OP/ED: Saying there’s “room for improvement”, Menifee PD Chief discusses city’s traffic issues
Room for Improvement
By: Menifee Police Chief Pat Walsh
As we approach the end of our second month as the Menifee Police Department, I am happy to report our staff is performing exceptionally. The moral is high, the solve rate of crime is high and the support of the community is second to none. I have however noticed a trend that needs improvement, driving.
You read that right, some of you are not good drivers. While most people obey the traffic laws, there are some of our neighbors that do not. As I write this letter we are at, 51 days live. In that time, we have had, 80 traffic accidents, two of which resulted in a fatality. At that rate we could foreseeably have 12 fatalities in the first year if things do not change.
LEADING THE RCNS HEADLINES:
My vision for the Menifee Police Department is to make Menifee one of the safest cities in America. We cannot do this without the support and the help of the community. On crime, Menifee is amazingly supportive and helpful in the reporting of crime and follow through on the investigations. But that is only one piece of the puzzle. We also need our community to take an active role in keeping our roadways safe.
The main reason for accidents is speed. With wide open, well maintained roads, people speed. The other contributing factors are texting and driving, texting and walking, running stop signs, unsafe turns (especially left turns), running red lights, and running yellow lights.
That is right, when it is yellow it means prepare to stop. It does not mean drive twice the speed limit to get through before it turns red. If you can accelerate that much, then you can brake and stop, as the yellow light is intended to indicate.
To date we have given four times as many warnings as tickets. That is about to change. If we as a community truly desire safe streets, then we have to enforce the traffic laws. My direction to my officers is to strictly enforce traffic laws, in particular those ones that are the primary reason for accidents.
We have a beautiful city full of great people. We owe it to each other to respect each other’s safety. All of us have loved ones to get home to; drive like the other drivers are your family members.
Submitted by Menifee Police Department
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Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 29 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 16 grandchildren.