Thursday, June 09, 2016

Miracles in Coto de Caza

Coto de Caza, CA - Perhaps it was a good omen that I met with California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officers Goodwin and Reynoso yesterday morning.   For starters, I had not seen Officer Chris Goodwin in person for close to ten years.  He single-handedly shaped my perception of the  CHP's professionalism, as he set the bar very high when he was the San Juan Capistrano's (SJC) Public Information Officer PIO.)   He has since moved on to CHP patrol.  

Office Goodwin left such a huge void in the department that since Captain Fonseca took over the SJC department, coincidentally, shortly after 22 year-old Franz Nalezny's traffic fatality January 31, 2014, the office went dark and it through four PIOs.  Coupled with the deficit in the Coto de Caza's mandated 520 traffic patrol hours and high incidence of traffic accidents, I reached the conclusion that the community is one traffic citation away from the fourth traffic fatality.  I also refer to the situation as the Fonseca Effect

Last Friday I reached out to CHP's Border Division Sgt. Jim McNamara, who immediately facilitated the meeting with the newly minted SJC's PIO Rafael Reynoso, whom I met yesterday, Officers Goodwin and Reynoso assured me that the high turnover of PIOs at the SJC office were strictly a matter of promotions and poor handover.  The latter, Officer Goodwin would fix immediately.  And Officer Reynoso, a local boy done good had no plans to move on in the short term, implying that finally, there might be some stability at the position.

We discuss at length my three main concerns.  
1)  Public safety and a board that might just be the most anti-law enforcement HOA in the country 2)  The HOA being the most litigious in the state and perhaps even the country and 3)  An HOA board using an arcane, archaic elections process and breaking CC&Rs, local, state and federal statues in the recent election.  

We also discussed the possibility of using the CHP’s Senior Volunteer program to provide more visible patrol in the community.

So, guess what happened early this morning?  There was a CHP officer driving a CHP SUV north on Vista Del Verde right and Cherry Hill, and immediately about five cars that were driving at some 70 MPH suddenly slowed down! Incredible!  

Coto de Caza's Hyundai Pooch (CHP) Patrol:  you better not have your pooch off leash, or you will get a tongue lashing!

I had not seen a CHP Patrol car on Vista del Verde not attending an accident, in about a decade.  On the other hand I have quite often seen the other CHP on the prowl:  The Coto Hyundai Pooch patrol.  Was his a miracle, you think?

Not how we like to see the CHP in Coto de Caza:  Attending to accidents

Well, this afternoon, there was a CHP officer driving a CHP SUV north on Coto de Caza drive at around 3:30 pm, thereby confirming that there is such a thing as miracles in Coto de Caza!

In any case, I welcome CHP Officer Reynoso and look forward to working with him!


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