VC Star: Santa Paula police in crisis mode as Ventura County Sheriff's Office hires away 10 officers
Santa Paula PD is primed for a sheriff’s department office takeover. For years, the sheriff has been making proposals for the city to contract with the county.
Years ago, the old car-to-car channel, Ch. 4, was moved to Ch. 5, to create Ch. 4 as the “North” county frequency. The idea was that Fillmore and Ojai could be broken off Ch. 1 “West County” radio since no one could ever hear them except locally. Ojai is in a valley surrounded by mountains/foothills and Fillmore is deep inside the Santa Clara Valley, well away from the other cities.
Over a decade ago, everything went to all repeater traffic so the need for topographical accommodations to the radio network is smaller, but with the increase in traffic adding a new channel will help alleviate heavy radio traffic. Locals will know that East County has been on Ch. 3 for ages. So radio-wise, the channel is already there. In fact, this was intentionally done with the understanding that Santa Paula would eventually contract with the sheriff, though the chances circa 200_ seemed a lot greater than they turned out to be in the intervening years.
The new radio plan would look like:
Ch. 1 West County: Camarillo, David (Ventura/HQ) Station
Ch. 3 East County: Thousand Oaks, Moorpark
Ch. 4 North County: Ojai, Fillmore, Santa Paula
Fun fact: In the pre-all repeater days, I used to talk to one of my partners when he was working Fillmore by switching to (IIRC) Ch. 15 and using a simplex repeater on South Mountain. Then we upgraded to new radios all around and got a countywide repeater system, so everyone could hear everyone.
I don’t like SPPD and I don’t think departments that small should exist. SPPD doesn’t have a great reputation among local law enforcement and small agencies are mostly mediocre, as I’ve seen. But that’s neither here nor there and not the purpose of this post. No, the city council will have to stem the bleeding by paying officers what they’re worth, suffer substandard service, or contract with the sheriff. So far, local civic pride has been a factor and I’d imagine that right now it’s the only thing keeping Santa Paula separate agency.
Note: this an adaptation from my non-fiction book Suburban Warfare: A cop's guide to surviving a civil war, SHTF, or modern urban combat, available on Amazon.