Santa teams with HPD to raise jaywalking awareness – 24 cited

HEMET — Santa Claus this year had more than simple gifts or lumps of coal to offer jaywalkers caught crossing a busy Hemet street, in the form of citations issued for anyone caught illegally crossing Florida Ave. yesterday morning, Thursday, December 19.

In total, Santa helped City of Hemet police officers nab 27 people who crossed the road outside a marked crosswalk, or without properly using the pedestrian crossing signal button. 24 of those stopped were issued citations, according to HPD officials.


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In response to countless recent accidents involving pedestrians who were struck by vehicles while crossing Hemet streets, Hemet PD conducted yesterday’s pedestrian safety enforcement operation as part of their ongoing Pedestrian Safety Campaign.

Launched in 2018, the program is designed to raise public awareness, educate pedestrians, and reduce pedestrian related traffic collisions in the city, Hemet PD Sgt. Dan Reinbolt explained after the successful enforcement operation; which began at 11 a.m. and lasted about two hours.

Although Santa wasn’t handing out lumps of coal while helping Hemet police officers during a pedestrian safety enforcement operation yesterday morning, he did assist motor officers in issuing 24 citations to people caught illegally crossing Florida Ave. HPD photo

During the operation, officers – with assistance from a police employee dressed as Santa Claus – set up at an intersection along Florida Ave., where statistics show pedestrian collisions have occurred and are likely to occur again, Reinbolt later explained.

Santa was helped by another, uniformed police employee who held up and twirled a large sign that reminded pedestrians to use the available pedestrian signals.

“Most of the pedestrians we encountered noticed the sign twirler and Santa Claus, and most used the pedestrian signals appropriately,” explained Reinbolt. “However, motor officers stationed in the area observed several pedestrians who did not use the pedestrian signals along with several vehicle and bicycle violations.”

“In total, officers issued 24 traffic citations and gave 3 warnings,” Reinbolt continued.


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Reinbolt later said Hemet PD’s Traffic Division plans to conduct more operations such as this one and that the department is “constantly working toward the goal of education and enforcement to reduce collisions in the community.”

With Santa’s help, Hemet PD motor officers spent two hours yesterday morning raising awareness for pedestrian safety. HPD photo

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Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta 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. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s 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 29 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 16 grandchildren.

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