Newly promoted Hemet PD Chief Webb discusses R.O.C.S. Team accomplishments, future plans

HEMET — Hemet Police Department’s newly promoted police chief, Rob Webb, recently discussed the Department’s R.O.C.S. Team and how their efforts are bringing improvements to the city and department.

SEE RELATED: Newly released FBI statistics indicate Hemet’s violent crime down by 32%, felony arrests up by 40%

Today’s message from Chief Webb follows on the heals of a Nov. 30 Hemet PD announcement that recently released FBI crime statistics show Hemet Police Department reported a 32 percent decrease in violent crimes and an overall 10 percent reduction in all crimes during the third quarter of 2017, when compared to the same period in 2016.

Hemet PD’s R.O.C.S. Team members work to clean up a homeless encampment within city limits. Hemet PD photo

Despite the decrease in reported crimes, during the same time frame, Hemet PD felony arrests increased by 40 percent.

According to Webb and former Hemet PD Chief of Police Dave Brown, a big reason for the Department’s recent successes has been Measure U, which citizens voted into effect last November.

“Since the passage of Measure U the Hemet Police Department has been working hard to bolster our staffing levels,” Webb explained, saying, “We’ve increased our police staffing levels by about 20% and this has allowed us to begin filling important “non-patrol” functions such as our Restoring Our Community Strategy Team.”

In September, the department launched the R.O.C.S. Team , which is comprised of four detectives and one supervisor whose main focus has been quality of life issues, such as nuisance properties, vagrancy and panhandling as well as the enforcement of laws in the city’s parks and protecting property owner’s rights against trespassing.

Although not a traditional police responsibility, the Team also works with local, county and state agencies to help homeless individuals get off the street and into more permanent housing.

To that end, during their first four months, R.O.C.S. Team members were able to help five homeless veterans and three homeless citizens find shelter, according to Webb.

“Additionally, the Team has already identified seven properties that have been deemed to be chronic nuisances and they have started the process of forcing the property owners to clean up the properties,” Webb explained. “Each time the police department responds to a nuisance property, the owner may be fined $1,000 – so there is a large incentive to clean up their properties.”

Members of R.O.C.S 200 help R.O.C.S. Team officials clean up the city. Hemet PD photo

Webb explained that the Team sends a clear message – “We will try to help; however, we will not tolerate criminal behavior of any kind.”

Anyone doubting the Team’s resolve to clean up the city need look no further than the number of arrests – totaling more than 300 – the team of five has made in just the last four months.

“We anticipate expanding the R.O.C.S. Team even further as the department grows while working hard to find other creative, non-traditional ways to make Hemet a better place,” said Webb.

One way the department’s R.O.C.S. Team is expanding is their newly deployed R.O.C.S. 200 Team, which works hand in hand with the City’s Public Works Department.

“They respond to help clean up, impound and hold any property we remove from our parks or the public right of way,” Webb explained, saying, “The law actually requires us to maintain the property we impound from encampments or find abandoned at the city parks.”

According to Webb, the Department and City still have “a long way to go” but he says his officers and command staff are excited to make a “positive difference” in 2018.

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

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Trevor Montgomery, who recently moved from Riverside County to Shasta County, runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 27 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 14 grandchildren.

One comment

  • Not to sound impertinent I greatly appreciate all the effort of the HPD and Measure ‘U’ proponents that resulted in a dramatic crime reduction. There seems however to be work remaining in the “non-violent” offender category. Having been accosted by a street thug demanding use of a cell phone and a ride made me realize a non-violent offense can quickly become violent. I did manage to evade the street jackal, and scamper away; but that was luck!

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