Bill would grant Broadmoor force full policing powers 

Due to a quirk in state law, this hamlet of unincorporated San Mateo County has for years seen its police force continually left out of expanding policing powers — something a new state Senate bill would change.

The bill, introduced Wednesday by State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, would amend the state’s code to grant the Broadmoor Police Protection District all the rights and duties of a municipal police department.

The more than 4,000 residents of Broadmoor, a pocket of unincorporated county land tucked inside Daly City, pay an annual fee based on property value that funds a police protection district, in the same way some other Peninsula cities pay a tax for fire services.

Broadmoor has been protected by its own police protection district since 1948, but as the once-numerous districts changed into city police departments around the state, "ambiguities in the law" left local police unable to perform certain duties expected of them by residents, Chief Greg Love said.

Broadmoor now has the only single-purpose police protection district in all of California. All other unincorporated areas of San Mateo County are under the jurisdiction of the county Sheriff’s Office.

"What we’re trying to do is have the same rights, privileges and obligations of a city police department bearing in mind that that’s the type of service we provide," Love said. "This is a measure that’s more of a cleanup piece oflegislation."

For example, 1996’s Megan’s Law makes detailed information about registered sex offenders public. Broadmoor residents who ventured to the police station, however, would be directed to the Sheriff’s Office in Redwood City because police protection districts weren’t authorized in the law to disseminate that info, Love said.

The bill will take care of all previous omissions from legislation and include the distict in all future expansion of police powers, Yee said.

"In this era of community policing … it seems rather ironic that Broadmoor police don’t have the tools to engage their community and neighborhood," he said.

The Broadmoor police force is made up of 10 full-time and 31 part-time officers, and operates on a roughly $1.9 million annual budget, Love said.

David Jay, a Broadmoor resident and president of the Property Owners Association, said the Senate bill "just makes sense."

"This is something that provides the Broadmoor police department with a lot more flexibility and some of the rights and capabilities that their fellow departments have," Jay said.

dsmith@examiner.com

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