(06-29) 08:03 PDT SAN CARLOS -- The city
of San Carlos has voted to dissolve its police force and to
the steps to outsource the job of law enforcement to the San Mateo County
sheriff's office as a cost-cutting measure.
The City Council voted 4-1 on Monday night to disband its
Department to help save nearly two-thirds of next year's $3.5
The council directed city staff to begin negotiating with the sheriff's
said Mayor Randy Royce, who voted to scrap the city's 32-member force.
Royce noted that the sheriff's office, which has 462 deputies,
has agreed to
offer full-time jobs to all San Carlos officers. Redwood City police,
also offered to take over police services, could not make such a
"We do have a lot of local cops, and those local cops will
continue to work,"
Royce said today. "If you look at any organization, it's good to have
change. We'll have the best of both worlds.
Having the mix of existing
cops and new officers, they'll be able to provide as good, if not
Councilman Matt Grocott cast the lone dissenting vote, saying
the idea of a joint
powers authority under which the city would maintain its
police force but partner with another agency. Grocott, the San
Officers Association and Ken Castle, who leads
San Carlos' largest neighborhood
watch group, were among those who criticized
outsourcing on the grounds that it would cost the city control over its
"I think this decision has been a foregone conclusion for the
last six months
- nothing surprises me," Castle said today. "I think the council has not
listening to the concerns of most of the people that have been speaking
these last several months and they're determined to move ahead with
Royce said it may take about two months for city staff and a
work out the details with the sheriff's office. But the transition will
rather quick afterward, he said, "to be fair to our officers and our
in the Police Department.
They've been kind of sitting on pins and needles. They
want to know what is going on."
There's plenty of precedent in the Bay Area for outside agencies policing
small cities, but none of those cities ever had its own police force.
only Sonoma, which dissolved its police department in 2004 and turned to
Sonoma County Sheriff's
Department to save money, has ever decided to outsource
its police force
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