Training makes area safer for residents, says sheriff’s lieutenant

Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard

Lt. Hank Turner of the sheriff’s Ramona station presents a Crime Free Multi-Housing certificate to Mary Meurs, manager of Ramona Village Apartments at Seventh and A streets. The certification allows apartment complexes to evict renters who have been arrested for crimes, making the area safer for residents, said Turner. To achieve the certification, Meurs attended training through the sheriff’s department. Turner said Ramona Village Apartments is the first complex on A Street to receive the certification, adding that he is focusing the program on A and B streets, considered the highest crime area in Ramona.

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Posted by Maureen Robertson on Feb 20 2014. Filed under Country Living, Featured Story, News, Ramona, Sheriff/Fire. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

10 Comments for “Training makes area safer for residents, says sheriff’s lieutenant”

  1. Marceline

    That's ridiculous if you ask me…I'm sorry, but that seems borderline discrimination….and what exactly do you think putting someone out on the streets is going to do? Stop crime? How is that? Now surviving becomes that much more difficult and now desperate. I myself have never been convicted of a crime. However there is 1/3 of California's adult 18-55 population that are currently incarcerated… lets say something like this was to catch on??? What do you purpose all those inmates that get released do for housing? Are they to be exiled to an area designated for criminals to live? Thus making it safer for discriminatory self centered type a person to live? But then that's a fine line, saying self centered when it comes to the safety of your family.

    • This does not preclude people convicted of committing a crime from living on the property. It allows property owners to evict tenants that are preying on other members of their community. The goal is to make the complex safer for all the residents. The program addresses serious crimes that tenants are committing that effect where they live not to evict a person who was arrested for DUI. I hope this clarifies the issue for you.

  2. Marceline

    So it must suggest the criminals that have been convicted of Rape's , or Murders right? Whats the criteria, is there a statutes of limitations and who is the one to make these decisions? Then what happens after these proposed people get displaced out of there home? Oh…….you think they will just get up n move from their community? Or stay homeless on the streets of our community? I hardly think they will be moving? The towns not that big, don't you think that would increase crime?

    • JimC

      Marceline – since you seem to be so concern for the rights of the criminals, perhaps they should move to your neighborhood. I am grateful that a program like this exists. Actions have consequences. It's about time that those who bring misery to law abiding citizens start facing the consequences of their actions. I am fed up with drug dealers, thieves and thugs roaming our streets. Try walking by those apartments between K-Mart and Albertsons in the dark some evening, then tells us how you feel about the idea of evicting criminals.

  3. Dave Patterson

    The way I read the lease agreement, found on the crime free, the language pretty much gives the management the power to terminate the lease for any reason they want. This text is the Texas version, but I'm guessing the language is similar in California.
    For example one paragraph in the lease agreement reads:

    VIOLATION OF THE ABOVE PROVISIONS SHALL BE A MATERIAL AND IRREPARABLE VIOLATION OF THE LEASE AND GOOD CAUSE FOR IMMEDIATE TERMINATION OF TENANCY. A single violation of any of the provisions of this added addendum shall be deemed a serious violation, and a material and irreparable non- compliance. It is understood that a single violation shall be good cause for immediate termination of the lease under A.R.S. 33-1377, as provided in A.R.S. 33-1368. Unless otherwise provided by law, proof of violation shall not require a criminal conviction, but shall be by a preponderance of the evidence.

    Please note the last sentence. Proof is not required. They don't like you, you are out. And by signing the document the renter has surrendered their rights. That's how I read it. You can read the whole Texas agreement at this link.

    This is definitely big brother at work.

    • Our goal is to give residents a safe place to live. The Sheriff's Department does not remove tenants, the management company does. Our goal is to work closely with apartment managers to remove tenants that are committing crimes in our community. Management has to have proof to evict someone, a preponderance of the evidence, the same level required in civil court. Once again PROOF is required as you wrote in the last sentence but not a criminal conviction.

      The goal is to evict tenants that are committing felonies like selling drugs, stealing, and assaulting other people in the area. The program is not intended to evict people that get a DUI or commit a one time offense that has nothing to do with their residence or make them homeless. If you have real concerns about the program, please call the Ramona Station and ask for Lt. Turner. 760-789-9157.

  4. Maria Stanley

    I think it's a step in the right direction. Personally, it has been years since I've had to live in an apartment community. It was a different world back then, nowadays I'd be scared to live on A,B,14th and parts of Montecito Rd due to what I've heard and read reports of what goes on with those properties. I commend the apartment managers and our local sheriff's for working together trying to make my town a little safer.

  5. Dave Patterson

    Thank you Lt. Turner
    I'm glad to read that the intent is well minded, but I would never sign such an agreement just to live in this apartment or any other. Signing an agreement that lets the management evict me, with the help of the police, with no conviction or reading by a judge is crazy. I would be surrendering my rights as a tenant to the opinion of the management and sheriff in this case, no? Not saying this can happen in Ramona with your good stewardship, but what if the police and apartment manager decided that it would be expeditious to remove a pesky person that they don't like, or that presented a threat to their political structure in some way. In such a case, does the tenant that signed this agreement have any recourse?

  6. Torry

    The apartments in Ramona have never had a very good reputation for being crime free. Since this program it seems crime has dropped significantly at these apartments. My compliments to the Sheriff’s Department and the building owners for helping to clean up our town.

  7. Lynn

    I am so weary of the rights of criminals being given priority over the rights of normal, no one is perfect, citizens. Every one of us knows what behavior is dangerous to our community and those people who choose to behave themselves should not be forced to live with serious law breakers. Economics often prevent people from moving away from dangerous living situations. The idea that professionally managed apartment complexes want to use this crime free certification to empty their buildings of tenants is frankly absurd. They are in the business of renting housing for profit, no tenants, no profit. Good on Ms. Meurs for tying to make a safe environment for her residents.

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