Truckee Police To Patrol Donner Lake By Paddleboard



(Truckee, Calif.) – The Truckee Police Department serves a diverse community of residents and visitors who either call Truckee home or visit Truckee because of the many year round outdoor adventure and recreation opportunities. The Truckee Police Department recognizes its responsibility to interact with as many segments of our community as possible and to do so in the most efficient well served manner.
As part of our commitment to improve communications with those we serve and in particular in areas of town that may have been underserved in the past, the Truckee Police Department is undertaking several new strategies to better connect with the community and our visitors. “We are committed to improving our communications with those we serve and will strive to find new innovative ways to better interact with our community. We are confident our new approaches will accomplish those objectives” said Chief of Police Adam McGill.

In support of our ongoing efforts to better engage those we serve, the Truckee Police Department has returned some officers to bicycles to improve our presence in Regional Park and the Legacy Trail area, downtown, and Donner Lake. TPD officers on bikes is not new for the department but the community can now expect to see the bicycle officers more consistently and as part of the normal makeup of the community. Chief McGill added, “Anything we can do that gets officers out of their vehicles and invites interaction with our community is a step in the right direction.”

In addition, as we do each summer, officers have returned to their patrol duties on Donner Lake. These officers are responsible for ensuring a safe environment in and around Donner Lake.

The very essence of Community Oriented Policing at its core calls on the police to partner with their community and embrace the community norms for the community they serve. “I want our officers to fully embrace the Truckee lifestyle and embody who we are as a community. To know what our community expects of us and interact with as many segments of our community as possible. Policing in Truckee is unique and it is our responsibility to adjust; not the community’s responsibility to adjust to us. In Truckee we don’t just say we are a Community Oriented Policing department, we actually live it” said Chief McGill.

In the interest of efficiency in training, staffing, and a consistent community oriented philosophy throughout the organization we have combined the bicycle and boating officers to form a team dedicated to engaging the outdoor community in Truckee. The new Truckee Police Adventure Recreation and Community (ARC) Team includes four officers cross certified in both bicycle and water patrol operations. This allows the department flexibility for staffing and an ongoing presence in the recreational areas of Truckee.


Recently, the department was fortunate enough to receive a gracious donation towards two standup paddleboards and associated equipment from Tahoe SUP. The standup paddleboard community has a tremendous presence in Truckee. We are now better suited to interact with this growing segment of our community. Tahoe SUP is providing free training to our officers including some rescue related skills so our officers are prepared for water emergencies. The officers will not routinely patrol on paddleboards. They will operate situational patrols and be present at events where a paddleboard is most appropriate. More often the mere presence of the paddleboards on our patrol vehicle will invite positive interaction between our officers and inquisitive community members. Without the presence of the paddleboards that type of interaction would likely not occur.

Captain Rob Leftwich stated, “The purpose of ARC was to not increase enforcement or address crime related issues, but to interact and patrol in a manner which best emulates what our community embodies.” Captain Leftwich added, “Obviously, we want the vessels we use to patrol to cause positive interaction and conversations with locals, seasonal residents and visitors alike. I assure you, the Chief and I are very aware if we make Truckee an enjoyable experience for visitors and residents, then people will return. We want the ARC Team to be more educationally based about safety and customer service. Bicycles and paddleboards are great examples of environmentally friendly, human powered activities which are really important to our community. It is crucial the public understands our officers are people who also live and recreate in our region and want to promote our environmentally friendly – adventurous lifestyle.”

Through the generous donations of Tahoe SUP and some internal reorganizing of personnel in the department, no general fund dollars were spent on these initiatives. Tahoe SUP is a regional paddleboard manufacturer who has roots in Truckee and did paddle board testing in Donner Lake when the company first started. The Specialized mountain bikes for the ARC Team were purchased locally at Paco’s Bike Shop with state grant funds. The Department purchased the patrol boat in 2003 with grant funds provided by California Boating and Waterways. The 2003 pickup truck used by the team is a former animal control pickup that was scarcely used by the department. The Police Department recycled the vehicle giving it a new and useful purpose. The officers assigned to ARC are not on overtime but working their regularly scheduled shifts.

For more info, visit: TownOfTruckee.com