Barry Entous | Dophin Cove Court
Doesn’t our community deserve the ability to control public safety or should it be outsourced to the county Sheriff? This is the burning question facing our City Council and the community.
With the current Sheriff’s contract, we have no controls over the hiring or assignment of deputies, or any of the costs of their services, especially and including pensions which can and will be charged in addition to our annual fee. They offer no community policing; limited traffic enforcement; unacceptable response times for lower priority calls, (averaging 45 minutes); because 40% of the calls for service are when the Sheriff deputy is outside our city, as well as their inability to provide for our seasonal needs during the summer months.
All the experts agree, that with our own police department, public safety service levels will be significantly improved with response times similar to our own fire department at 5 minutes, all at costs estimated to be close to $400,000 lower than the current Sheriff’s contract. A community-oriented department similar to what we enjoy with our Ranger, Fire, Life Guards and Public Works. Significantly better community service at lower cost. Then why are those against the idea?
Some believe pensions and liability costs might ultimately bankrupt our city. The facts don’t support this, a proposed city PD will use a different pension program costing less money that our current employees and those charged to us by the Sheriff. City liability which is now covered by insurance, currently exists because our Ranger carries a firearm. A review of the city payouts over the past 15 years only totaled $85,000.
Startup costs are estimated to be in excess of 1 million dollars but more than half of those costs are for permanent items such as vehicles and equipment lasting many years. There is one proposal to house the PD in the new community center but in no way to have a jail on those premises. Those arrested will be transported to the county jail in Vista. Other proposals include housing the department in temporary trailers on the public works site or the rental of office space somewhere in the city.
This is a major decision for our council and community. It will take bold and courageous leadership to move forward, but rest assured your concerns and questions will be answered in a public forum during the summer. Please visit our web site at www.delmarPD.org for additional information including all the consultants’ reports, city manager implementation plan, and our responses to frequently asked questions.