OCEANSIDE — To curtail offenses in the Oceanside Transit Center, authorities will provide supplementary support on a trial basis. The presence of uniformed police officers is believed to have an important impact in reducing episodes.
City Council gave the OK for authorities to enter into a 30-day Court of know with North County Transit District on Aug. 9. Councilwoman Esther Sanchez said police support will help address graffiti and enforce the smoking ban in the transit centre.
The transit district will pay Oceanside police up to $163,000 a year for support. The fee covers overtime pay for officers, and overhead compensation for use of police vehicles, equipment and associated services such as government and dispatching.
Trial support is above and beyond what authorities already manage. Oceanside authorities will staff two, eight-hour overtime changes every day, with two officers on each shift.
Police Capt. Fred Armijo stated it will be a challenge to employees overtime changes on a volunteer basis, but the department knows that going into the arrangement.
“I think there’ll be a positive impact,” Armijo said.
The trial period will test the efficacy of high police visibility and proactive community-based policing.
In the conclusion of trial period Oceanside authorities will provide the transit district with a record of recommendations and findings. It will then be ascertained if service will continue for another 30 days.
Oceanside Transit Center formerly utilized transit district code enforcement officers to track the station. The new plan is for transit district personnel to serve on board trains and authorities to support the platform. A transit district agent stated the goal is to provide better customer support.
Similar agreements are underway with local law enforcement in the Escondido and Vista transit center sites.
Last year authorities responded to 550 calls for support in the Oceanside Transit Center. This year authorities have responded to 296 calls so far.