of way (yes, the law actually requires us to maintain the property we impound from encampments or find abandoned at the city parks).
During the Team’s first four months, they have made over 300 arrests and have been able to help five homeless veterans and three homeless civilians find shelter. Additionally, the Team has already identified seven properties that have been deemed to be chronic nuisances and they have started the process of forcing the property owners to clean up the properties. Each time the police department responds to a nuisance property, the owner may be fined $1000 so there is a large incentive to clean up their properties.
We anticipate expanding the R.O.C.S. Team even further as the department grows while working hard to find other creative, non-traditional ways to make Hemet a better place.
These are exciting times in the City of Hemet, we have a long way to go, but we are really looking forward to making a POSITIVE difference in 2018!

Rob Webb
Chief of Police
Hemet

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