In 2009, the FBI named Murrieta the second safest city in the U.S. with a population of more than 100,000. It is…More one of the few cities in Riverside County that has its own police force. Over the past decade Murrieta has consistently been the safest city in Riverside County, and within the top ten safest cities in California and the nation.
Led by Chief Mike Baray, the Murrieta Police Department currently has 87 sworn officers and 40 support employees assigned within two divisions, the Operations Division and the Support Division. The Operations Division consists of patrol officers, the traffic bureau and field Police Service Technicians. The Support Division consists of the Detective Bureau, School Resource Officers, Dispatch, Records and Code Enforcement.
Within the Operations Division, patrol officers drive marked patrol vehicles and respond to emergency calls and calls for service related to quality of life issues. They are also responsible for crime prevention during routine patrol. The Traffic Bureau participates yearly in DUI enforcement grants (OTS and Avoid the 30) as well as DUI and seatbelt saturation patrol. The Traffic Bureau operates the city’s red light camera program and participates in educational programs for the community dealing with driver safety. The department fields 6 motorcycle officers and a motor sergeant as their primary enforcement tool.
Currently, the department is fielding a two (2) officer parole / probation compliance team. This unit was put in place in October 2011 in response to Cal State Assembly Bill 109 which realigned prisoners from state to county control and supervision. Subsequently, additional criminally convicted persons were released within the city. The unit has been effective in identifying and arresting parolees and probationers living in the city that are committing criminal acts.
Other department units and programs include SWAT, Crisis Negotiation Team, K-9, Bloodhound, Bike Patrol and Off-Road Motorcycle Patrol.
Within the Support Division, detectives investigate complex investigations referred by patrol. The department’s detective bureau is staffed with general detectives that handle all crimes including, property crimes, sex crimes, robberies, larceny and homicide. The detective bureau’s Special Enforcement Team (S.E.T.) detectives handle quality of life investigations including narcotic enforcement. Three (3) Murrieta detectives are currently assigned to task force units within the county of Riverside working narcotics, auto theft and gangs. The Murrieta Temecula Regional Gang Task force is currently supervised by a Murrieta Police Sergeant. The department houses the regional gang task force assigned to this region.
In cooperation with the Murrieta Valley Unified School District, School Resource Officers are assigned to Murrieta high schools and middle schools. Additionally, the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program is taught by officers in the elementary schools and the “Every 15 Minutes program” is presented in the high schools.
The department’s Code Enforcement Bureau helps protect property owner investment, promote general health and welfare and enhance the quality of the city’s neighborhoods. Code Enforcement is an integral part of the city’s commitment to neighborhood preservation and improvement. The department’s Code Enforcement officers enforce the City of Murrieta Municipal Code, as well as other State of California codes.
The department participates in a number of community programs including Police Activities League, Shop with a Cop, Tip a Cop and the Citizen Ride Along Program. Recently the department started participating in an annual “National Night Out” campaign which brings the community together at Town Center Park every year in August and raises awareness about community safety.
The Murrieta Police department has started using technology based policing equipment utilizing in car cameras, as well as license plate reader software. All technology based policing tools have been deployed with the goal of crime reduction as opposed to revenue driven goals.
The Murrieta Police Department prides itself on exemplary service to the community of Murrieta. The police department lobby is open to the public (see: hours below) and calls for service can be generated from the lobby 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. Dispatch can be reached in the lobby after hours by pressing the call button near the outer doors. The police department lobby is well lit and has a public restroom. The lobby also holds department awards for the public to view and has on display the 25 patches of the original officers that started the department on August 1, 1992. The Murrieta Police Department is on the corner of Juniper Street and Jefferson Avenue, near City Hall.
A 24-hour emergency dispatch line can be reached at 951-696-3615.