Police Raid Recovers Weapons and Narcotics At Troubled Royal Oaks Mobile Home Park

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Weapons seized by police at Royal Oak Mobile Home Park - photo courtesy of Davis Police
Weapons seized by police at Royal Oaks Mobile Home Park – photo courtesy of Davis Police

The Vanguard received reports early on Wednesday of a SWAT operation. Police sources later informed the Vanguard that a multi-jurisdictional force served high-risk warrants on five residences in the Royal Oak Mobile Home Park in Davis at 8:15 on Wednesday morning.

Officers from the Yolo Narcotics Enforcement Team, the Davis Police Department SAFE (Special Assignments and Focused Enforcement) Team and several allied agencies (Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, Woodland Police Department, West Sacramento Police Department, Yolo County Probation Department, California Department of Corrections Special Service Unit, Yolo County Bomb Squad, Sacramento Police Department, and  the California Highway Patrol were involved in the operation.

The search warrants and subsequent arrests were the result of a four-month investigation into narcotics dealing in that neighborhood.

Police recovered 168 marijuana plants, 3 lbs. of marijuana, and a concentrated cannabis lab. A related search warrant carried out in Sacramento netted 1.5 lbs. of methamphetamine.

Marijuana seized from Royal Oaks raid -  - photo courtesy of Davis Police
Marijuana seized from Royal Oaks raid – – photo courtesy of Davis Police

Also recovered from the searches at the Royal Oaks trailer park were multiple firearms and ammunition, including 2 assault rifles, and tools and parts used to manufacture assault weapons.

One residence was condemned as being uninhabitable, and two children were placed into protective custody.

Assistant Chief Darren Pytel told the Vanguard, “The searches carried out today were the culmination of months of work into repeated complaints of thefts, drug activity and drug sales occurring in Royal Oaks.“

“Area residents have been complaining the area has been largely ignored and crime has festered to the point they felt unsafe having their children be there,” he said. “That is not acceptable. Today we removed a drug lab, a marijuana grow, illegal guns, parts used to make assault weapons, and a large quantity of methamphetamine.”

Assistant Chief Pytel added, “This is a good start towards taking care of the criminal activity that has festered there. We will continue to look into related activity and work with the community to make sure it’s safe for the hardworking families that live there.”

Police package evidence seized in raid  - photo courtesy of Davis Police
Police packaged meth seized in raid – photo courtesy of Davis Police

The Royal Oaks Manufactured Home Community has represented an ongoing problem. Located and surrounded on three sides by the city of Davis, the mobile park itself is outside of the city limits, on county land. That has presented ongoing problems.

In July, the Davis Human Relations Commission cited the large number of highly vulnerable residents and the unsafe conditions in the park, asking the city-county two-by-two to look at this issue. To date, this has not yet occurred.

There are a large number of non-native speaking residents in the mobile home park, some percentage of which are undocumented workers.

A number of complaints have arisen over the years, where residents have complained about being tricked into purchasing units that turned out to be uninhabitable. They were lured in by cheap prices, promotional rents, and promises of home ownership.

While Royal Oak provides some of the only truly affordable home-ownership options for very poor people in Davis, many have accused the mobile home park of violating countless laws. There are many units with no electricity and unsafe wiring.

A 2012 story that appeared in the Davis Enterprise illustrated how a family of six, including two young children, were hospitalized after being sickened by a deadly level of carbon monoxide gas.

Fire crews came to the rescue at 6 am at the home on Hedy Lane inside the Royal Oak mobile home park.

“When the crew arrived they noticed not only the condition of the patients, but also a strange odor in the home,” then-Fire Chief Bill Weisgerber said.

The paper reports, “The crew took a carbon-monoxide reading and discovered a level of 380 parts per million inside the residence, according to Weisgerber. A level of up to nine parts per million is considered normal, while levels over 100 ppm are labeled dangerous.”

“So they were in real trouble,” Chief Weisgerber said. “They were lucky they woke up.”

The report continued, “It’s believed a faulty appliance such as a water heater or wall heater was to blame for the carbon monoxide leak, Weisgerber said. Gas lines to the residence were shut off Saturday, and PG&E workers pulled the meter ‘so that nothing could be put back into service without the appliances being checked.’”

This is unfortunately not an atypical problem and we have heard, from PG&E officials, real concerns about the safety of the electrical wiring in the complex. However, they too have limited ability to deal with the matter because, in part, mobile homes have special status.

The police raid on Royal Oaks will help in the short term, but, longer term, officials in the city of Davis and Yolo County need to step up and protect vulnerable residents from exploitation and unsafe living conditions.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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120 thoughts on “Police Raid Recovers Weapons and Narcotics At Troubled Royal Oaks Mobile Home Park”

  1. PhilColeman

    OK, a real dilemma here. The police addressed the criminal element. But there is another element that exists that needs to be addressed but probably won’t.

    From all appearances, large portions of Royal Oaks’ residents are living in conditions that don’t even remotely meet minimum housing and health code requirements. The County Department with enforcement responsibility can, and doubtlessly should, condemn the structures as not being fit for human occupancy. To put it bluntly, we have a concentration of slum lords (or ladies) that are profiting from folks at an extreme cultural and economic disadvantage. Part of me says, put these profiteers against a brick wall and hand them a blindfold and a cigarette. Probably a more temperate measure is that we should issue a bunch of citations compelling the slum lords to answer in a court of law.

    Sounds good, doesn’t it, and the residents’ living conditions receive government attention that appears to have been negligent for heaven knows how long. But now the dilemma.

    What do you do with the numerous family members left on the street or driveway? Are there adequate long-term shelter facilities somewhere in the county to accept these families displaced by responsible code enforcement measures? I’m betting they’re not– and so–do we forget code enforcement measures and continue to let the slum lords prosper?

    1. Tia Will

      Phil

      Another question. Why not have the landlords answer in a court of law and have the penalty if found guilty be fines sufficient to cover the cost of the housing of the involved families. With a
      “housing first” perspective, I would recommend that the involved families be housed at the cost of the county and the county be reimbursed from the fines levied on the “slum profiteers”.
      This would in effect be a simple matter of restoration of what they claimed they were providing in the first place, but clearly were not, namely safe housing. Is this feasible under our current laws ?

      1. PhilColeman

        Tia:

        I’ll reluctantly abandon my brick-wall solution in favor of yours. Now, you just have to get the judicial system (assuming a code violation finding) to agree to your proposed solution.

        I’ll supplement your suggestion by proposing that slum lords shall be compelled to live in the squalor housing they own pending their court date. You might be getting a faint hint that I hate slum lords.

      2. South of Davis

        Tia wrote:

        > Another question. Why not have the landlords answer in a court of law
        > and have the penalty if found guilty be fines sufficient to cover the cost
        > of the housing of the involved families.

        Most of the “code violations” are caused by the tenants (I doubt many “landlords” wire up the pot grow rooms for the “tenants”) and the police will do little to help a landlord (or neighbors) get rid of a drug dealer unless they become big time dealers and/or get the cops mad at them (I heard people have been complaining for YEARS about the drug dealer with lots of guns in East Davis arrested last month)…

        1. Tia Will

          South of Davis

          So let me make sure that I am understanding you correctly. Is it your position that the majority of folks that are living in sub standard housing in this trailer park are criminals ? If that is your assertion, I would really like to see your evidence.

          1. South of Davis

            Tia wrote:

            > So let me make sure that I am understanding you correctly. Is it your position
            > that the majority of folks that are living in sub standard housing in this trailer
            > park are criminals

            My position is that most (but not all) people living in “sub standard” housing are the ones that made it “sub standard” due to lack of cleaning, maintenance and/or illegal non-permitted changes.

            Not to just pick on “trailer trash” since most (but not all) fraternity members in America live in “sub standard” housing for similar reasons…

          2. South of Davis

            DP wrote:

            > I think this is appalling racism and classism.
            > you should be ashamed of yourself.

            My point was that bad housekeeping is not in just one class (or race) of people. One of the most disgusting placed I’ve ever spent the night was in a Cornell fraternity house…

          3. Davis Progressive

            this isn’t an issue of bad housekeeping. this is an issue of criminal negligence by the owner of the mobile home park on many different levels.

  2. wdf1

    I don’t have a source for this, but I had heard that at one time Royal Oaks was within Davis city limits, but at one point the city council redrew the boundary lines to exclude the trailer park. It would mean that the City of Davis no longer had primary responsibility for the residents of that neighborhood.

        1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

          Royal Oaks has always been outside the city limits. Two things to keep in mind:

          First, when Royal Oaks was laid out, it was way outside the Davis city limits, pretty much like El Macero was. They were built about the same time. (There are a couple of single family homes within Royal Oaks which are even older and of course predate the mobile home park.);

          Second, when Davis annexed the rest of what is now South Davis, it drew the lines such that they kept the three developments* which were already there–El Macero, Willowbank and Royal Oaks–unincorporated, presumably because the property owners did not want to be inside the city’s boundaries.

          *Within incorporated South Davis are one or two homes which predate the annexation, but were not within a larger subdivision development. One of these is 1140 Los Robles, aka the Werner-Hamel House. Here is what was written about that house when it was designated as a City Landmark: “This structure, built in 1859, is a square two-story house with a hip roof. It exhibits elements of Classical Revival and Italianate styles. Classical elements occur in the porch and dentil courses and symmetry of the building. Italianate elements are the structure’s overall form, hip roof, quoined corners and cornices, brackets at the eaves, and porch canopy balustrades. The structure has been moved from its original site, and stands in its new location without the tank house, barn and brick sheds that once formed the farm complex for which it was the focal point. The additions to the rear and the second story were constructed in 1882.”

    1. hpierce

      Your information is flawed. The mobile home park land has never been within the City boundary, although there have been agreements approved to serve the site with City water and sanitary sewer. The City owned a sewer plant near the SW corner of the MHP, and was within the City, but that property was sold and transferred to the property to the west. COD never had primary responsibility to owners/residents of the MHP site.

    1. South of Davis

      hpierce wrote:

      > As far as at least interim housing… are the affordable units the
      > City acquired (Pacifico?) still vacant?

      Pacifico has been OVER half vacant for OVER ten (10) years (and things seem to have gone from bad to worse since the City of Davis foreclosed on the property ~4 years ago.

      As anyone that rides past Royal Oak and Pacifico on the bike trail has seen there has been a lot of improvements and new trailers at Royal Oak, but no noticeable work at Pacifico.

      P.S. To Highbeam the name of the park is Royal Oak (not Royal Oaks):
      http://www.royaloakmhp.com/

  3. South of Davis

    David wrote:

    > The Royal Oaks Manufactured Home Community has represented an ongoing problem.
    > Located and surrounded on three sides by the city of Davis, the mobile park itself is
    > outside of the city limits, on county land. That has presented ongoing problems.

    I’ve never lived in a trailer (like Frankly) but I’ve been amazed how almost everyone in the well educated left just HATES trailers (and trailer parks) and even the mention of a trailer or trailer park will typically lead to multiple “trailer trash” jokes (and usually a couple GOP/White Trash and/or Camaro/Firebird jokes).

    I may have missed it but I didn’t see any mention of the big drug bust in East Davis (where Tia lives) last month on the Vanguard that found even MORE guns:
    http://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/crime-fire-courts/drugs-weapons-recovered-from-east-davis-home/

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      Both of your points miss the point. (A) I don’t have a problem with mobile home parks, but this one has a lot of problems. I will hopefully get permission to publish more on that soon. (B) The drug bust isn’t the point either, it’s the location that is of issue.

      1. South of Davis

        David wrote:

        > Both of your points miss the point. (A) I don’t have a problem with mobile home parks,
        > but this one has a lot of problems. I will hopefully get permission to publish more on
        > that soon. (B) The drug bust isn’t the point either, it’s the location that is of issue.

        So the point is to report drug busts with lots of guns ONLY if they are “located” in a Davis area mobile home park?

        P.S. I just noticed one of the AR15s had a custom “Fram oil filter” silencer…

    2. Michelle Millet

      I don’t think David is implying that the ongoing problem is the existence of the trailer park. The ongoing problem is the living conditions within the trailer park. His concern seems to be for the residents.

    3. DavisBurns

      South of Davis, hey, hey, I have lived in a trailer and I even have relatives who OWN the trailers they live in. But if you can’t pull it behind a car, it’s really not a trailer. If you have to hire a moving company to deliver it and it stays in one place most of its life, it’s a mobile home although it is only mobile in that it can be moved. But then I’ve seen “real” houses being moved too.

    4. Alan Miller

      “I didn’t see any mention of the big drug bust in East Davis (where Tia lives) last month”

      Off by well over a mile. While it is not mine to say where anyone lives, no one in this area considers themselves to be in “East Davis”.

      May I point out that “Royal Oak” is “South of Davis”.

  4. Rich RifkinWDE 73

    There are a large number of non-native speaking residents in the mobile home park, some percentage of which are undocumented workers.

    What?!!!

    What is a non-native speaking resident? English does not appear to be your strong suit.

      1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

        It is a common term and thus a clear term only if you state which language the non-native does not speak. Instead of writing obliquely, “There are a large number of non-native speaking residents in the mobile home park,” it is much better English to write instead, “There are a large number immigrants in the mobile home park whose English is limited.”

          1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

            I don’t think it is rude to help someone improve his writing. If Davis wants his columns to be clear and precise, my advice is helpful.

            On the other hand, hiding behind a fake name and calling me “rude” is quite rude. Of course, you don’t care if you are rude and hurtful. It’s the way you were raised.

          2. Don Shor

            [moderator] You’ve had the last word. This is now off topic. Perhaps in the future you can send your editing suggestions directly to David instead of posting them.

  5. South of Davis

    Rich wrote:

    > What is a non-native speaking resident?

    As someone who has ridden his bike through Royal Oak I’m guessing that it is a Mexican (since everyone in the park other than the two white guys working on the new trailer I saw from the bike trail appeared to be Mexican)…

    1. darelldd

      I’m preeeety sure you missed Rich’s point, SoD. Anybody who speaks a language is likely going to be speaking their native language. Spanish is as much a native language as Chinese, German, Swedish and… in come cases, even English.

      1. South of Davis

        Darell wrote:

        > I’m preeeety sure you missed Rich’s point, SoD.

        I was just trying to make the point that writers with a left of center world view (like David) almost always mention the someone is Latino or Black when they do something good (e.g. African American overcomes poverty and graduates at the top of his class) but almost never mention the race of Latinos or Blacks when they are doing something bad (often using some interesting language to do this)…

    2. Rich RifkinWDE 73

      If a person is born in Mexico and speaks Spanish* as his native language, then he is considered a native Spanish speaker. Yet Mr. Greenwald, in an awkward attempt to butcher the English language, mistakenly called such people non-native speaking residents, when, of course, they simply have a native language other than his.

      *About 5-6 million people in Mexico speak an indigenous language as their first tongue. Nahuatl, Yucatec, Mixtec and Zapotec are the most common. Approximately 1 million Mexican Indians speak little or no Spanish. (Note: Those were the numbers when I lived in Mexico a long time ago. It’s not unlikely they are now a bit different.)

  6. Frankly

    So, let’s say these bad guys are holed up pointing their AK47s out the window and saying they also have explosives rigged and hostages. That MRAP would sure come in handy about that time.

      1. Don Shor

        Yolo Narcotics Enforcement Team, the Davis Police Department SAFE (Special Assignments and Focused Enforcement) Team and several allied agencies (Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, Woodland Police Department, West Sacramento Police Department, Yolo County Probation Department, California Department of Corrections Special Service Unit, Yolo County Bomb Squad, Sacramento Police Department, and the California Highway Patrol were involved in the operation.

        I’m guessing at least one of those agencies has an MRAP or something similar.

        1. Frankly

          Sure… typical Davis approach. Let everyone else be responsible while we throw our tantrums.

          Other communities can provide the housing.

          Other communities can provide the shopping.

          Other communities can provide the jobs.

          Other communities can provide the tools for law enforcement.

          See the pattern?

          1. Don Shor

            No, I would say that an MRAP would be needed sufficiently rarely that it is the responsibility of the kinds of law enforcement agencies that deal with those rare, very dangerous situations to maintain the suitable equipment. This situation was dangerous enough to require a half-dozen agencies to respond, including those likely equipped for those situations. It would be basically stupid and wasteful for each of those responding agencies to maintain an MRAP: it would be a waste of money and staff time. The investigation went on over months. The agencies knew the likely hazards. They brought the equipment they thought was appropriate. Evidently you think you know better than they do as to what was necessary.
            So your point is nonsensical.
            That’s the pattern I see.

          2. Anon

            The MRAP needs to be available within the first hour of an incident. So in a particular situation, trying to get another city’s MRAP may not be sufficient protection.

          3. Don Shor

            So every city needs an MRAP? I believe all of those agencies are within an hour’s drive. I believe the agencies know what they are doing. If they needed an MRAP for this incident, they would have had one.

        2. Michelle Millet

          I was under the impression that the armored vehicle we have access to for use in these situation, in ill repair and needs to be replaced. I’m basing part of my argument on why we should consider keeping the MRAP on this assumption. Is it a false one?

          1. Don Shor

            Please count the number of agencies involved in this raid. I think they sent what they felt they needed. Like Frankly, you think you know better.

          2. Michelle Millet

            Another part of the problem, is when we rely on using other agencies equipment, our police force loses control over how that equipment is used or not used. I’d prefer our own police force, who are accountable to us, are the ones making the decisions.

          3. Frankly

            I agree. I guess the anti-police protection crowd trust other outside law enforcement more than they trust our own men and women in blue.

          4. Barack Palin

            Also it strikes me as funny that the anti-police protection crowd are okay with other communities owning protection vehicles so we can borrow them if needed.

          5. Michelle Millet

            Don-That is not the impression I was left with after hearing the police chief address this issue at the council meeting. He made it sound like control over the scene was given to the outside agency when their equipment/man power was used, and they made different decisions then our force would have made.

    1. Robert Canning

      Good preventive police work makes having people point deadly weapons at police a moot point. Cudo’s to YONET for good investigative work to prevent violence before it happens. This is another example of not needing an MRAP.

      1. Michelle Millet

        I drive in my car all the time without getting into an accident. Should I stop wearing my seatbelt? Should I not have strapped my kids into their carseats when they were little? They would still be alive and well today if I hadn’t?

        1. South of Davis

          Michelle wrote:

          > I drive in my car all the time without getting into an accident.
          > Should I stop wearing my seatbelt?

          I am in favor of the Davis Police wearing seatbelts also…When Michelle and many others in Davis start adding armor to their minivans to withstand a blast from an IED than I will probably agree that the city “needs” a MRAP…

        2. Alan Miller

          “I drive in my car all the time without getting into an accident. Should I stop wearing my seatbelt?”

          You should probably wear a helmet in your car. You would be much safer.

          1. Michelle Millet

            It is the logic behind that argument that we did just fine without MRAP in this situation so clearly we don’t need it that I’m finding fault with. It is not a good reason not to keep it. Just like me saying I didn’t wear my seat belt on my last car trip and I’m still alive, thus I don’t think I should wear one in the future is also an unsound argument.

          2. Davis Progressive

            awhile ago i had to investigate a man who was tasered by police and died. one of my jobs was to determine whether the police needed to use the taser in that particular situation. what i learned from that investigation is that if you have tools in your possession, you will use them. a lot of police officers told me that when the police got tasers they started using them a lot and unnecessarily and they forgot they had other tools. i think that is part of what we forget here. we might have been able to use the mrap at royal oak, but perhaps not. perhaps using the mrap would have give police a false sense of security. the fact that we were able to complete the operation without one suggests to me that we shouldn’t fall back on its use now.

          3. Frankly

            This is just a training and protocol issue. Tools are tools. Certain tools should be used for certain situations and not others. That can be put in policy and procedure and trained.

            I have employees that periodically select the wrong office tool. So should I just eliminate the tool so they don’t make the same mistake, or should I train them to better select the correct tool?

          4. Davis Progressive

            having done a number of these cases i disagree. moreover, there is an overall culture in a lot police departments that lead to problems. i’m not saying that police are bad, there are a lot of very good ones and we are lucky to have them right now running our department in davis. but that hasn’t always been the case.

          5. Robert Canning

            Frankly says: “Tools are tools. Certain tools should be used for certain situations and not others. That can be put in policy and procedure and trained.”

            That’s great unless the policies violate people’s rights or harm people in other ways. The large criminal justice organization who pays me had great policies for the use of pepper spray in “use of force” situations. Staff were well trained to the policies and they applied them well – until they didn’t – and someone needlessly died.

      2. Antoinnette

        Yes….agree, Robert….Cudo’s for YONET!

        I am glad our law enforcement is on these things…I have enjoyed this town for 32 years and it’s safety up until the last few years. All of the things happening now with crime is making it a bit scary….and that is not a good feeling after feeling so safe..but I am proud of the men who helped in cleaning this stuff up.

        And happy no one got hurt….:)

    2. DavisBurns

      Yeah, but they weren’t holed up were they? I’m sure the police wore their SWAT gear. Hell, I talked to an officer the other day, middle of the day, not much going on an he was wearing a bullet proof vest. Weird. Anyway, if they had the MRAP, put the SWAT clad folks in it and the door didn’t malfunction so they could both get in and get out and they rolled up to the trailer, I think they’d be conspicuous and the residents might have taken their arrival as an opportunity to use those rifles, then we would have them stuck inside. At some point they have to actually approach the dwelling so they have to leave the vehicle and it’s armor plating at some point. No. I think they didn’t need it and using it would have made things worse.

      1. Barack Palin

        They weren’t holed up this time, but they did have the weaponry to cause much harm. Keep rolling the dice so some in our community can feel good about not having the MRAP.

        1. Don Shor

          This is as nonsensical as what Frankly and Michelle are saying. If they need an MRAP, they can get one. If a situation is really dangerous, multiple agencies will be involved. This time, multiple agencies were involved. They brought what they needed.
          This is getting to be a broken record from the pro-MRAP crowd. Nobody’s rolling the dice. The agencies will bring what they need. They know what they are doing. There are state and federal agencies involved if necessary. The equipment is there. Every single agency doesn’t need to have every conceivable piece of equipment for every possible contingency because — believe it or not — they cooperate with each other.

          1. Barack Palin

            Time is often crucial in a shooting situation and not having a local MRAP that we could’ve had for free is rolling the dice.

          2. Don Shor

            No it isn’t. They know what they’re doing. Following your logic, they’d send the MRAP to every situation, just in case it goes south.

          3. Barack Palin

            No, you’re wrong. If there was a sniper on campus and we needed the MRAP fo shield police or students who were pinned down having a local MRAP would save time, possibly lives, over waiting to obtain one from another outside agency.

      2. Alan Miller

        “At some point they have to actually approach the dwelling so they have to leave the vehicle and it’s armor plating at some point.”

        If we got a real tank, they could just blow the trailer up with the cannon.

    3. Rich RifkinWDE 73

      Actually, this is a perfect example of a case where the MRAP was totally unnecessary. We factually know that. What we cannot know is, if the agencies involved had pulled up in a military vehicle designed for war, if the operation would have gone as well.

      As a (retired) cop in Davis told me several weeks ago in response to my column, the tool which counts in successful law enforcement is the intelligence of the officers, not his guns or even his protective vest. That is, do they make smart decisions or not. My view (not necessarily that cop’s) is that the more violent or protective tools you give the cops, the less likely they are going to rely on their intelligence and the more on their tools.

  7. DavisBurns

    How come the right of center folks keep lumping the non right of center folks together into the left of center folks? Yet those who don’t refer to themselves as left of center have the self control, intelligence, courtesy to make their points without referring to the right of center folks as the right of center folks. Attributing political designations to others does not further dialog. Please, can we make our points based on our own beliefs and refrain from what amounts to name calling?

  8. Alan Miller

    I skipped straight over the comments, but from the picture on top, which looks like the reasons-to-MRAP photos from the City Council meeting, I predict that above me is a rehashing of the MRAP issue, with nothing new said. Now I’ll read the comments.

    1. Frankly

      Ever shot a 223 caliber AR with the inexpensive full metal jacket rounds (about $.50 per round and wildly available)?

      I have. The bullets travel through everything except thick steel plating, a largish tree stump or a big berm of dirt. (which brings me to a creative idea I have).

      Two of the guns pictured are 223 caliber AR 16 assault rifles. The clip appears to be a 20 round version.

      I wonder if any of the anti-MRAP people have a family member in law enforcement that would be responsible for these types of calls? I doubt it. It seems to me that people are making cops sacrificial lambs to prop up a false worldview of peace and harmony.

      My creative idea is for Don Shor to help design a new liberal-approved social sensitive MRAP that is surrounded by large tree stumps and containers of soil.

      1. Don Shor

        I actually didn’t care at all about the MRAP issue and barely commented on it all until you, Michelle, Barack Palin, and Anon decided you were going to bring it up over and over again and make incredibly specious arguments for it. Implying that people hate cops. Telling people they would be responsible for adverse outcomes. Conjuring up fanciful scenarios that would require we have an MRAP in fifteen minutes rather than thirty. Feeling deep concern that ‘our’ police agency should always control the crime scene, even if another agency is present with different resources and skills sets.
        The simple answer to all of this persiflage is that agencies cooperate, providing resources at the level necessary. This incident illustrated that.

        1. Michelle Millet

          I’m still stunned by the fact that Frankly, Barack Palin, and I can be lumped together on the same side of an argument. This is probably as rare of an occurrence as a total eclipse of the sun.

          1. Frankly

            Maybe we can create a more acceptable Davis-style MRAP using those mega-sized plastic green waste containers and compressed layers of all the trash that Michelle collects in her zero waste projects.

        2. Tia Will

          “Feeling deep concern that ‘our’ police agency should always control the crime scene, even if another agency is present with different resources and skills sets.”

          This sentiment reminds me of the letter from some local political leaders who expressed similar ideas about why there should not be joint operations of the Davis City Fire Department and the UCD Fire Department. This line of reasoning was wrong headed then, and it is wrong headed now. I strongly agree with Don that we should be pursuing more, not less inter agency cooperation. This incident clearly demonstrates what can be accomplished cooperatively. Once again, if our police can show evidence that an MRAP is useful in local policing rather than speculation of how it might be useful, I would be willing to reconsider.

        3. Davis Progressive

          ” Feeling deep concern that ‘our’ police agency should always control the crime scene, even if another agency is present with different resources and skills sets.”

          of course our policy agency was operating in the sheriff’s jurisdiction.

  9. DurantFan

    I understand that many (the majority) of the elementary students from these areas attend Marguerite Montgomery Elementary School. Shouldn’t that give the City of Davis (and the School Board for that matter) some say in the welfare of the children from these areas!?!

    1. wdf1

      As it is within the jurisdiction of the school district, I understand that district staff who more directly serve these students are well aware of issues in this community, and make appropriate referrals when and where they can.

      1. DurantFan

        I understand that the vast majority of them attend MME, and few (if any) attend Pioneer. It is too bad that the apparent segregation of disadvantaged young elementary schoolchildren from this poverty strickened area into one elementary schoo is not an issue for the School Board, especially with an election coming up..

        1. Michelle Millet

          Given it’s proximity to MME, my guess is parents would prefer that their kids attend there instead of making the longer trek to Pioneer. For the record, MME is a wonderful school. The teachers are fabulous, the facilities and grounds are beautiful, they have wonderful programs for example, every child starting in 1st grade has pull-out science 4 days a week, there is a wonderful support structure set up there for parents and kids. Like every school it has challenges, but I would not hesitate to send my children there.

          1. South of Davis

            Michelle wrote:

            > I would not hesitate to send my children there

            I thought you mentioned in the past that you did send your kids there? Did the combination of the kids from Royal Oak with the “diversity” of the migrant camp kids get you to transfer to Pioneer (like so many others in South Davis)…

          2. Michelle Millet

            My kids are in the Montessori Program at Birch Lane. Our neighborhood school is Pioneer, although we live much closer to MME. (MME was our street’s neighborhood school, when my kids were pre-schoolers, until Valley Oak closed and district lines where redrawn.) If Montessori were no longer an option I would most likely apply for an inter-district transfer to MME. I work as a substitute teacher and spent a lot of time on that site. The teachers I’ve worked with at that school are fantastic, the site is beautiful, and they have great programs.

          3. wdf1

            I agree with all you say. But for me it’s more about making Spanish-speaking parents aware of what programs and resources are available to them in the district. As it appears to me, the default policy of the district is that it will do everything possible to inform parents, in Spanish, when it has some potential direct effect on test scores. In other words, anything connected to the basic curricula of math and ELA (English Language Arts) that might get tested for.

            Beyond that, not so much. IMO there is inadequate outreach and information in Spanish for such programs as music, athletics, AIM, Montessori, Da Vinci, robotics, various after school enrichment activities, clubs, etc. Because of the lack of information/outreach, they participate at lower rates across the board. They become isolated, not just by neighborhood, but socially, because of the language barrier.

            I was critical of Mr. Feagle’s Montessori Charter school proposal last spring for similar reasons. He used the achievement gap as a justification for the need to approve his charter school, but didn’t appear to do much to reach out to that target demographic.

          4. Michelle Millet

            You are not going to get any arguments from me here. (Except that Jonathan was eager and willing to do whatever it took to increase outreach efforts, if an idea was presented to him he would have incorporated it ). District outreach in regards to its alternative programs is inadequate to say the least. Myself and other Montessori parents tried to bring this to their attention and offer some solutions a couple years ago, but nothing ever came of it from the district/school board level. Alas as I say to my friends, “no one ever listens to me”.

  10. ryankelly

    Michelle, The majority of the community does not want the police to have a MRAP, because of potential misuse. Your concern about protecting police is the usual argument given for the excessive violence by police. This is not a war zone where police are soldiers who have protecting each other as the highest priority. What we want is police whose focus is on protecting and serving the citizens. This is why we hire them. Having a tool specifically designed to protect soldiers in a war zone is inappropriate for the style of policing that we are interested in having in our community. If war conditions suddenly occur (the need to retrieve a wounded victim by vehicle), then we have access to all sorts of vehicles that can do that. But rolling up to a mobile home in a MRAP would be inappropriate – 1) destroys all element of surprise, 2) The officers have to exit the vehicle at some point to actually raid the house, which negates the purpose of safety of the officers, 3) it freaks out the neighborhood, including children, who will then learn to fear police, because they are soldiers who are treating their neighborhood as a war zone and not a resource for the safety of the community.

        1. justme

          When or if a mass shooting happens on campus all the “NO MRAP” people can claim the Police didnt do enough or get in quick enough to save many victims… The MRAP can get people in and get victims out… I do not expect my kitchen to catch fire any time soon but I keep a fire extinguisher on hand at all times….

    1. Frankly

      It is not a war zone, but military grade firearms are in the hands of bad guys and crazy people and fanatics and they will decide when to wage battle with law enforcement.

      This is an inconvenient fact that messes with the softer worldview that some people would prefer we prop up with denial of the hard reality.

      Davis is a bubble without a real moat and barbed wire fencing to keep the hard reality from messing up our little utopia.

      But there is quite a bit of irony here. I was told by law enforcement one day that crooks are generally not stupid, but they are lazy. And soft little Davis attracts the lazy crooks. The existence of an MRAP would actually serve to lower the probability that we would every need it. Think of a group that will rob a bank and take hostages if necessary. Our CC just telegraphed that we are a nice place for them to do business in.

        1. Alan Miller

          It only takes one incident of a paramilitary urban gang to shoot up one of our nursery schools with armor-piercing incendiary bullets from Russian-built sub-machine guns to have our child-murder rate skyrocket.

        2. Frankly

          It is interesting to me how some people fret about a position of strength actually causing more misbehavior. We see it in our local politics, and in our national politics.

          I think this view is ignorant… emotional based and without any hard data to back it up. Frankly, because I am, I have never understood how smart people can hold this view and then sleep well at night. Might as well leave all your windows and doors wide open then… because shutting and locking them might inspire bad behavior!

          The opposite view is that a position of weakness invites misbehavior. This is provable beyond a doubt.

          But a show of weakness is what the CC voted for.

          1. Tia Will

            Frankly

            “without any hard data to back it up.”

            And that is exactly how I feel about those who are supporting the MRAP.

      1. DavisBurns

        What is our crime rate here? Yeah we are easy off easy on for thieves but I can’t imagine a lazy crook turning to his partner and saying,”ya know, Davis just got an MRAP. Maybe we should hit Winters this time cause those Davis cops are really pumped and dangerous”.

        Anybody here every had a car broken into or stolen and had the cops recover it. How bout a burglary?

        1. Davis Progressive

          yolo has one of the highest incarceration rates in the state, if you get caught in yolo, you get the book thrown at you and it’s pretty well known around the defendant world.

      2. Michelle Millet

        The existence of an MRAP would actually serve to lower the probability that we would every need it.

        I’m going to distance myself from you on this one. For me this is about practicality. We have access to an armored vehicle. We have had it for a while. The fact that people don’t seem to be aware of this makes me believe that our police have not used it appropriately. It is in bad shape. We need to replace it. We had the opportunity to do so for basically free. Is the MRAP more then we need? Yes. Is it a lot cheaper then buying another armored vehicle. Yes, by a lot. Let’s paint it like an ice cream truck so people don’t have a panic attack when they see it, save the city hall a million dollars, and move on.

        1. Tia Will

          Michelle

          How many times has the dated armored vehicle been used ? How many lives has it saved ? Where is the evidence that even that is needed ? Demonstrate need and this might be a reasonable consideration. Even if the MRAP were “free”, which it is not, even
          “free” items are no bargain if they are not needed. Have you, yourself not written several times about ridding yourself of un needed items. If the police do indeed need this item, let them show its efficacy and safety in real world policing situations. Again, I am talking about real instances, not speculation about what might be useful

          Also, does anyone know exactly what vehicles were used in the Royal Oaks raid ?

          1. Michelle Millet

            How many lives does it have to save before it is considered useful?

            My kids do lock-down drills at their school, just in case of the unlikely event that a shooter will enter campus and open fire. They have the kids hide in the corner, telling them to be silent while the blinds are drawn, and the doors are locked. Infact someone comes around to all the doors rattling the handle, pretending to be trying to get in, just to make sure the door is locked. You want to talk about terrifying experiences? This is one. Where is the community outrage? Where are all the pepos standing up at school board meetings saying we are creating a culture of fear? This is doing real damage. All the MRAP is doing is providing shelter for our law enforcement officers who are collecting Meth. and weapons from criminals.

          2. Michelle Millet

            Birch Lane did 3 of these type drills in a approximately 2 week period last year. One was a practice lock-down drill, the kind that was implemented after the Sandy Hook shootings, they realized after the drill that a couple classes had been on a field trip the day they had done the initial drill, so they repeated it a few days later. A short time after that the entire school was put into lock down because a kid was reported to be roaming a near by neighborhood with pepper spray. It was awful. My kids were terrified. The psychological damage done from these drills was far worse then anyone is going to experience watching an armored truck that was once used in a “war zone” drive through a Davis. At least the armored vehicle can serve a practical purpose.

          3. Tia Will

            Michelle

            “The psychological damage done from these drills was far worse then anyone is going to experience watching an armored truck”

            Not “anyone”. And this is a key point. For those of us who have actually seen military style weaponry used to threaten our own citizens who were protesting actions of our own government that we considered immoral, the site of an armored vehicle driving through our streets is psychologically damaging.
            This was expressed clearly by many speakers at the CC meeting, and I personally expressed it to you.
            You are continuing to ignore that for many of us, the thought of a vehicle designed specifically for war being used in our community is very, very psychologically damaging. Just because you do not share that sentiment does not make it less so.

            As to your question about how many lives saved to make it worthwhile. One…..would be enough to make me at least re evaluate the situation in my mind. But what has been presented is zero…..not one single case in which the MRAP, in a setting similar to ours has actually saved one single life that would otherwise have been lost.

      3. Tia Will

        Frankly

        “And soft little Davis attracts the lazy crooks”
        “The existence of an MRAP would actually serve to lower the probability that we would every need it.”

        A little incongruity here. Do your really believe that the MRAP is going to be useful in the case of “lazy crooks” ?
        If you are making this assertion, then you are at odds with Chief Black, whose stated belief is that it would be used rarely and only
        against the most dangerous of criminals…..not a lazy individual or group. I can’t see the MRAP being particularly or a deterrent to the typical smash and grab crime that we see near the freeways.

  11. Michelle Millet

    This was posted be someone on a Facebook Post thread of mine:

    “I haven’t read through all comments so I’m sticking by what I know. 2 MRAP-similar vehicles were used for the bust. DPD waited 3 hours for their arrival from other nearby jurisdictions. “

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