The council agreed 5-0 to add one sergeant to help with in-house duties, such as overseeing the administrative staff and detectives, so that another sergeant may be free to patrol the streets. The agreement is part of a three year pact with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, who will continue to provide police services for Patterson through June 2016.
Patterson Police Services currently has two sergeants assigned to its department from the sheriff’s office.
Patterson Police Chief Tori Hughes, who recently returned from a two month medical leave, will bring back a plan to add an administrative supervisor to oversee the records and administrative staff as part of the pact in the near future.
Negotiations with Stanislaus County and the Sheriff’s Department dragged out an extra seven months and the city twice extended its previous plan by three months to accommodate talks.
“I’m for anything but the status quo,” Mayor Luis Molina said at the meeting, warning more needed to be done by the residents to make Patterson safer. “It’s going to take more than boots on the ground. We need to do, as a community, a better job of being vigilant.”
Though differing slightly in their level of support, all members of the council agreed there needed to be more help at Patterson Police Services to improve the patrol’s coverage.
While the proposal for one administrative and one more sergeant came from Councilwoman Deborah Novelli, Councilwoman Sheree Lustgarten stated she was in favor of two more sergeants, citing the fact that the city had just annexed some 1,100 new acres into the city and will be adding new businesses very soon.
Novelli said she made the recommendation based in part by Hughes advice; the council followed suit.
The three year plan is expected to cost more than $4.4 million per year—a $500,000 increase than the originally budgeted $3.895 million this fiscal year. The new sergeant won’t likely be added for 60 to 90 days to accommodate the county’s sergeant promotion process.
Options were presented by city staff for $4.04 million with no increases in staffing, or two more sergeants to help out with patrol at a cost of nearly $4.43 million.
The addition of two more sergeants came as part of a police study conducted last year by Matrix Consulting of Mountain View, which called for two graveyard sergeants to implement a higher level of supervision during the night hours.
Hughes said after the meeting she currently had a sergeant handling patrol duties and another handling administrative work, detectives, and a deputy assigned to the Patterson Unified School District and patrol.
Having another sergeant in-house would free up the other for patrol duties, she said. Hughes said she would bring back a job description for the new administrative supervisor within the next few months, possibly by the time the City Council looks at mid-year budget adjustments or sooner.
Nick Rappley can be reached at 209-568-9975 or firstname.lastname@example.org.