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Coto de Caza, California is a census-designated place and guard-gated private community in the unincorporated Trabuco Canyon area of Orange County, California. As of the 2000 census, the CDP had a total population of 13,057

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Focus on Coto de Caza Public's Safety


April 21, 2006  


Focus on Public’s Privacy

According to the April 20, 2006 issue of the Wall Street Journal, in February 2006, the Justice Department named Jane Horvath its first privacy and civil liberties officer, making her responsible for developing and ensuring compliance with privacy and civil-liberties policies.


While even critics of the administration applaud the effort, they question what authority these officials have.  “We have been supportive of this concept, but the administration has to give these people more leeway to play the role that has been pitched,” says Caroline Frederickson, director of the Washington office of the American Civil Liberties Union.


Closer to home and diametrically opposed to this pitch, the Coto de Caza board of directors, after two traffic accident fatalities and a shooting with a deadly weapon, among other tragedies has failed to articulate a comprehensive public safety program for the community that includes pro-active traffic control, crime and vandalism prevention and guarding against invasion of privacy – even after numerous proposals have been submitted for consideration.  In fact, the board instead fired a volunteer public safety committee for refusing to give up their civil liberties and instead pursue the board’s personal agendas over public safety.


As recently as April 13, 2006, during the last Coto de Caza board of directors meeting, it was reported that the new and improved public safety committee is still working on a mission statement – apparently keywords “civil liberties” are excluded, as well as “safety” and “prevention” from such mission.  Instead the current Coto de Caza board of director’s crime and vandalism prevention program is for Coto residents to bypass the private security company and directly and immediately call the Sheriff’s office, for anything and everything. 


The board reasons that if the Sheriff gets flooded with calls from Coto residents, then the Sheriff will emulate the Coto de Caza budget process and immediately increase funds for additional services to the community.



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