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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