Placer sheriff’s office establishes posts at Northstar-at-Tahoe, Squaw Valley USA |

Placer sheriff’s office establishes posts at Northstar-at-Tahoe, Squaw Valley USA

Jason Shueh
Sierra Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; There’s a new star on Mount Pluto; it’s colored in gold, trimmed in black and at its top reads the unmistakable word: and#8220;Sheriff.and#8221;

The emblem belongs to the Placer County Sheriff’s Department, and its move to the mountain is the result of an agreement between Northstar-at-Tahoe and Placer County, in which the resort offers the sheriff department a service station for free.

and#8220;The present economic challenges have enabled Placer sheriff’s department and local community to think outside of traditional business models to the advantage of people working, living in and visiting our beautiful resort destinations,and#8221; said PCSD Capt. Jeff Granum, adding the service stations will serve the entire North Tahoe area, and are not limited to the resorts.

The sheriff’s department made a similar deal recently with Squaw Valley USA and is in talks to Homewood and Alpine Meadows ski resorts.

In 2009, the recession forced the sheriff’s department to close three service centers in the area including at Kings Beach, Carnelian Bay and Granite Bay; at the same time, Granum said, it opened up commercial spaces at ski resorts when certain businesses left.

While Auburn remains the department’s headquarters, Granum said the agreement allows the department to have a presence in the Tahoe area.

The department will staff the service stations two days a week. In the future, Granum said he foresees community volunteers lending time to staff the service stations on additional days.

and#8220;The main advantage for us here is to get patrolmen out to their patrol cars and meeting with the public and making it a safe place and pleasant place,and#8221; Granum said. and#8220;If somebody is thinking about doing something, they might think twice because we are out here.and#8221;

He said the department will not focus on cracking down on any specific crimes at the resorts; instead, law enforcement is there to re-establish a security presence in Tahoe and help resorts with any security needs.

Granum said some of those needs include a predesignated meeting point for lost and found property reports, theft reports, lift-ticket scalpers and search and rescue operations.

and#8220;It’s just a good community outreach. All we’re trying to do is promote safety, promote family values and promote a good healthy community,and#8221; said Heath Nielsen, Northstar’s vice president of commercial operations, about the agreement. and#8220;So it’s not about catching bad people, it’s about just having a presence here and showing that good will.and#8221;

Amelia Richmond, Squaw Valley USA spokeswoman, shared a similar view.

and#8220;I think the impact will be more behind the scenes and it will be that additional level of security if it’s needed,and#8221; she said. and#8220;We’re happy to have them here and they will be extra hands to help support our own security crews and patrols should anything arise.”

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