RANCHO SANTA FE — If you have not yet checked in on the Rancho Santa Fe Patrol blogspot, now would be a good time to do so. The blogspot, created by Matt Wellhouser, the chief of the Rancho Santa Fe Patrol, is filled with up-to-date local crime information and links to other law enforcement agencies that oversee the community.
The blogspot is the perfect place in which to give details of breaking news to the community in a hurry since there is no reverse 911 system in place yet. It’s also faster to alert people than a newspaper is.
Wellhouser used the example of the numerous mountain lion sightings in the area during the past year, which was added to the page.
“(Mountain lions) have a range of 100 miles, so putting the information on the blogspot was easier than going door-to-door,” he said.
Also recently he was able to put out the word that thieves were stealing back flow prevention devices near water meters that can be sold to unscrupulous metal recyclers for their value in brass and copper.
And the crime log on the left side of the page can keep residents up to date on what is happening in their own neighborhoods.
Wellhouser launched his blogspot on Nov. 19, 2010.
Already a writer, Wellhouser writes magazine articles about his hobby collecting and making military miniatures.
“I write the newsletter for Rotary and of course I write a lot here at work, so I write a lot,” he said. “I thought it would be an easy way to put up a web page that members could look at and get crime information, any kind of alerts or links to help them with reporting crimes or getting information on crimes or how to be proactive in preventing crime.”
He said it was his daughter, Christina, who works in public relations, who suggested he start a blogspot for the patrol.
“My daughter is very talented in social media and she suggested the idea of a blogspot. In her industry they use Twitter, Facebook and you name it. We are not quite that far yet,” he said.
“We were talking about things in general when I realized building a webpage is onerous for a lot of folks, but it is easy to do with the right software,” he said.
“I realized it was something that would be easy and effective and we could update it. I don’t have to be at my desk to update it. If there is important news I can update it. The crime log on the left side of the page is usually up to date and pretty accurate,” he said.
He said there are also links on the blogspot to contact the patrol office, the sheriff’s office and the CHP.
Wellhouser said the link to the sheriff’s office could offer access to a lot of information such as safety tips, sex offender maps, press releases, crime mapping and information about what to do if someone is using your credit card without permission.
The CHP link and help people get around traffic and much more.
There are other links people can use day-to-day to which they can be referred when they call the patrol office to ask what to do about something like how to request patrol checks on their homes while on vacation.
“If people are interested, they can check this once a week by typing in their browser Rancho Santa Fe Patrol blogspot,” he said.
The Rancho Santa Fe Patrol blogspot may be found at rsfpatrol.blogspot.com.