La Jolla residents urge for private security

Posted at 7:26 PM, Nov 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-25 22:26:05-05

When Ron Fineman pulls up a crime map for his La Jolla neighborhood, he doesn't like what he sees. 

"Some of them are drug and alcohol use, robbery, burglary, armed, and unarmed," he said. 

Fineman, a realtor who moved here from Los Angeles, says he's been burglarized twice in two years. In response he's trying to organize "La Jolla Safety, Incorporated" so he can hire private security patrols.

"We believe that private security will act as a little brother to the police force," he said. "A helper to the police force.'

His campaign began about two weeks ago. 

"We're looking for 80 residents to get it started; we have about 50," Fineman said. 

La Jolla is a San Diego jewel, featuring stately homes with magnificent views. Surfing and the beaches are major assets but it's not crime-proof.

Attorney John Busche told 10News, "I've had my favorite surfboards stolen right out of my garage… in broad daylight! We have a lot of friends who've experienced burglaries; everything from cars out front to serious home invasions."

They’re estimating a charge to homeowners and businesses of $50 to $100 a month for the private security. And they have hopes of increasing patrols to wider areas and more hours.

Fineman figures that with at least 80 residents a good number of patrols will be available to patrol four to five hours per day. He thinks one the number of residents reaches 1,000 - he'll be able to figure out 24-hour security. 

Attorney John Busche agrees that patrols may deter thieves. 

"You're not gonna steal a car, not gonna break into a neighborhood if you see armed patrol officers who are going to respond, Busche said.  “Police are understaffed. They need help."

It’s not necessarily an easy sell, though.

Neighborhood resident Ted Eldridge isn’t enthused. 

"I live down the street; haven't seen any increase in crime in my neighborhood and I wouldn't be real happy to pay another $100 for private service," Eldridge said. "If neighbors feel like they need it, they should pay for it themselves."