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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Santee’s New Top Cop

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Capt. James Bovet
James Bovet, Santee’s newest chief law enforcement officer, said he hopes to reduce the city’s crime rate by focusing on criminals involved with the sale and use of illegal drugs.
“Right now, countywide, we are battling a huge heroin addiction problem,” said Bovet, a San Diego County Sheriff’s Department captain who took over as Santee’s de facto police chief on Dec. 27.

Experience has shown that drug addicts can trigger spikes in property crime, including burglaries of homes, retail stores and vehicles, he said. One reason Santee is prone to crimes involving theft is because the city has a wealth of retail outlets.

While the rate of violent crime is dropping in Santee, property theft is trending upward

“We don’t want the trend to continue,” said Bovet, who over the course of his 25-year career with the sheriff’s department once served as a narcotics detective at the Santee Station. “We’ll do some things to combat narcotics trafficking and use.”
Bovet also prefers to attack crime through information-led policing, which involves identifying  crime patterns through deep statistical analysis of crime statistics and their geographic distribution.

“We analyze all that information into a product that identifies and prioritizes our crime fighting mission each month,” he said. “By doing this, we are able make an educated guess about who, what, when, where and why crime is occurring.”
He described his overall approach to crime fighting as “enforcement, disruption and prevention.”

Bovet said the traditional strong support from Santee residents is crucial.
“When people have a gut instinct that something is wrong, they are almost always right,” he said.  “Citizens are a big part of solving crime because we can’t be everywhere all the time.”

Bovet said he likes the department’s current approach to traffic enforcement and he will continue the emphasis on discouraging drunken driving through DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols.
The city’s recent acceptance of formerly private streets within the Sky Ranch community poses some new challenges because the steep roads are a temptation to speeders and skate boarders.

Bovet said he’ll continue the tradition of community meetings to talk one-on-one with local residents to stay in tune with their concerns.
“I’d like to stay in this job for a long time,” he said.

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