Rancho Santa Fe Association board approves boost in funding for CHP Explorer program


By Karen Billing

As has been done every year since 1999, the Rancho Santa Fe Association board approved contributions to the California Highway Patrol’s Senior Volunteer Patrol (SVP) and Explorers, a program that provides experience for youth interested in law enforcement careers. For the last three years, the Association has contributed $4,000 to the SVP and $3,000 to the Explorers, funds included in the budget that assist in the cost of maintaining the volunteer programs that help out in the Rancho Santa Fe community. This year, the Association granted a one-time additional $1,500 to the Explorers to purchase a trailer to haul equipment for traffic control operations.

“Without your funding, we’re lost,” said CHP Sgt. Scott Payson, Explorer coordinator, thanking the board for its contribution.

Payson said the Explorer’s annual budget is about $7,000 a year and no additional help is received from the state for uniforms, equipment and participation in competitions.

John Green, Senior Volunteer Patrol captain, said that the SVP also relies on the Association for its help and said the Association is instrumental in helping the patrol meet its responsibilities.

One of SVP’s cars is posted by the R. Roger Rowe School every day of the school year and the senior volunteers also help with traffic control for accidents, checking on and reporting abandoned vehicles, and donating over 182,000 hours in support of public safety.

Both Senior Volunteer Patrol and Explorers are present at the annual July 4 parade in the RSF village, which RSF Patrol Chief Matt Wellhouser said calls for additional manpower to help the RSF Patrol’s eight officers.

“The parade is the highlight of my year,” Green said.