What's the big idea around the Carmichael Improvement District?  Business, investors and residents are curious about what we do.  Our association of business and commercial property owners offers an array of services which are consistently delivered across its service area.  To help you engage and know more about what we are about and make use of all that the District has to offer, we welcome you to review these often asked questions and useful answers here.  You will find great background and reasons as well as a few tips to make the most of what is offered through your Carmichael Improvement District.  Thank you for reading!

What does the District do exactly?

As a cooperative of property and business owners, the District offers and performs many beneficial functions within its service area.  

The District was formed in 2016 by a grassroots effort of business and community members who desired better for Carmichael and found the idea of this District to be worth the substantial effort to create it.  Many owners know us for our public safety and security patrol services as well as our property maintenance services.  Over and above these practical services, the District is actively engaged with policy advocacy with Local and State government and various organizations so as to drive interest and success into the Carmichael area. 

The District contracts with professional providers for patrol and maintenance service provision.  Uniformed officers are trained to "observe and act" rather than just respond and report.  At minimum, each officer holds State of California licenses for exposed firearm, baton, and guard registration and are certified in the use of TASER and chemical agents.  Each serve with both compassion and qualification under District direction toward effective results.  Skilled maintenance workers walk the District each weekday picking up litter, trash and abandoned items.  Hauling and specialty cleaning services are performed occasionally in addition.

Both signature services make major contributions toward a Carmichael corridor that is invitingly clean as well as comfortably safe.

How is the District lead, managed and funded?

Property and business owners choose to assess themselves and make an annual payment to the District's work, providing the annual budget for a agreed scope of work.  

As such, the District operates as a private not-for-profit that elects a Board of Directors, hires staff and supports vibrant committee leadership of local people who apply skill, knowledge and ability from their business, community and owner interests within Carmichael. Day-to-day control is local, not governmental.

In addition to accountably to business and property owners, the Carmichael Improvement District is dependent and accountable to the County of Sacramento and reports annually to its Board of Supervisors.  As such, the District enjoys a close and productive relationship with all levels of our local government.

You will hear the District described as a PBID, on occasion.  This is a technical term derived from the section of the California Civil Code that was used to form and establish the association.  As such, it is a Property and Business Improvement District.  

Are Board meetings public?  Can I attend and participate?

For sure.  Business and property owners are absolutely and warmly invited to attend the monthly board meetings.  See the next meeting time and schedule on the home page as well as on the Board & Committee page.  

Each meeting will have an Open Forum time on the agenda where stakeholders can speak to the board about matters important to them.  For the sake of the demands of board business at hand, comments are usually limited to 3 minutes each per person or topic addressed.

Those that find our work interesting and engaging may apply for committee and board service.  In essence, we are a cooperative, a volunteer, self-help organization.  Join in and help create progress first hand.

Why are we not seeing more progress around people loitering and sleeping outside?

Our common concerns here are in our minds every hour of the day.  While the matter looks simple, there are many factors and levels of complexity to it.  We have our role to play.  Our patrol officers engage with transient persons and make every effort to identify and know them while disrupting living patterns while making it clear that bad behavior is never accepted in Carmichael.  Consistency in such contacts seeks to make choosing housing services or relocating outside of the District service areas easier choices to get rid of the hassle.  Make no mistake, we thrill at success stories of those to walk off of the street into regular accommodations and progress in life.  We want to assist in these ways.  

Each month in Carmichael, our Safety and Security Committee convenes a joint forces meeting of ownership, law enforcement, district attorney, code enforcement, along with the human services advocacy community.  We are relentlessly creating the perception that unlawful behavior cannot continue within the District service area while always helping make connections that lead to personal progress.

As to a specific step all can do, we encourage every resident, customer, and business owner not to distribute or give cash or other resources directly to those who seem to directly seek or require such resources.  Rather, please encourage them to seek and start a relationship with an assistance organization where they can initiate a path of progress and individual betterment.  Many such agencies are active in Carmichael.  This is a long game, and "yes" to services must be easier than saying "no" to private property owners and community enforcement.

Please know also that our national legal environment slows down effective control of space in the public realm.  Specifically, the Martin v. City of Boise decision, at the moment, ties the hands of professional law enforcement and their paths of response.  Support our District Attorney and County law enforcement and let them know it.  We need a critical mass of concern to champion meaningful progress.  This is exactly where the District helps join your single voice together with a few hundred more voices anxious for progress in this area for Carmichael.  Be heard. 

How do I obtain assistance of your uniformed officers?

Please dial (916) 931-0911 day or night.  

Dispatch will ask a few questions as to what your are observing and they will be sure to engage our officers to help you protect your property and maintain a carefree environment for yourself and the community.  

In the event of an emergency, always dial 9-1-1 first so that Sheriff and Fire can be the first response.

Tip:  Rather than contact the person of concern first, call the District patrol officer.  Not letting on about your concern, allows our officers the best chance to make contact and keeps you away from possible risk and harm.  Our officers are trained to make the most impact when they arrive.  Don't give persons of concern to chance to walk away and not be identified and benefit from officer contact.

Residents and community members can call as well.  Just identify yourself as being in Carmichael and provide the specific location of concern that is inside our service area, as shown on the "Map" tab above.  

So you say you maintain property.  I have a roof leak.  Will you fix it?

Yes, we do maintenance service around private property yet it relates to litter, graffiti, and limited hauling.  

If our maintenance professional walks past your property as he performs his service, he is happy to pick up litter up to four feet into your property from the public sidewalks and curbs.  

Graffiti can be addressed if it is on a signal or transformer box or on a curb or similar public improvement.  

Your building operating maintenance items such as roof, landscaping, windows and such are property owner and management conditions to address.  So, sorry, we can't help with the roof.

What can individual properties do to maximize the effectiveness of your patrol?

Thanks for asking.  Officers of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department need to know that our patrol officers are authorized to represent the property owner in their absence, on their behalf.

This status of authorization is established using the form Notice of Agency (link).  This authorization is property specific for the area of the land and buildings or individual premises that are under lease.  With this agency established, no matter the time of day, District patrol officers can work effeciively with a Sheriff to secure the all important Notice of Trespass or "602" which the Department issues for specific individuals for "refusing or failing to leave after being asked to leave" the property.  Having prior "602's" is a major help in future enforcement and increases the criminal consequences in the event they return and are found upon your property.

As an example of effectiveness, let's say it is 3:00AM, a time where the property owner would not me on their commercial property.  While driving by the property, a District patrol officer sees two individuals sleeping at the side door deep into a property.  Once the District officer confirms that a Notice of Agency is on file, he knows he can confidently call the Sheriff and represent your wishes that the individuals found be issued a "602" notification that their trespass is not permitted and may not continue.  

Having a Notice of Agency on file is important for leased premises like shops and retailers.  For example, say a new employee employee, who is not the business owner, is minding a copy store at 4:00PM in the afternoon, when a man enters the store and starts to misbehave and panhandle interfering with customers.  Absent this Notice of Agency, a Sheriffs officer could disregard our patrol officer as being an owner representative that was called to assist the employee.  

TIP: You will want to make sure property and premises all have Notice of Agency filed with the District.

If you are unsure if this Notice of Agency has been filed for your property or business, reach out to the office to learn more.

Concerns seem to center around the same persons.  What can be done?

When the same known individuals are a persistent factor, it is critical to establish a body of knowledge or a case history, if you will, documenting the specifics of the situations encountered.  In essence, "If you see something, say something."  Place calls to the non-emergency number (916-874-5115) of the Sheriff's Department.  Seek to have "602" Notice of Trespass' issued.  When a violation of a prior trespass order is observed, call into District patrol or the Sheriffs department.  Stay in touch with neighbors to keep focus on common concerns and report situations.  

The Community Prosecution Unit of the County of Sacramento's District Attorney's office, from time to time, can obtain stay away orders for Chronic Nuisance Offenders--specific, known individuals who have caused difficulties that are documented.  Establishing that record is critical.

Temperament and capacity for Sacramento County enforcement can change for various reasons.  Stakeholders are encouraged to attend the monthly Safety and Security Meetings of the District to stay informed, learn more about current Carmichael trends and experience, and find helpful resources.

It seems I have the same types of situations at my property.  What can I do?

It is typical that patterns of sleeping, loitering, and other behavior tend to happen in similar places.  Look at these places around your property in new ways.  

Very often, changes can be made to the conditions and environment of a site or building that make areas of the property less interesting or welcoming of such activity.  Take a closer look at CPTED or Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design.  Sometimes, small changes like adjusting how trees and shrubs are trimmed, trash enclosures are maintained or how lighting is used can make big and productive differences to make spaces or building areas less attractive or interesting to persons wandering around seeking opportunities.

Next steps:  See the District's toolkit of resources at discovercarmichael.com/CPTED