Contract for police pulled from city agenda; City could pay more for cops
by Nick Rappley | Patterson Irrigator
Sep 12, 2013 | 786 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
An item for the Patterson City Council to address regarding the proposed contract between the City of Patterson and Stanislaus County was put on hold at the regular city council meeting Tuesday, Sept. 3 after county officials asked for more time to conduct a cost analysis.

Patterson, which contracts with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department for police services, has been working on a new contract extension through 2016 since the early part of this year. The city has contracted with the county for police services since 1998.

Negotiations went beyond the beginning of the fiscal year, which started July 1, and Patterson and several other cities have been working with 90-day extensions to the contract, which will expire September 30.

City Manager Rod Butler said the request came from the County Chief Executive Officer’s office and no time frame was given as to when another proposal would be forthcoming. Butler said the possibility of another 90 extension through the end of the year could be a solution.

Mayor Luis Molina was not happy about the late development.

“I’m a little disappointed,” he said, “I don’t know why they’re doing a cost analysis this late in the game.”

He said he felt it could drive up costs for police services more.

The proposal before the council, prior to it being pulled, would cost some $500,000 more a year for the same staffing levels that the city has now.

Butler said the city currently spends approximately $3.5 million a year on police services. The new contract offer from the county that was pulled would’ve cost just more than $4 million. Two other options on the table called for two more deputy sergeants for more than $4.429 million or two more deputies for $4.389 million.

A study on police service needs by Matrix Consulting Group to be released in late October called for the two extra sergeants to ensure local supervision and more patrols to be conducted around the clock, Butler said. The city will have one less detective and one more traffic officer as recommended by the study. Until recently, the city had four detectives and one traffic cop.

A staff report, along with the proposal that was on the agenda prepared by Butler, stated that a mid year adjustment would need to be made if the council chose to keep current staffing levels. An increase in sergeants or deputies would create the need for mid-year budget reductions elsewhere to cover the increased costs. The city had built in some increases into the current year’s budget in anticipation of an increase, but not as much as the county was proposing, Butler said.

The 2013-2014 fiscal year budget for police was approved for $3.895 million.

Councilmen Dominic Farinha and Larry Buehner along with Councilwomen Sheree Lustgarten and Deborah Novelli did not return calls Tuesday, Sept. 10.

Contact Nick Rappley at 892-6187, ext. 31 or nick@pattersonirrigator.com.

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