By Marlena Medford
This week marks the launch of a police program that aims to beef up summertime coverage along the coast in Solana Beach and Encinitas. The seasonal program will be run by the Encinitas Sheriff’s Station’s Coastal Enforcement Team (CET), which includes eight deputies — six from Encinitas, and two from Solana Beach.
The program is based on an approach called “intelligence and information led” policing, which means deputies will analyze crime data to track trends and hot spots. The team of deputies will also be spending time out in the community, doing things such as talking face-to-face with businesses owners and residents about what they are seeing, and at times even wearing civilian clothing.
“This team is not attached to the radio,” said Capt. Sherri Sarro during a presentation to Solana Beach City Council at its June 10 meeting. “You may see them out there wearing flip-flops, shorts and a t-shirt because we have a problem in our community with burglaries on the beach. You can’t always catch someone in uniform. Sometimes we need to do things differently.”
Crimes that typically spike during the summertime in this area include public drunkenness, thefts, and DUIs, added Sarro during a later interview.
The program will not cost either city any more money, as the program just involves a reallocation of resources. Sarro also added that this program would also likely improve police service to Solana Beach and Encinitas by curbing summertime crime.
CET will also utilize support from patrol and traffic deputies, as well as crime prevention and crime analysis personnel. In addition, the team will work with citizens and business owners to address their concerns related to increased tourism, beach attendance, and any bleed-over effects from the San Diego County Fair. In a nutshell, the program aims to be more proactive rather than reactive. For more information about CET, please call the Encinitas Sherriff station at 760-966-3500.