FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

Departments : A Closer Look

Temecula (Calif.) Police Department

This ‘small town’ agency is smack-dab in between two giants but handles the chores with aplomb.

December 01, 2001  |  by Roy Huntington - Also by this author


Even though the officers are on the Temecula Police Department and wear a patch that displays the city’s logo, they are still Riverside County Deputy Sheriffs.

Chief James "Jim" Domenoe wears two hats, literally. As the Chief of the Temecula Police Department he dons the uniform and patches of that city. Yet, since Temecula is actually a "contract" city for the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, Domenoe is also a captain on the Sheriff's Department.

But the confusion stops there and clarity reigns supreme in Temecula. Since its incorporation in 1989, the city of Temecula has been a boomtown, growing at an astounding rate. With San Diego only 50 miles to the South and Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties just to the north, Temecula has become a bedroom community for the  "big cities" close by.

Surprisingly, this hasn't brought the normal problems associated with close proximity to large cities. This is mostly attributed to the Temecula PD's strong presence.

"I call it 'front end' police work," says Domenoe. "Be there before it happens and make it clear to all concerned we won't tolerate it." Domenoe smiled broadly as he talked about his great crew of officers, detectives, motors and others who make up the 67-member staff of the Temecula PD. Being part of the Riverside S.O., however, means Temecula doesn't suffer from that bane of many small agencies: a lack of training.

"While the city of Temecula funds us and, indeed, buys a percentage of our equipment, we are still part of the Sheriff's Department," explains Domenoe. "As such, we have all the advantages of both a big agency and a small one."

Temecula runs 24 black-and-white patrol units (including POP, traffic, crime prevention and patrol units), six motors, four unmarked units and has two ATVs, a GEM electric vehicle, a mobile command post trailer and bicycles. With the city population at about 67,000, Temecula enjoys an officer to citizen ratio of one to 1,000 - the envy of any agency.


Temecula’s Motor Units are beginning to ride Harley’s newest for law enforcement.

Temecula is famous as a "wine country" town, with ranching, vineyards and farming nearby and a real feel of the old west. Temecula's "Old Town" area was a stagecoach stop in the late 1800s and is one of the oldest towns in the state. Having had its share of gunfights, ladies of the evening and bank robberies, Temecula has a solid place on the "Towns of the Wild West" map. This rural flavor continues today, but with a new mall, new housing tracts and SUVs by the hundreds, Temecula is well into the 21st century.

Crime, as one officer said, "almost doesn't exist." The strong proactive stand by the department is obvious in the low numbers of reported crimes. The citizens of Temecula are very happy with "their" cops and hold them in high esteem.

Equipment is first-rate, from Ford beat cars to new Harley Davidson motors; officers are well taken care of. The Riverside Sheriff's Department authorizes 9mm, .40 or .45 caliber handguns from a list of approved models, and officers can check out an AR-15 rifle for patrol, after completing a certification class. Remington 870 Wingmasters are standard issue in all patrol cars.


The patrol cars are well-equipped with MDTs and 800MHz radio systems.

The Temecula PD is a full-service department with its own detective, traffic investigations and support services staff. Once assigned to Temecula, Riverside deputies can remain as long as they like, until they promote. The low crime rate allows cops there to concentrate on the needs of the public and, as Chief Domenoe says, "It's a dream town for cops."

Temecula PD at a Glance

Total officers: 67
Weapons: Approved handguns, 9mm, .40 and .45 CaliberAR-15/Remington 870
Patrol Units: Ford
Population: 67,000
Population median annual income: $64,000
Median home price: $214,000

Tags: California, Agency Cooperation, Police Chiefs


Be the first to comment on this story





POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent Stories

When Did You Get Artillery?
I have yet to hear anyone explain cogently what is meant by "militarization of police." I...
Motorola APX 7000L: Two Radios in One
Motorola Solutions is preparing for the future with its new hybrid LMR/cellular data...
Militarization or Officer Safety Precautions?
Seizing upon the naive theme that law enforcement has become over militarized, Rep. Chris...
Combined Response to Active Shooters
The final element of an active threat incident is the response. This encompasses the...

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Rank:
Agency:
Address:
City:
State:
  
Zip Code:
 
Country:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine