Category Archives: Social Capital

Police Commit to Community Outreach

Date: Friday, January 14, 2011
Contact: Lt. Guy Toussaint, Community Services Bureau
Phone: 951-826-5902
Contact: Assistant Chief Christopher O. Vicino
Phone: 951-826-5522

Police Commit to Community Outreach

Riverside, California – Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz is pleased to
announce the creation of the Community Services Bureau (CSB) to
strengthen the relationship between the community and the police
department. The CSB will provide a proactive and innovative approach to
problem solving, personal safety and crime prevention. The Bureau will be
under the command of Lieutenant Guy Toussaint and will report directly to
Assistant Chief Christopher Vicino.
“Community Policing is not a goal in and of itself; the purpose of Community
Policing is to help achieve a safer and more livable city. The CSB has been
tasked with developing and delivering Riverside Police Department programs
to enhance our Community Policing efforts thereby making our
neighborhoods safer and better” said Chief Sergio Diaz.
Personnel in the CSB will coordinate the Police Department’s community
programs including the Citizen’s Academy, Crime Free Multi-Housing,
Neighborhood and Business Watch, Teen 2 Teen, Traffic Education, the
Volunteer Unit and Youth Court. In addition, several new programs are in the
planning stages including a Teen Internship Program and a Police Mentor
The CSB will coordinate and track all community programs, facilitate media
events, and assist staff in other divisions with community measures. The
Bureau will be managed by Sergeant Dan Warren and Supervisor Karen
Haverkamp and is staffed with five Police Officers and three Police Service
For more information about the Community Services Bureau or the programs
offered, contact Supervisor Karen Haverkamp at 951-826-5644 or

Citizen Scientists?

I was talking with Diana Ruiz, Public Affairs Manager for the Riverside – Corona Resource Conservation District about a variety of opportunities  our rich natural environment provides for showing what the true nature of social capital looks like when we measure the  impact on quality of life and economic development.

Ralph Nunez, Riverside’s Parks and Recreation Director and Alisa Sramala the Trails Coordinator are well aware of the potential economic advantage a vibrant trails network could contribute to Riverside’s economy.  There’s a lot of work to do and unfortunately much of it is geared to keeping the wheels on the wagon of delivering current park & rec programs.

The Friends Of Riverside’s Hills a long time  advocate for trails and preserving and restoring our vibrant natural habitat has taken the lead on this project. With the Santa Ana River Trail project being adopted, a number of groups involved in education, health care, environment and recreation are beginning to imagine the possibility of a well used, conveniently connected  network of trails.

This is something fairly easy to implement. It’s  low cost and returns an appreciating high value community asset.  It’s no accident the focus of  UCR’s Medical School will be on raising community health outcomes. Increasing recreational options and making them easy to access is a first step toward positive health outcomes for all of us. Move it or lose it still applies when it comes to our health.

I’m told the Riverside Metropolitan Museum is developing a program for citizen scientists. I wonder how it could turn out if some of them were interested in helping to map and record the necessary data to make this a reality? When I think of turning ‘places into spaces’, this is one of the best ways we have to demonstrate what “Seizing Our Destiny” looks like.

Arlington High School just took first place at the 2010 International Canon Envirothon Championships. They are five time state champs. That tells me something about our social capital. We’re already engaged, energized and effective.

It gets even better.  Samantha Wilson, UCR’s Undergraduate Coordinator for Research in Community is actively looking for neighborhood/city  projects to match with interested students and faculty advisors. We have a living breathing think tank for citizen initiated and implemented projects designed to expand our quality of life.

I think somebody let the genie out of the bottle when they called it Seizing Our Destiny. Either that or we’re starting to get a lot better talking about what’s wanted and needed right now.

Sustainable UCR Celebrates Earth Day And Community Garden Milestone

Neighborhood invited to celebrate with Sustainable UCR at a low-key, acoustic concert to culminate our Earth Week events. The acoustic concert will be on Friday, April 23, from 5-8 PM at our community garden, called “The Growve” off of Watkins Drive.

The concert is called “Groove at the Growve” and there will be no amplified sound. Anyone from the neighborhood is welcome to attend, and it is free. (Anyone is also welcome to join our community garden or attend any of our Earth Week events, and they are all free). We don’t want to do anything that would upset the neighbors.Our goal is to create a sense of community, where everyone feels empowered to change the world.

You can check out for Earth Week events.Included are several workshops on composting, energy conservation, sustainABLE living, and a food systems workshop, as well as tree planting, and other interactive demonstrations.
Please contact if you have questions.

In the meantime, let’s celebrate the milestone of creating a wonderful community asset in just over one year.  Very inspiring!