Chief Walsh Adamant that Quail Valley, Sun City, Romoland and Others Will Receive Equal Police Services
At less than 1.5 square mile in size, Quail Valley comprises an extremely small portion of Menifee’s 46.6-square-mile community. Technically, it’s only been part of Menifee since Oct. 1, 2008, when it joined with Sun City, Romoland and Menifee to officially incorporate as what we now know as the City of Menifee.
Sun City (7.8 square miles) and Romoland (2.6 square miles) are in a similar situation to Quail Valley. As such, it can be easy for their residents to feel overlooked, minimized or marginalized as Menifee continues to grow and expand its public services.
New Menifee Police Chief Pat Walsh understands this delicate situation. He can also recall a recent conversation with a resident at a community meeting in Sun City.
“He said, ‘We’re Sun City, not Menifee,’” recalls Walsh, who will serve as the inaugural Chief of the first-ever Menifee Police Department when it officially goes to work on July 1, 2020. “I said, ‘That’s fine, but you’re part of Menifee — and we’re policing it.’ We all have to realize that we’re one now.”
As a 36-year veteran of law enforcement in both California and Oregon, Walsh is familiar with the challenges that policing such a diverse “community of communities” like Menifee can present. He’s also completely confident that he and his 60-plus-person police department are ready to meet those challenges.
“Communities like Quail Valley, Sun City and Romoland are very tight-knit,” says Walsh. “They can feel like they’ve been absorbed by Menifee, and they won’t get the same police services that the downtown core will get. But I want them to know that we’re going to police the whole City of Menifee equally. Some people are forecasting that we’ll deliver better services in one area than others, and that’s just not true.”
Walsh is so confident of this, in fact, he voluntarily offered up a guarantee of sorts.
“Give me a month to two months, and if you don’t like our service, call my boss (City Manager Armando G. Villa),” says Walsh. “I’m going to be fair across the board, and we’re going to try to be one of the top five police departments not just in California, but in America. I know that’s a lofty goal, but I think it’s obtainable with the people we’re employing.”
Walsh adds that in addition to the main police station located within the former City Hall on Haun Road, his new department has a substation in Sun City. That’s just one of many ways Walsh and his highly trained, deeply experienced staff will be present for all of Menifee’s residents, regardless of their community status.
“This is just the next evolution of incorporating your own city; getting your own police department,” explains Walsh. “I think with the type of people we’ve been hiring, it has the potential to really tie the city and all of its communities together. We’re focusing on bringing us all together now.”