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The Patrol Section is the heart of the Rancho Mirage Police Department. The basic law enforcement protection is provided to the City of Rancho Mirage by contractual agreement with the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. This agreement provides the City with a cost effective way to provide police services to the residents, businesses and visitors to the City of Rancho Mirage. As a result of this contract with the City, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department provides over sixteen (16) uniformed deputy sheriffs for patrol and traffic enforcement. The patrol deputies are the Department’s most visible element. They are the first to respond in emergency situations and all have training in basic life saving measures.
The Patrol Section is comprised of two shifts; each is supervised by a sergeant. The patrol sergeants are responsible for implementing patrol strategies and techniques that are decided upon by the patrol lieutenants and the Chief of Police.
The patrol activities are supported by clerical, special enforcement team, crime prevention and investigative personnel at the station level; and various support units from Aviation, K-9, Forensic and Special Investigations Bureau, such as Homicide, Narcotics, Bomb Squad and SWAT. They also receive additional support from the Rancho Mirage Citizens on Patrol.
The City of Rancho Mirage Police Department provides 24-hour a day police protection service to the community. The department serves approximately 17,180 residents, patrolling approximately 25 square miles of City streets.
The Patrol Section provides continuous available units to:
To report any problems regarding speeding, reckless driving, illegal parking, abandoned vehicles or other traffic-enforcement related issues in your neighborhood.
The Rancho Mirage Police Department Traffic Enforcement Team is charged with ensuring that all streets of the City are as safe as possible for its residents and visitors by enforcing the California Vehicle Code regulations. The Team is dedicated to reducing injuries and fatalities caused by vehicle collisions. This is accomplished through enforcement and education. The members participate in a variety of federal, state and local programs to enhance the overall effectiveness of their mission.
Motorcycle Traffic Enforcement
The Rancho Mirage Police Department Traffic Enforcement Team was formed in 1997 in response to the increase in traffic; traffic collisions and traffic related offenses in the City. The team personally attends to traffic issues and creates a specialized plan to alleviate the problem. The team works on a daily basis to correct those drivers whom operate their vehicles at speeds unsafe for the citizens of Rancho Mirage. The Team currently consists of two Motorcycle Enforcement Officers, Deputy Johnson and Deputy Miller. They are both trained in the latest state of the art radar and lidar technology to enforce speed laws. The team deploys riding on Honda ST1300 with 1300 cc engines.
Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit
In 1987, based on complaints from Rancho Mirages citizens along with complaints from Palm Desert and Indian Wells, the COVE Communities instituted a Commercial Vehicle program. This program is funded jointly by all three cities with primary enforcement in the areas of commercial traffic. Violations include overweight and oversize vehicles, equipment malfunctions, poorly maintained vehicles and the use of these vehicles on restricted roadways within the COVE Communities.
The Commercial Unit uses a 2004 Ford F350 diesel crew cab truck. It carries the latest state of the art commercial scales to weigh suspected overweight vehicles. This vehicle is also used for traffic accident reconstruction. The vehicle carries surveying equipment, cameras, radars, laser, and traffic control equipment to investigate major or fatal traffic collisions.
In 2011, the number one cause of vehicle collisions in Rancho Mirage was due to excessive speed. The next leading cause was from unsafe lane changes. In addition, the three most hazardous locations in the City for 2011 were:
Deputy Jimmy Miller
Special Enforcement Team (S.E.T.)
The Rancho Mirage Police Department operates a Special Enforcement Team (S.E.T.) as an addition to the Patrol Division. The team currently consists of three deputies: Deputy Christopher Gelinas, Deputy Porfirio Rubio and Deputy Angela Hafer. The primary function of S.E.T. is to provide enhanced patrol services to residents of the City of Rancho Mirage. S.E.T. conducts specifically targeted enforcement programs to combat identified problems. In addition, S.E.T. performs bicycle patrol within the City. The bicycle patrol offers better mobility and quicker response in business and commercial areas (i.e. The River).
Community Oriented Policing (COP)
In order to meet the public safety needs of the citizens of Rancho Mirage, a strategy of community oriented policing has been implemented. COP is both a philosophy and an organizational strategy that allows the deputy and community residents to work closely together in new ways to solve the problems of crime and rear of crime. The focus of the COP officer is problem solving. Deputy Angela Hafer is currently assigned to this position. In addition to her duties on S.E.T., Deputy Hafer facilitates efforts between patrol, S.E.T. and investigations. She also handles specialized tasks assigned to her from station administration and works in direct contact with business owners and residents. Depury Hafer uses COP tools to attack the problems that reoccur in a specific area and works on finding a more permanent solution. Please contact Deputy Hafer directly at (760) 770-3200 ext 292.
The Palm Desert Station Investigations Bureau serves the City of Rancho Mirage, as well as the cities of Palm Desert and Indian Wells and the unincorporated area of the county. The Investigations Bureau is managed by Lt. Lori Marquette and Sgt. Andrew Nielsen. Lt. Marquette also manages the Crime Analysis and Burglary Suppression Units. Lt. Marquette and Sgt. Nielsen have worked a variety of assignments with the Sheriff's Department. The Bureau is comprised of dedicated Investigators assigned to various specialties such as robbery, assaults, sex crimes, child abuse, and property crimes, as well as missing persons, runaways and domestic violence investigations.
All the investigators are assigned cases after a supervisory review. If you have a case assigned to this Bureau, the assigned investigator will contact you about your case, as necessary. Our mission is a collective one; to serve the City of Rancho Mirage and the Cove Communities by solving crimes, recovering property, and identifying criminal suspects.
Burglary Suppression Unit (BSU)
Burglaries are one of the top crimes affecting Rancho Mirage and the surrounding areas. To help combat this problem, the Burglary Suppression Unit (BSU) was formed to focus solely on burglaries. BSU handles all burglaries; vehicle, residential and commercial. The team of four deputies, an investigator and a sergeant work together to target the neighborhoods in the contract cities of Rancho Mirage and Palm Desert and the unincorporated area of Desert Hot Springs, Thousand Palms and Sky Valley. They have the expertise and ability to conduct burglary investigations from start-to-finish. BSU begins with the initial report or by conducting follow up and then follow through to the arrest of the suspect(s) involved and recovery of the stolen property. BSU will identify individual burglars and burglary groups and conduct surveillance to gain information on crime trends and patterns.
Community Service Officers
The Riverside County Sheriff's Department, under contract with the City of Rancho Mirage, provides the City with Community Service Officers (CSO's). These officers are not sworn deputies and do not carry firearms or other defensive weapons other than pepper spray. Under general supervision, CSO's perform the most responsible law enforcement support duties involving a variety of civil and criminal issues that do not require the authority of a sworn law enforcement officer. However, their duties have a high factor of responsibility, liability, and criticality. Their role is to provide services to the residents and visitors in the City directly or by assisting deputies. For example, CSO's investigate and complete crime reports wherein the suspect is not known. They will also investigate and complete non-injury traffic accidents. CSO's provide a cost effective method to "free up" deputies who can then investigate, follow-up and complete more serious investigations and reports. CSO's assist the deputies at crime scenes and traffic collisions by directing traffic, setting up flare patterns and coordinating vehicle towing. Also, if the deputies make an arrest, a CSO can transport the suspect to jail, which allows the deputy to concentrate on the criminal investigation and required reports. Basically, the role of the CSO's is to assist the deputies and other department personnel in completing their assignments.