Without Its Own Police Force, Isleton Has Some Residents Feeling Uneasy

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It only takes a few minutes to drive through the small town of Iselton along the Sacramento River.

But spend a few hours there and there’s one thing you probably won’t see.

"We have no police," neighbor Joetta Corvallis said.

The financially strapped town got rid of its police force in 2012. Some see no issues.

"It’s charming its lovely its quiet,” resident Marie Johnson said.

But most longtime residents say the city has fallen on hard times recently.

"It’s pretty barren. A lot of the shops have closed," Pam Sweet said.

They say a poor economy, theft and drugs are chipping away at the town’s charm.

"It’s totally lawless. That’s why we’re getting rid of our boat. If we could sell this house and move right now, we would go,” said Coravallis.

Technically, Isleton is not totally lawless. The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department has been patrolling the city since the police department closed.

According to the Sheriff's Department, in 2012 there were 55 911 calls made from Isleton, in 2013 there were 45, in 2014 there were 110.

The Sheriff’s Department says the increase in calls isn’t necessarily due to higher crime, but instead, to an increase in reporting crimes.

"The county sheriff won’t come out here unless it’s a matter of life and death,” said Sweet.

The Sheriff’s Department says it has deputies assigned to the area and they’re doing their best to be proactive.

"I can see their interpretation of not having a police car around 24 hours a day but, at the same time, we are responding as best we can," Department spokesperson Tony Turnbull said. "It is a very large area and sometimes response times are a little longer."

People in Isleton are learning to police themselves.

"All the neighbors are on alert, we're on high alert,” Corvallis said.

According to the Sheriff’s Department, the most recent data shows burglary, theft and vandalism are the most reported crimes. The town only had two homicides in the last two years.

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