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TID enlists sheriff's help to watch canal banks
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In an effort to combat theft and vandalism, the Turlock Irrigation District has contracted with the Stanislaus and Merced counties' sheriff's departments to patrol its irrigation and electrical facilities.

The contract is for a one-year period beginning in January 2009. It will be monitored throughout the year and adjustments will be made as necessary to the patrol service to maximize the benefit for TID and its customers. The program will protect TID assets and operations and should make the canals a safer place for growers. Additionally, the increased presence of law enforcement officers will provide more security for customer's property as well.

TID has contracted with the two local sheriff's departments in the past for limited patrol services along the canal system on weekends and holidays during the summer months. When first initiated more than 20 years ago, these patrols were primarily intended to address unauthorized use of canal banks, to discourage swimming and combat vandalism of both TID and adjacent private property often associated with these activities.

More recently illegal dumping, including methamphetamine lab dumps causing environmental concerns, abandoned stolen vehicles, and metal thefts have become more regular occurrences affecting TID facilities located in unincorporated communities and in rural areas within both counties. Over the past couple of years these incidents of vandalism and theft have increased in number and severity.

costing TID and its customers thousands of dollars each year.

TID's service area covers 662 square-miles and has approximately 100,000 electric accounts. It's irrigation service area provides water to 5,800 growers farming approximately150,000 acres.