Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $150,000)
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is seeking funding from the Bureau of Justice of Assistance for the Rural Violent Crime Reduction Initiative for Law Enforcement Agencies to address violent crime within the communities of Anza and Aguanga located within the County of Riverside, State of California. Anza consists of about 28 square miles with a population (2019) of 3,076. Aguanga consists of 13 square miles and a population (2019) of 805.
These communities are adjacent to each other, sharing main roadways, crime trends, and criminal elements. The Hemet Sheriff Station provides law enforcement services to both communities.
Over the past five years, the communities of Anza and Aguanga have been victim to the following violent crimes (data obtained via Riverside Sheriff Computer Aided Dispatch based on UCR Part 1 crime stats):
Murders: 8 total (6 in 2020 and 2 in 2019)
Robberies: 15 total (1 in 2021, 4 in 2020, 3 in 2019, 3 in 2018, 1 in 2017 and 3 in 2016)
Assaults: 158 total (8 in 2021, 25 in 2020, 25 in 2019, 41 in 2018, 32 in 2017 and 27 in 2016)
Additionally, and problematic, the communities of Anza and Aguanga, positioned within a mountainous and rural area of Riverside County, making them enticing for criminal activities, covered by the terrain. Two two-lane highways lead to the communities and one two-lane county road. Two deputy sheriffs are assigned to patrol the area; however, they are also responsible for additional geographical unincorporated areas. If awarded this grant, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Hemet Station, would deploy deputies on overtime to the communities of Anza and Aguanga. For officer safety, two deputies will be deployed per patrol vehicle to conduct high-visibility patrols in the identified high crime areas specified by the station crime analyst. In addition to high-visibility patrols, deputies would seek pro-active efforts to identify parolees and probationers in the area, especially those previously convicted of violent crimes. Once identified, deputies would conduct parole and probation checks along with state parole officers and county probation officers.
Overtime would also be used to fund warrant sweeps within Anza and Aguanga.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department employs a Grants Unit that currently administers state and federal grants, prepared to collaborate with the technical assistance provider. The accounting staff is familiar with performance objectives and trained to provide activity logs, payroll information, crime analysts to provide arrest statistics, and other information required.