Deadline set for private security sign-ups in Bird Rock

A September deadline has been set for Bird Rock residents to sign up for private security patrols through La Jolla Safety before the effort will be abandoned. At the Bird Rock Community Council (BRCC) meeting on April 4, organizer Ron Fineman said the group does not have enough sign-ups to launch the patrol.

“Thus far, we have only received commitments from half the people we need to get it off the ground,” he said. “We need 60 homeowners to start services and we are at less than 30 … If we don’t reach that number by September we are going to refund the money that almost 30 homeowners have paid.”

In June 2016, Fineman and a few other residents formed La Jolla Safety to bring a private security patrol to the commercial and residential areas of Bird Rock following a perceived increase in crime. The idea is to have a patrol car and footman in the area at random times to discourage criminals that would carry out the low-priority crimes the police department does not have the staffing to address. The cost would be $50 a month per household.

At previous BRCC meetings, some residents said having the presence of private security could discourage criminal activity before it occurs, and provide an alternative to calling the police to investigate suspicious persons.

“When we started with this idea, there were staffing issues at San Diego Police Department with no changes in sights … and an increase in crime. I don’t think the crime is getting any better, so we still need residents to step up or we have to look for other solutions,” Fineman said.

The initial service area would be Bird Rock and Upper Hermosa only. In November 2016, when organizers were more optimistic about La Jolla Safety’s success, it was announced that the patrol could extend to The Village or even The Shores. But for now, Fineman said, the focus will be getting enough commitments to launch the patrol.

BRCC president Andrew Ward said he would like to have a speaker from the San Diego Police Department at the group’s next meeting to discuss the current status of crime in Bird Rock.

Homeowners who wish to sign up for the private patrols or learn more, may visit lajollasafety.org

In other Bird Rock news:

Infrastructure projects backlog: BRCC treasurer Barbara Dunbar said there are several infrastructure repair projects that have been reported to the board, and in turn to the City, but have not yet been fixed.

“People have been asking about the median light outages and periodically malfunctioning pedestrian crossing lights along La Jolla Boulevard,” she said. Examples include La Jolla Boulevard at Chelsea Place, Forward Street and Camino de la Costa.

“There are ones that are out and do not work at all, and one that appears to either be stuck ‘on’ or there is an electrical malfunction,” Dunbar added. “They are all on the list of things we’ve submitted for repair.”

Residents have also reported a buckling in the sidewalk at Colima Street and La Jolla Boulevard that poses a tripping hazard. As a temporary measure, BRCC painted an orange stripe and the City posted an orange A-frame sign at the site so the danger is more visible.

“We’ve seen people fall down at that spot when they’re not paying attention,” Dunbar said. “We know there is a problem and the City is aware, but they just haven’t gotten around to fixing it, though we have been reporting the problem for almost two months.”

Also, BRCC requested that the City take down the orange netting that surrounds the Midway Bluff overlook. The fencing was put in place in 2015 to help the vegetation on site take root, as part of the bluff restoration project.

“It appears the vegetation is stable and the fencing was supposed to be taken down in August, but the City kept it up a little longer because of the period in which there was no rain,” Dunbar said. “The plants look very good, so we are trying to get that taken down. Those who’ve reported this to us should know we are working on it.”

Summer Run: Details for the 18th annual End of Summer Run were presented. The four-mile fundraising race will be 8 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 27. It will start in La Jolla and migrate on the south side of La Jolla Boulevard through Bird Rock and into Pacific Beach. Proceeds benefit Mission Beach, Patrick Henry, Point Loma and Clairemont High Schools. The race uses a “rolling closure,” so as runners clear an area, it reopens to traffic with assistance from volunteers and police.

Bird Rock Community Council next meets 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 2 at a location to be announced. birdrockcc.org

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