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Baca asks for funds to restore unincorporated-area deputy patrols

Posted: March 25, 2013 8:18 p.m.
Updated: March 25, 2013 8:18 p.m.

Sheriff Lee Baca is scheduled to ask county supervisors Tuesday for $22 million to restore Sheriff’s Department patrols in unincorporated areas that were cut due to budget constraints.

A Sheriff’s Department audit released in January shows deputies in unincorporated areas took about a minute longer to respond to emergency calls during the 2011-2012 fiscal year than did deputies in cities that contract for police service with the county.

Sheriff’s officials say the delay is because the Sheriff’s Department had to cut patrols in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County to reduce the amount of overtime being paid to deputies.

The news touched off protests among unincorporated-area residents and prompted Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Capt. Paul Becker to take crime-prevention deputies from the unincorporated areas around Santa Clarita and put them on patrol.

Becker told The Signal in January he used to be able to give deputies overtime pay to patrol unincorporated areas.

The proposal for a $22 million infusion, if approved by supervisors, would result in the county transferring funds from its provisional financing uses budget to the Sheriff’s Department, resulting in no net cost to the county, according to Board of Supervisors documents.

The county Sheriff’s Department has absorbed about $360 million in budget cuts in the last three years, according to board documents. These cuts have resulted in the elimination of roughly 300 patrol positions in the department.

In his request to the board, Baca estimates $4.5 million would restore the trimmed patrols this year.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney



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