PUBLIC SAFETY BRIEFS – June 28th, 2018

Justice Department praises Riverside Sheriff for tribal best practices

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department announced it has hosted a peer exchange program sponsored and coordinated by the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) Office of Justice Programs, to assist the Rapid City Police and Pennington County Sheriff’s departments in South Dakota.
The purpose of this peer exchange training effort is to highlight how the Riverside Sheriff’s Department partners with local Native American communities to improve relationships and conduct responsive community policing.
The Justice Department has now released its final After-Action Report for the peer exchange program and notes it has selected the Riverside Sheriff’s Department to host the peer exchange based on the “forward-thinking community policing philosophies and distinction as a leader in supporting American Indian communities.”
Sheriff Stan Sniff created this collaborative effort in 2008 with our tribal partners, and established government-to-government relationships with all 12 sovereign Indian nations in Riverside County. This decade-long effort allowed the department to include several local tribal government leaders in the peer exchange training program, and gave it the opportunity to showcase tribal government insight into policing in Native American communities.
The report summarized the peer exchange program as highly successful, and cited the Sheriff’s department’s efforts in Native American communities as a nationwide “best practice” in community policing.
The community oriented policing initiative based on the work of the Tribal Liaison Unit (TLU), was established by Sniff in 2008 with the full support of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. Even in the face of the recent austere fiscal challenges faced by the department, Sniff has remained steadfast in his support of the TLU and the value of government-to-government relations with sovereign partners in keeping tribal communities as safe as possible.
The TLU’s founding principles are based on improving the levels of public safety services in Riverside County’s tribal communities, building a strong respect for culture, and a recognition of sovereignty.
Sniff and the TLU also has been recognized with a James Q. Wilson Award for “excellence in community policing” in 2012 and has established a record of close cooperation in addressing a wide variety of local tribal justice needs within Riverside County.

Apartment fire causes damage and the death of a family pet

Two Hemet apartments were damaged by flames and smoke that also killed a family pet on Thursday, June 21. The fire began in a residence at the Devonshire Apartments, 2770 Devonshire Ave, west of Kirby Street.across from Gibbel Park.
First responders were dispatched to the apartment community around 10 a.m. According to a the resident who reported the fire, landscapers first used their tools to break an apartment window to see if anyone was trapped inside before firemen arrived.
Within minutes after arriving, firefighters tackled flames and large amounts of smoke. They eventually determined that no one was inside the apartment when caught fire.
While firefighters checked neighboring apartments for smoke damage, they located a deceased bird in an upstairs residence. The bird was believed to be a cockatiel that died from smoke inhalation.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Fireworks are illegal in Riverside County

According to the City of Hemet Fire Department, all fireworks, including sparklers, are illegal in Riverside County. During this holiday season, it is common to want to make use of different kinds of fireworks to celebrate the Independence Day holiday. Since Riverside County has various types of terrain, dry vegetation in certain areas can surely cause a brush fire. Any kind of fireworks can lead to serious injuries or start fires and therefore they are all considered illegal. The cost to those individuals who use illegal fireworks can be up to millions of dollars should they be sued for damages.

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