A message from Chief of Police George Crum:
Allow me this opportunity to discuss the important topic of Short-Term Vacation Rentals (STVRs) in Cathedral City and provide you with some public safety statistical data related to STVR’s. I recently presented an STVR Impact Report at a City Council meeting depicting how STVRs required additional resources from both our Police and Fire Departments. Between October 2019 and November 2020, the Police Department’s Communication Center handled 809 calls for service related to Short-Term Vacation Rentals.
In analyzing the total calls handled by the Police Department, 15 calls resulted in a Part 1 Crime (the most serious) occurring at an STVR. The crimes our officers investigated at STVR properties included an attempt homicide in which two adults were stabbed, a sexual assault, five domestic violence assaults, five residential burglaries, one commercial burglary and two stolen vehicles. Additionally, the Police Department made a total of nine arrests and issued 52 citations in connection with these and other calls for service related to an STVR between October 2019 and November 2020.
The Cathedral City Fire Department responded to 241 Calls for Service at Short-Term Vacation Rental locations between October 2019 and November 2020. The majority of the Fire Department calls for service were medical aid requests and six of these calls for service were for brush fires, structure fires and one fire of unknown origin.
In reviewing the calls for service by both the Police and Fire Departments, I determined the average time an officer spent on each call for service to an STVR was 21 minutes and 46 seconds. The average time our Fire personnel spent on each call for service was 37 minutes and 46 seconds.
The Police Department’s new Short-Term Vacation Rental Compliance Team began their duties on November 13, 2020. Between the dates of November 13 and November 30, 2020, this team handled 517 calls for service. 110 of the 517 calls for service were responding to a Short-Term Vacation Rental complaint. This team issued a total of 12 citations for violations in this two-week time span.
I would like to remind the community there are three ways to reach the compliance team if a community member has a need for service that is in the scope of this team. The STVR hotline number is (760) 553-1031, the non-emergency police dispatch number is (760) 770-0300 then dial “1”, and finally, anyone with a smart phone or computer may utilize the “Go Request” mobile app which can be downloaded from your app store or you can go online at https://www.cathedralcity.gov/i-want-to/service-request and click on “vacation rentals.” Of course, if it is an emergency situation, please call 9-1-1.