Senator Gaines Introduces Fire Tax Repeal

From the Office of Ted Gaines  |  2017-03-09
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In his continued efforts to fight against the illegal fire tax, Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado) announced on March 2nd  Senate Bill 9, a measure to repeal the tax.

‘This fire tax is illegal and unfair – plain and simple,” said Senator Gaines. “Many rural property owners already pay local fire agencies for protection so it is clearly double-taxation and it is being dumped on the backs of rural Californians when parts of my district still have a more than 10-percent unemployment rate and families are struggling to make ends meet.”

Senate Bill 9 would reverse the annual $152.33 “fee” for fire prevention services charged to rural property owners located in “State Responsibility Areas” (SRA) designated by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), even though their property taxes already contribute to the service contracts that counties have with CAL FIRE.

The fire tax is imposed on more than 800,000 properties in the state that are within the boundaries of SRA. According to census and CAL FIRE data, Senator Gaines’ largely rural district includes roughly 20-percent or approximately 160,000 of the properties whose owners are subject to the fee.

Senator Gaines contends that the fire tax attempts to sidestep Proposition 26, the initiative passed in 2010 that prevents the Legislature from disguising taxes as “fees” and circumventing constitutional requirements for passing higher taxes. He has been a leading critic of the tax and has introduced numerous pieces of legislation in previous years that attempted to provide relief for rural Californians. Senator Gaines also strongly supports the lawsuit filed against the state by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association challenging the fee on constitutional grounds.

“I have fought this illegal tax at every turn and I encourage everyone who is stuck paying this phony fee to get in the arena and fight it too,” said Senator Gaines. “The answer to fire protection in California is not illegal taxes, but budgets that invest in core government services that protect every citizen in the state – rural, urban and suburban.”

Senator Ted Gaines represents the 1st Senate District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties.


Wrong Way Driver Kills Oncoming Driver and Self

California Highway Patrol Special Report  |  2017-02-09

On February 7, 2017, at 9:55 p.m. the CHP received a call of a wrong way driver going westbound in the eastbound lane of I-80 at Watt Ave. The driver was a female driving a dark Ford Mustang. CHP officers immediately began responding to the wrong way driver in an attempt to prevent a head on collision from happening. Shortly thereafter the Ford sideswiped a Chevrolet Impala near Raley Blvd. and continued going the wrong way on I-80.

As the Ford approached Northgate Blvd in the #1 lane it struck head on with a white Dodge Challenger driven by a male. The collision killed both drivers upon impact. A toxicology report is being taken by the Sacramento County Coroner to determine if alcohol and/or drugs were a factor in this collision.

The eastbound lanes of I-80 were closed for a little over 2 hours due to extraction and investigation and all traffic was diverted off to Northgate Blvd.

Any additional information about this news release should be directed to Officer Chad Hertzell who will be available at the CHP North Sacramento Area business phone number: (916) 348-2317, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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RCPD Partners with CA Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to Reduce Underage Drinking

Source: City of Rancho Cordova  |  2017-01-27

Nearly 20% of American adolescents ages 12-20 reported alcohol consumption in 2015, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The Rancho Cordova Police Department (RCPD) and the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) are working to reduce that number in our community.

RCPD will work with ABC until the end of August in a coordinated effort to help reduce underage drinking and reduce youth access to alcohol through education and enforcement. RCPD and ABC will conduct several operations in the City of Rancho Cordova and its neighboring areas in Sacramento County that focus on businesses and individuals that provide alcohol to adolescents under the age of 21.

“I look forward to working with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to reduce underage drinking and its repercussions in our community,” said Rancho Cordova Police Chief Chris Pittman.

The operations, conducted by RCPD Problem Oriented Policing (P.O.P.) officers and ABC agents, consist of “shoulder taps” using minor decoys, or situations when adolescents stand outside of liquor stores or markets and ask adults to buy alcohol for them, as well as inspections of local businesses that hold ABC licenses. This project is part of ABC’s Minor Decoy/Shoulder Tap Grant Project, funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

For questions about this program, contact program coordinator Sergeant Claudio Sotelo at 916-875-5710 or at csotelo@ranchocordovapd.com.


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Busy Week for Rancho Cordova Law Enforcement

By Shelly Lembke  |  2017-01-19

Rancho Cordova Police Department, acting on a tip, located and detained a suspect on probation. A search proved the suspect to be in possession of a large amount of methamphetamine. The suspect was arrested and booked on new charges. 
--Photo courtesy Rancho Cordova Police Department

An officer involved shooting and the arrest of a known drug dealer were two of the Rancho Cordova Police Department’s (RCPD) major incidents this week. According to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Sergeant Tony Turnbull, a wanted suspect pulled a gun on officers at a storage facility in Rancho Cordova in the 2600 block of Sunrise Avenue. The 29-year-old male suspect had outstanding felony warrants and law enforcement had been searching for him for several days and acted on a tip about the suspect’s whereabouts.

When officers from the Sheriff’s Department Major Crimes Bureau and Special Enforcement Detail located the man, he was inside a vehicle, with a gun in his hand. According to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, “As detectives went to make contact with the suspect, he exited the passenger side of the car with a handgun in his hand. The suspect began to raise the handgun. Fearing for his safety, one of the detectives discharged his firearm at the suspect. The suspect was struck by gunfire and fled on foot into a portal door leading into the storage building. The suspect was subsequently taken into custody and the handgun was secured. Deputies immediately began life saving measures.”

The Sacramento Metro Fire Department arrived on scene and the suspect was transported to a local hospital where he remained until Tuesday evening. According to new Rancho Cordova Police Department Chief Christopher Pittman, the suspect was released and transported to the Sacramento County Jail late Tuesday.

The injured suspect had outstanding felony warrants for his arrest. One warrant was for burglary, grand theft, receiving stolen property and possession of a firearm by a felon and the second was for a violation of mandatory supervision. No one else was injured. An investigation is underway. The officer involved is a fourteen-year veteran and per policy and procedure, is on paid administrative leave pending the investigation.

Also on January 13, the RCPD Crime Suppression Unit (CSU) made use of another tip on the location of a suspect known to be a drug dealer on probation. A probation search found the man in possession of a large quantity of methamphetamine. The suspect was subsequently arrested and booked on new charges.


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Four Families Displaced by Fire in Multiple Units of Four-plex

Source: Michelle Eidam, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District  |  2017-01-12

Metro Fire crews were dispatched to the 9000 block of Folsom Boulevard for multiple callers reporting a house fire.

Just after 7:00 am on January 7th, Metro Fire crews were dispatched to the 9000 block of Folsom Boulevard for multiple callers reporting a house fire. First arriving crews found heavy fire coming from a four-plex and immediately initiated fire attack. While firefighting operations were occurring in the unit of origin, additional firefighters initiated fire attack in a second involved unit and began searching for trapped residents.

A common attic throughout the four-plex allowed the fire to spread quickly. With a coordinated fire attack, the thirty-five firefighters on scene extinguished the fire, containing it to the attic and two units. Two units sustained major fire damage. The other two had fire damage in the attic, but only smoke damage inside; firefighters were able to salvage all of the personal belongings from these units. Residents from all four units were displaced; Red Cross was requested to assist the ten adults and four children with temporary housing. The cause of the fire is undetermined. Damage is estimated at $250,000; no injuries to civilians or firefighters were reported.


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City Welcomes New Police Chief Pittman

Source: City of Rancho Cordova  |  2017-01-05

Chris Pittman as the new Rancho Cordova Police Chief. 
--Photo courtesy City of Rancho Cordova

Rancho Cordova’s City Manager, Cyrus Abhar, announced that he has appointed Chris Pittman as the new Rancho Cordova Police Chief.  Pittman, a Sheriff’s Captain with twenty-two years of experience with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, will fill the role vacated by the recent retirement of former Police Chief Michael Goold in December of 2016.

“We are pleased to welcome Chris Pittman as our City’s new Chief of Police,” said Mr. Abhar.  “Chief Pittman is well-known in our community, having served previously as Assistant Chief of Police in Rancho Cordova in 2014 and as the current President of the Rancho Cordova Police Activities League. His long history, wealth of experience, and commitment to Rancho Cordova all make him an excellent choice to lead our police department.”

Pittman began his career in law enforcement with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department in 1994 and has served in a variety of roles, including Deputy Sheriff, Sergeant, Detective Sergeant, Lieutenant and Captain. He has been assigned to the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center, the U.S. Attorney’s Anti-Violent Crime Initiative Task Force, and the California Multi-Jurisdictional Methamphetamine Enforcement Team. He has served in leadership roles as the Narcotic Investigations Bureau Commander, North Patrol Watch Commander, Folsom Dam Security Bureau Commander, Assistant Division Commander for the Security Services Division, Assistant Division Commander for the East Patrol Division, Assistant Chief of Police for the Rancho Cordova Police Department, and Commander of the Field Support Division where he oversaw a majority of the Sheriff’s Department’s support systems, including the 911 Communications Center.

“I am very excited to be coming back home to Rancho Cordova,” said Chief Pittman. “Serving in Rancho Cordova as the Assistant Chief was the best assignment in my career as a law enforcement officer, and I look forward to working with the City Council and City staff on behalf of our community to continue to make Rancho Cordova a safe and vibrant place to live and work.”

Highly decorated, Pittman has been awarded five Major Incident Ribbons, three Unit Citations, a Distinguished Service Medal, and was the Sheriff’s Department Employee of the Year in 2004.

The City will host opportunities in the near future for the community to get to know its new Chief of Police.


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Christmas Morning Fire in Vacant Home

Source: Michelle Eidam, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District  |  2016-12-29

Metro Fire crews were dispatched to the 5000 block of Walnut Avenue in North Highlands.

Shortly before 3:00 am on December 25th,  Metro Fire crews were dispatched to the 5000 block of Walnut Avenue in North Highlands for a report of flames coming from the roof and rear window of a vacant house. First arriving crews reported a working fire and immediately initiated fire attack.

The fire, which had started on the outside of the boarded-up house, had quickly spread inside. Firefighters forced entry and extinguished the fire, deploying multiple hoselines to different areas of the house to quickly contain the fire. The roof and attic sustained significant fire damage, with total damage estimated at $75,000. No injuries to civilians or firefighters were reported and the cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

Firefighters were on scene less than five minutes after being dispatched, and the fire was already well-involved and had spread from the exterior to the attic and living quarters. Fire doubles in size every minute… if you see smoke, call 9-1-1 early!


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