CALIFORNIA CITY — As California City enters into a second contract with the California Highway Patrol to provide supplemental patrols while the California City Police Department’s staffing is depleted, the City Council received quantified results from the services contracted over four months late last year.
Lt. John Williams, commander of the CHP Mojave area office, briefed the City Council on the agency’s efforts while under contract from Aug. 22 to Dec. 18.
With 392 officer hours and 6,290 miles driven, the contracted services came in at $40,699, under the $50,000 maximum, he said.
Police Chief Eric Hurtado commended the CHP for the officers’ efforts in the city.
“All his guys are very professional,” he said. “We’re all working on making this community safer.”
The services provided included proactive enforcement and reacting to specific calls for service.
The officers provided 116 hours of “in view patrol,” in which they patrolled schools, school bus stops, high traffic and residential areas. Doing that, they wrote 159 citations and gave 45 verbal warnings, Williams said.
They assisted California City Police Officers in a backup capacity 137 times, made six independent arrests, impounded and stored 10 vehicles and assisted with four collisions within the city.
The CHP officers also responded to 167 calls for service, with an average response time of three and a half minutes, Williams said.
He said he thought that response time could be even lower with some direction to the officers, who in some instances took as long as 20 minutes to respond to a low-priority call, writing tickets on their way.
The types of calls to which the officers responded cover the wide range of issues the city’s officers regularly face. These included suspicious persons, squatters, stolen vehicles, welfare checks, trespassing, burglar alarms, gas leaks, fights at schools, shoplifting, loose dogs and dog fights, structure fires, medical emergencies, child neglect, domestic violence, missing juvenile report, noise complaints, shots fired calls, brandishing weapons calls, two pursuits, panhandling, vandalism and possession of firearms.
“That’s a lot in a very short period of time that we handled,” Williams said.
The CHP officers also assisted the city’s public works, fire, animal control and Hall Ambulance.
Traffic patrol in certain areas was a high priority, but Williams said in some instances an officer started to write a ticket but was called away on a more pressing call.
The city is entering into a second contract for patrol services from the CHP as the department is dealing with two officers who were injured during the arrest of a violent suspect and cases that are coming to trial and will require officers to be in court, Hurtado said.
The contract cost is a bit higher this time, at $110.03 per hour, which includes officers’ pay, patrol vehicle and fuel costs, according to the staff report. The funds will come from the department’s public safety augmentation fund supported by state revenues through the Proposition 172 sales tax. The agreement is effective until May, again with a maximum of $50,000 to be spent.
“We came in well under on the other contract, and I’m sure we’ll do fine on this contract,” Williams said.
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