LANCASTER — The City Council will consider an estimated $227,235 consulting contract with Chicago-based Hillard Heintze to develop options for a Hybrid Law Enforcement Model for the city and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The proposed contract is in the amount of $197,235 plus $30,000 for authorized reimbursable expenses.
Lancaster has contracted with the Sheriff’s Department for law enforcement services since its incorporation in November 1977. But, for several years, the Sheriff’s Department has been unable to recruit and retain sworn staff, which has resulted in a departmentwide staff shortage.
“Due to these shortages, LASD has been unable to provide enough sworn staff to fulfill staffing requirements in the contract between the city of Lancaster and LASD for Law Enforcement Services. These staff shortages have affected the City and its residents in a number of ways,” a staff report by City Manager Jason Caudle said.
“The most impactful effects are the following: increased response times for calls for service, decreased number of patrol vehicles deployed throughout the City, and increased time to solve cases.”
Hillard Heintze, according to Caudle’s report, has extensive experience working with counties and cities to provide solutions to managing law enforcement services. The company will work collaboratively with city leadership, the sheriff’s department, and the community to analyze needs and develop a hybrid strategy to elevate law enforcement response in the city, Caudle wrote.
The goal is to find a solution to augment sworn staff available to respond to non-emergent calls, allowing the Sheriff’s Department to allocate its resources on emergent crime-related matters that need immediate law enforcement attention. The Hybrid Law Enforcement Model would serve as an interim stopgap until the Sheriff’s Department can recruit and retain enough sworn staff to fulfill the city’s contract and eliminate the need for mandatory overtime and backfilling with administrative personnel.
The City Council meets at 5 p.m. Tuesday in Council chambers at City Hall, 44933 Fern Ave.
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