By Karen Billing
The Rancho Santa Fe Patrol will be getting a new officer as well as a new car. The new officer could be on the job by July 1.
The new Patrol additions were made possible through the Rancho Santa Fe Association and Rancho Santa Fe Community Services District (CSD) working with the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO). As acting RSF Association Manager Ivan Holler reported at the March 6 Association meeting, LAFCO recently activated the Rancho Santa Fe CSD’s latent powers to provide security, in addition to the other services it provides.
The CSD currently provides residents with sewer collection, treatment and disposal services, as well as roadside landscaping for more than 60 miles of unincorporated county roads in the Covenant.
“The CSD now has the ability to expend funds for security services and we’ll be able to hire one additional patrol officer and purchase a vehicle through no cost increases to [Association] members,” Holler said.
RSF Association President Philip Wilkinson complimented Holler on the work with the CSD and LAFCO, resulting in wonderful benefits to the community.
According to RSF Patrol Chief Matt Wellhouser, the Patrol has not seen an increase in staffing for 12 years, since the 2001-02 fiscal year. The Patrol currently has a staff of 10 officers and one more member of the team will be a nice boost, he said.
“We needed some help on certain days of the week and to fill some holes,” Wellhouser said. “It will work out well for the Ranch, it will increase our eyes and ears on the Ranch and probably lower overtime shifts.”
The money to replace one of the Patrol’s Ford Explorers will also be a great help, he said. They have one car with more than 140,000 miles on it, which Wellhouser said is more like 280,000 miles for the amount of idling and the kind of driving they do.