Thursday, June 3, 2010

San Carlos considers outsourcing police duties

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The city of San Carlos, facing a multimillion-dollar budget deficit brought on by the recession and rising employee costs, is considering a money-saving measure that is all but unheard of in the Bay Area - dissolving its Police Department and outsourcing the job of law enforcement.

After 85 years of having its own police force, supporters of the idea say, it's time for San Carlos to hand the job either to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office or to neighboring Redwood City to eliminate nearly two-thirds of next year's $3.5 million deficit.

But critics say having an outside agency handle local law enforcement would cost "the city of good living" control over its affairs. Dissolving the 32-member force, they maintain, would be a rickety fix for years of bad budget decisions.

San Carlos is not a high-intensity policing assignment. The number of violent crimes in an average year is 27, and there have been only three homicides in the city of 28,000 over the past decade.

Submitted by Jim Alex

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