After receiving a study on police services from city consultant Matrix Consulting Group, the Patterson City Council gave direction to City Manager Rod Butler and City staff to continue moving forward with a sheriff contract for police services with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department Tuesday, Oct. 22. A draft of the sheriff’s contract is expected to be before the council November 19, according to Patterson City Manger Rod Butler.
The study outlined the cost of the city contracting with other agencies for services or going with its own police department. It identified what the consultants deemed as inefficiencies within Patterson Police Services as well as the current contract with Stanislaus County.
Richard Brady, president of Matrix Consulting Group pegged the one-time transition costs of going with its own department at $1.3 million, identified areas where deputies could be more efficient with more supervision and laid out the cost comparison of utilizing services from Modesto Police, Turlock Police, Newman Police and the Sheriff’s Department.
Comparing the other departments with the sheriff’s contract, the study indicated that contracting with Modesto Police for the same structured police force, which currently costs the city $3.6 million, would cost $4.3 million, while partnering with Turlock Police would cost $3.7 million and $3.5 million with Newman police. The costs do not include transition costs.
The study also indicated that the city should eliminate one detective position, stating detective caseloads were too light. It would leave three detectives and hire two more sergeants for night shift coverage for better supervision during graveyard hours.
“(Detective) caseloads are low,” Brady indicated, while explaining the report to the council. “Much lower than normal. There just isn’t enough crime for four detectives.”
Patterson Police Chief Tori Hughes later in the meeting indicated that major crimes, or part one crimes as reported to the F.B.I., had dropped over the last year more than 13 percent. Part one crimes include homicide, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, auto theft and arson.
The report also stated that there was no target by Patterson Police Services for the division of time by deputies between proactive—or crime prevention—and reactive or responding to crimes.
Departments should strive to have 50 to 60 percent of the time spent in reactive mode and 40 to 50 percent of the time spent in proactive mode, according to the study.
The study indicated that during what is considered graveyard shift— midnight to 8 a.m., — deputies, who utilize a sergeant from the main office of the Sheriff’s Department in Modesto for supervision, were inefficient in their use of time. According to the study, Patterson Police Service deputies had 67 percent of their time in proactive mode from midnight to 4 a.m. and 77 percent in proactive mode from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m.
“Proactive time of more than 50 percent results in less efficient use of community resources, as it is difficult to effectively manage law enforcement personnel whose time is so heavily weighted toward proactive activities,” the report stated.
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