City to Receive Four New Detectives One New Lieutenant
In an effort to address Santa Clarita’s concerns with regard to its Sheriff’s contract and the provision of adequate staffing, the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department has added four new detective positions and a new lieutenant position, effective immediately for the Santa Clarita Valley station. In a recent series of meetings between Sheriff officials and the city managers from Lancaster, Palmdale, and Santa Clarita regarding staffing levels and services, all agreed that several staffing levels needed to be increased. As an example, the population in Santa Clarita has increased from 120,000 in 1987 to 170,000 in 2006 with no increase in auxiliary positions, such as: 9-1-1 operators, lieutenants, detectives, or secretaries. While the City’s contract was $6.3 million in 1987 for Sheriff services, today that contract is almost $14 million; a 100% increase in City of Santa Clarita contracted funding without a corresponding increase in County funded staffing. “The cuts to the County-funded Sheriff Department’s budget over the last several years has not helped this situation,” said Captain Patti Minutello. But now, to help rectify the staffing issues and improve law enforcement service, the Sheriff’s Department has added four new detectives and one new lieutenant to the Santa Clarita Valley station. Two of the detectives will be assigned to the six member robbery assault team – a 30% increase in staffing, and two detectives will be assigned to the six member burglary theft team, also a 30% increase in staffing. “It is the City’s expectation that when contract services are established, renewed or increased, the requisite auxiliary levels of support personnel are automatically increased commensurate with the level of line service purchased,” explained Ken Pulskamp, City Manager. “In our meetings with the Sheriff’s Department, they were very open to hearing our concerns and ensuring that the City would continue to provide a high level of public safety for our communities,” added Pulskamp. Other issues discussed included: making a commitment to explore renovating or replacing the current Sheriff’s Station within two years; making a commitment to regular meetings with department executives to address progress being made relating to contract compliance and performance; and providing an annual assessment and report by the department’s gang unit with recommendations. “We were very pleased with the Sheriff’s department response and the action taken. Our goal is to provide the highest level of law enforcement services we can and to make sure that we are getting the most for our contract,” Pulskamp said.