Lake Hemet Sheriff’s substation reopening eyed this summer

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The Lake Hemet Riverside County Lake Hemet substation, which is currently vacant, will be reopening this summer with deputies and a community service officer to serve the mountain communities, Sheriff Chad Bianco says. Valley News/Tony Ault photo

The Lake Hemet and Mountain Center Riverside County Sheriff’s substation located at the entrance of Lake Hemet on Highway 74 will soon be reopened according to Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco.

The substation that has been closed for several years due to budget restraints will be staffed with deputies and a community service officer beginning as early as this summer, Bianco announced on Facebook. The station will serve several mountain communities including Idyllwild, Anza, Pine Cove and Mountain Center.

Bianco in the news release said, “This closure resulted in delayed response times for emergency situations, routine calls for service and law enforcement backup requests since deputies had to respond from the Hemet Station located in Valle Vista. Adverse mountain terrain, severe weather conditions and narrow mountain roads also delayed deputies from responding from the valley in a timely and effective manner.”

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This sign posted on the closed Lake Hemet Sheriff’s Substation will soon come down as the substation reopens this summer with deputies to serve the mountain communities of Anza, Idyllwild and Mountain Center. Valley News/Tony Ault photo

Since his election, Bianco has made it a priority to focus on community-oriented policing strategies to improve the quality of life concerns for all residents. Re-opening the Lake Hemet substation has been one of his priorities that he said will allow “deputies to work hand in hand with the community. The community services officer will be assigned to the substation to take reports and answer questions to further our goal of engaging the community.

“Since my election, over the past year the department has been able to aggressively recruit, hire and train hundreds of deputy sheriffs and correctional deputies. This increase of needed personnel is the first step in finally allowing us to better serve all our unincorporated communities throughout the county. This particular substation re-opening allows the deputies to be deployed directly in those mountain communities to respond quicker to calls for service and quality-of-life issues and for those communities to know their assigned deputies,” he said.

Bianco said in the news release that he is grateful for 3rd District Riverside County Supervisor Chuck Washington’s continued support for increasing deputy staffing levels in the mountain communities.

Washington, whose district includes the mountain communities, responded.

“Our mountain communities deserve the kind of attention and service that Sheriff Bianco is committed to providing, and I’m so appreciative that he’s taking this important step,” he said. “I want the residents of those unincorporated communities to know that the sheriff and I take their safety and quality of life seriously, and we are pleased to be able to re-open and re-staff this valuable station.”

Tony Ault can be reached by email at tault@reedermedia.com.