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DSA In the News

Sheriff, San Carlos ready for police transfer

Published on 9/27/2010

With just more than a month before the Sheriff’s Office absorbs the San Carlos Police Department, officials on both sides of the agreement are readying for the Oct. 31 transfer and current deputies are very interested in moving to the new bureau.

Sheriff’s Office staff say the newly-created San Carlos bureau has generated more interest from deputies and sergeants than any other assignment in recent memory. Approximately 20 percent of them applied to work in San Carlos.

First though, there is still some administrative housekeeping to dissolve the San Carlos Police Department and establish the new San Carlos bureau of the Sheriff’s Office.

On Tuesday morning, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors is expected to sign off on the contact transferring San Carlos’ equipment, facilities and personnel to the county. The board previously held its first reading on an ordinance absorbing 28 workers and will also have a final adoption Tuesday.

On Monday night, the San Carlos City Council — which already signed off unanimously on the contract — will revisit the matter with an update on where all parties stand.

The contract hands the county $4,460,471.55 for the first year of the five-year agreement ending June 30, 2015 and is estimated to save the city of San Carlos approximately $2 million annually over the cost of keeping police service in-house.

The financially-challenged city began considering outsourcing police, fire, parks maintenance and payroll late last year after voters defeated a half-cent sales tax measure. The alternative was across-the-board cuts that outsourcing proponents said would leave public safety hobbled and still not completely fix a $3.5 million budget deficit.

Outsourcing police services guarantees round-the-clock patrols, maintenance of existing response times, restoring full-time traffic enforcement, an increased number of detectives and investigators and more personnel if needed in the event of a large-scale emergency.

Although the city and county have been talking about how to change over since the San Carlos City Council chose the Sheriff’s Office for outsourcing, little could actually be done until the agreement was approved. Now that it is in place, the process is moving quickly with action nearly daily, according to an update compiled by Police Chief Greg Rothaus.

To date, all full-time San Carlos Police Department employees have signed conditional offers and are undergoing physicals. In mid-October, the county’s human resources department will begin explaining medical plans and benefit options.

Two sheriff’s sergeants and six deputy sheriffs were chosen for the San Carlos bureau and they will work with three San Carlos sergeants and seven officers. Cmdr. Greg Hart will act as liaison between the San Carlos and Menlo Park police departments because the two have a dispatch agreement. Records and other systems are also being transitioned.

All San Carlos employees will have a final meeting and group photo Sept. 29 and, on Nov. 1, will be sworn into the Sheriff’s Office at the historical courthouse in Redwood City.

The San Carlos City Council meets 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 27 at City Hall, 600 Elm St., San Carlos.

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors meets 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28 in Board Chambers, 400 County Government Center, Redwood City.