Lancaster

LANCASTER — With the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department un­able to fulfill its contract with the city be­cause of a shortage of dep­uties, the City Council ap­point­ed Public Safety Di­rect­or Lee D’Errico police chief, and established a hy­brid law enforcement model and directed staff to hire a con­sult­ant firm to de­vel­op options for the city to work in partnership with the Lancaster Sheriff’s Sta­tion.

That would allow the Sheriff’s Department to focus on what they do best, then have other entities focus on the quality-of-life issues that take a lot of time, former City Manager Mark Bozigian said at the council’s Dec. 11 meeting.

“If we continue to do what we’re doing, we’re going to continue to get those same results,” Bo­zig­ian said. “If we look at how we use our best resources — what we do best, and what everyone else and the Sheriff’s Department can do best we’re going to make this community safer.”

The report is due back in 90 days. The consultant will work with city staff with detailed services that should be provided by dif­fer­ent entities.

‘We would like to see an ability to pick up the slack rather than have deputies work­ing double shifts, work­ing without breaks, with­out days off, which has been the current state of affairs,” Parris said.

The mayor asked that D’Errico be appointed chief of police to put together a group of retired deputies for the hybrid law enforcement model.

The council voted unan­imously to add the ap­point­ment to the agenda since it was not on the agenda.

“And that’s an interim sit­uation until we get ev­ery­thing planned out,” Par­ris said.

D’Errico will not receive a pay raise as police chief. He has been with the city since 2008 when he joined the Public Safety Department..

D’Errico has more than 25 years of law en­force­ment and public, policing pro­gram for the Los An­gel­es County Sheriff’s De­part­ment.

D’Errico spent 16 years as a Los Angeles County sher­iff’s deputy, then served several years as a sen­ior investigator for the Los Angeles County Hous­ing Authority, in­ves­tigating Sec­tion 8 rental aid fraud and other cases.

“We’re paying the best police force in the country to take care of this city, and it they’re not doing it I think we should pull for breach of contract in­stead of forming a police department that  we don’t know anything about yet,” resident Ed Galindo said.

The city has the largest contract in the county with the sheriff’s department, But the sheriff’s de­part­ment is unable to fulfill the contract by about 24 dep­uties a month.

Vice Mayor Marvin Crist said the city is down about eight patrol units per shift.

Lancaster resident Mel­is­sa Cushman asked why the council decided to create the hybrid law en­force­ment model now.

“If it’s changed on the agenda why didn’t we hear, like why wasn’t this a public meeting, something that everybody could have input into,” Cushman said.

“I think there’s plenty of time for them to do that input,” Parris said.

Parris added D’Errico will serve on an interim basis while the program is being put together.

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(4) comments

J-dog

Jaxplace is correct, LASD pensions are based on base rate salaries, which do not include overtime calculations.
Personnel shortages are artificial, as L.A. County administrators haven't fully staffed the Sheriff's Department in over 50 years. Bean-counters have long ago determined it's more cost effective to pay overtime than it is to recruit, train, and pay healthcare and retirements for new employees. So they work their staff to death with forced overtime (frequently against the employees wishes). Fatigued employees are less productive, and more prone to make poor decisions. While I'm sure the Sheriff's Department would prefer to have well-rested personnel, and all employees working at peak levels, the bean counters don't care. Meanwhile, the County keeps taking on more contracts the Sheriff's Department can't staff. Even worse is the county program called "CARP". As an example, an entity like the City of Lancaster pays for a contract for services. The contract allots for a specific number of patrol deputies as well as administrative staff. Under CARP, the County takes a detective (as an example) and forces them to work a patrol car a few days a month to fulfill patrol vacancies. The detective's desk goes unmanned those days. His/Her caseload continues to grow, and he/she accumulates patrol related case work from working a car. With every administrative person taking on patrol responsibilities, detectives and other administrative work suffers. Where is the HONESTY in taking payments for two positions, put only providing one person to fill two jobs? The new Sheriff needs to deal with this tax-payer rip-off.

Jimzan

I find it hard to believe there is a "shortage" of police officers. Is the police academy deliberately reducing the amount of trainees to keep "demand" high? I was told Police officers pull double shifts right before they retire to boost their pensions and retirement, putting the taxpayer on the hook for even more taxes . Maybe we (city, county) should oversee police training instead of the people that will gain the most if there is a "shortage" of officers.

Jaxplace

I'm sure many officers are working double shifts but additional shifts have no effect on their retirement. Retirements are calculate on base salaries only.

Jimzan

I am a daytrader...the economy is "not" as good as the news media is reporting...why the shortage of recruits? LAPD is one of the few jobs that offers a pension (?) or is that off the table nowadays?

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