HMB likely to outsource police force to the Sheriff

By on Tue, March 29, 2011

Half Moon Bay city staff is recommend that the city move forward with a proposal by the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office to provide the city’s police services, reports Julia Scott in the County Times. The Sheriff’s least expensive proposal will save the city $1.2 million.

The city will hold a community meeting on Saturday to consider the proposal.

A staff report lays out the city’s rationale for choosing the county instead of Pacifica. Not surprisingly, lower costs top the list, along with the fact that the Sheriff’s Office already has a presence on the coast. It patrols the mid-coast area and Skyline Boulevard.

Half Moon Bay City Councilman John Muller was quick to point out Monday that the council will have final say on the matter at the public meeting, which is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at the Adcock Community Center on Kelly Avenue. But Pacifica City Manager Steve Rhodes said he’s been told his city’s police bid is out of the running.

“I expected it,” Rhodes said. “The county’s proposal saved them more money.”

The Sheriff’s Office presented four options; the least costly one would devote six deputies, a records administrator and three part-time community service officers exclusively to Half Moon Bay.

At the same time, the city would “share” four patrol sergeants, a detective, two other deputies and a lieutenant who already happen to be stationed on the coast.

It would provide round-the-clock staffing with at least one deputy during off-peak hours and give Half Moon Bay access to a detective and other positions the city has cut since 2007. Half Moon Bay already shares dispatch services with the county after hours and on weekends.

The council will also consider eliminating or outsourcing its Recreation Department, which now consists of two part-time employees, at Saturday’s meeting.

The Sheriff currently provides police services on the unincorporated Midcoast.