Town of Mammoth request for contract law enforcement costs apparently goes nowhere

monosheriffAlthough it was not publicly discussed, Mammoth Town officials did ask the Mono Sheriff’s Department how much it would cost to contract for law enforcement services through Mono County. The Sheriff suggested the Town use the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Contract Law Bureau to evaluate the cost of a law enforcement contract through Mono. He also suggested that the Town’s intended staffing levels are unsafe.

On November 7th, Sheriff Rick Scholl responded to Town Manager Dave Wilbrecht’s letter of November 2nd. Wilbrecht’s letter requested that the Mono Sheriff’s Office prepare a cost estimate for services to Mammoth. Sheriff Scholl wrote that “My office and/ or Mono County do not have the expertise in providing a detailed and comprehensive cost estimate relating to your request.” Sheriff Scholl said the estimate would have to examine “every minor detail” for accuracy.

Sheriff Scholl said he recommended the same thing Mammoth Police Chief Dan Watson suggested – that the Town “use the expertise of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office to obtain this specific cost estimate.” Town Manager Wilbrecht emailed us the Sheriff’s letter and said, “The Town is not planning to contact Los Angeles County for additional information.”

If the Town did choose to hire LA County to do a cost estimate, Sheriff Scholl said they would analyze demographics and budget, the police department itself, patrol service hours, deployment practices, community programs, facilities, town crime, arrest and traffic statistics. They would then recommend service levels for law enforcement to be provided by Mono County.

MLPD 3-23-10Sheriff Scholl wrote in his letter that the Town Manager expressed interest in a cost estimate for a staffing level of two officers on duty and available for calls at all times. The services now are up to four officers at any given time. Sheriff Scholl said, “I am advising you and the Town Council that I, as the Sheriff of Mono County, do not believe this is a viable option for providing law enforcement services for the Town of Mammoth Lakes.”

Sheriff Scholl goes on to say, “I wholeheartedly agree with Chief Watson and the California Peace Officers Standards and Training when I say you cannot serve a population of upwards of 35,000 on a weekend with only two officers, even if you have other law enforcement agencies that can respond to emergency situations to assist if needed.” Scholl said his office will not entertain the possibility of providing law enforcement services to Mammoth with only two officers on the streets at any given time. He said it would not be safe for the officers or the public.

Scholl did say he is open to the possibility of providing contract law enforcement services to Mammoth and possibly hiring current police “if and when they complete and pass a full background investigation.” Scholl said all of this – a cost estimate and establishment of a contract will be “very time consuming.” The Mammoth Town Council plans to decide on police cuts and other restructuring at their meeting Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, Mammoth Police Chief Dan Watson confirmed that he and Lieutenant John Mair met with representatives of the Inyo and Mono Sheriffs’ Departments and Bishop Police Department Friday morning to “discuss the feasibility of Mammoth Lakes hiring their personnel to fill regular shifts when we are unable to do so because of shortages.” Chief Watson said, “It was a very preliminary discussion and there’s nothing more to report.”

(MONO SHERIFF RICK SCHOLL’S LETTER TO MAMMOTH TOWN MANAGER DAVE WILBRECHT)

November 7, 2012

David Wilbrecht, Town Manager Town of Mammoth Lakes

P0 Box 1609

Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546

Re: RequestForLawEnforcementServicesEstimates

Dear Mr. Wilbrecht,

I am in receipt of your letter dated November 2, 2012 requesting that my office prepare a cost estimate to provide law enforcement services for the Town of Mammoth Lakes.

My office and/or the County of Mono do not have the expertise in providing a detailed and comprehensive cost estimate relating to your request. Operating a law enforcement agency is very complex, thus the estimate must look into every minor detail to be an accurate estimate for both agencies involved.

As I have discussed with you personally on a prior occasion, as Police Chief Dan Watson has done with the Mammoth Lakes Town Council (via memo), I am recommending that the Town of Mammoth Lakes utilize the expertise of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office to obtain this specific cost estimate.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office has a specific Contract Law Bureau that can provide the manpower and expertise needed to deliver a comprehensive cost estimate per your request. They have been providing contract services for decades and currently have more than forty contract cities that they provide law enforcement for. If you so choose to enter into a formal agreement with the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Office to conduct this evaluation, please contact Lieutenant Rick Mouwen at rtmouwen2i~lasd.org or (323) 526 – 5750.

Per the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office manual, during the Phase I feasibility study, crime and requested service data will be collected, existing service levels will be analyzed, and a recommended level of service will be developed, resulting in a contract cost estimate (for law enforcement service to be provided by Mono County Sheriffs Office). The areas analyzed include, but are not limited to: demographics and budget; the Police Department itself; patrol service hours; deployment practices; community programs; utilized facilities; Town crime; arrest and traffic statistics; along with ultimately recommended service levels for law enforcement.

In your letter, you identify an interest in obtaining an estimate for a staffing level of”2.0 officers on duty and available for Mammoth Lakes calls at all times,” with the current level of staffing now providing up to four officers at any given time. I am advising you and the Town Council that I, as the Sheriff of Mono County, do not believe this is a viable option for providing law enforcement services for the Town of Mammoth Lakes.

Police Chief Watson has spoken to the Mammoth Lakes Town Council on prior occasions relating to this topic and how he believes two officers cannot safely provide adequate law enforcement services within the Town. The Chief also related to the California Peace Officers Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) survey that was previously done which also recommends no less than seventeen officers or staff to provide law enforcement services.

I whole heartedly agree with Chief Watson and P.O.S.T., when I say you cannot serve a population of upwards of 35,000 on a weekend with only two officers, even if you have other law enforcement agencies that can respond to emergency situations to assist if needed.

The Mono County Sheriffs Office will not entertain the possibility of providing law enforcement services to the Town of Mammoth Lakes with only two officers on the streets at any given time. It would not be safe for my deputies, nor would it be safe for the citizens and visitors of the Town of Mammoth Lakes.

In closing, I am open to the possibility of having my office provide law enforcement services to the Town of Mammoth Lakes under contract, along with possibly hiring current personnel from your agency if and when they complete and pass a full background investigation as any new county employee would have to do (they would not necessarily maintain their current rank or assignment).

Please be mindful that the process for the Town of Mammoth Lakes to obtain a cost estimate for law enforcement services as discussed above, not to mention the possibility of my office having to interview, background and hire numerous employees to fulfill such a contract, will be very time consuming.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or my staff at your convenience.

Respectfully,

Richard C. Scholl

Sheriff/ Coroner

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19 Responses to Town of Mammoth request for contract law enforcement costs apparently goes nowhere

  1. MTN MAN December 2, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

    The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is the best experts in the state, if not the country on contracting Law Enforcement services to cities. They contract to many cities in Los Angeles County. They would give a very accurate figure to the Town and I believe that their analysis on Minimum Staffing Levels for public safety would be the same if not greater than the California POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) analysis that was recently compleated a few months ago at the request of Chief Watson. POST recommended 20 officers with a bare minimum of 17 officers if I recall correctly. (Benett feel free to fact check that)

    The Town Council chose to ignore the expert analysis and they are trying to get someone to agree with them. They cannot find anyone with Law Enforcement experience to agree with their foolish decision to gut their Police Department..

    Sheriff Scholl was wise not to fall into thier trap. The other thing to consider is the Mono County Board of Supervisors. Why would they vote to bail out the Town of Mammoth Lakes because the Town Council destroyed their own Police Department? What is in it for Mono County? It is not legal for them to make money on a Law Enforcement contract so the only things that they get out of it is bragging rights and the increased chance of getting sued due to the large amount of use of force incidents in Mammoth by the police because of all the bar problems.

    In reading between the lines of this story, I am betting that the Town thought that Sheriff Scholl would be a sucker and use Mono County funds to pay for the LASD analysis. Sheriff Scholl is a lot smarter that that. When he told the Town to contact LASD for the analysis, I bet he really told them,” you want it, you pay for it”.

    The Town’s next move will be to hire some hack to do it cheap and then try to force it down the County’s throat. I doubt this Board of Supervisors would fall for that.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 4

    • Big AL December 2, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

      So very right MNT man! their foolish scheme!

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  2. Jon December 2, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    Hey mammoth, easy solution, just take away the already unbalanced sales tax equation that mammoth gives to mono county and use the funds to cover your contract police.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 9

  3. what next December 2, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    This letter from Scholl proves to me the hatred, destructive, mean , arrogant attitude of Management ,council of the Town of Mammoth lakes. These jerks do not care what lives they destroy. What style of life we have or had. They do not give a crap.

    What I want to know Mr Welbrect is why do you and Town council have such a distaste for and over the MLPD.

    Why is your salary and that of triple M so much more important and essential than having a competent , happy and well staffed police department.

    Don’t you get it Mr. Wilbrect , that there is probably no police force that will come to contract with Mammoth lakes for any less staffing that the recommendations of the report from
    P.O. S. T. This could be another lawsuit waiting to happen. Either waste more town money getting another report that is more favorable or please save the damage you are causing to this town.

    You just settled a lawsuit do you really think it is responsible to cause something that will cause another. Mr. Wilbrect in my opinion you are reckless , and Your actions are egregious , outrageous,

    Please tell the public why you and council are so intent to destroy the MLPD at all costs. With all the public outcry and opposition you continue to maintain such a position. We the people do not want outsourced police. We want the police to be a part of community that is why we live here. The tourist wants police that protect them and serve them.

    Go ahead Mr. Wilbrect continue I think it is about time we get a recall going and get all the council replaced as well as you and triple M. It is obvious you don’t care about community.
    Your time is up too.

    Bennet please do not delete this post. What is said needs to be said in public. It is harsh but the crap seems to continue.
    I am so angry you have no idea. We need to find a legal way to get rid of these town wreckers before they destroy everything.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 1

    • Big AL December 2, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

      It’s not personal what’s next .. they don’t hate the PD really, they just have their agenda and the PD and everyone else is in the way. They are trying to pay off their fiasco by everyone Else’s expense it seems. They just are not doing right!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  4. P December 2, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    Good to see a responsible, thought out and sensible stance on the part of the Police Chief and Sheriff. Bravo.

    In the world of emergency services, there is a saying. Be aware of conditions or situations that shout ” watch out “.

    It is surely not a matter of … if…. but of ….. when..something really bad will happen.The Town will be subject to bad press, more liability and/or law suits due to this situation. When that happens, any savings or deal on economy public safety and law enforcement- if the town (council) could even pull it off- will seem quite small.

    As for liability…ladies and gentlemen of the jury.. the people to look at are the current town leaders.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 4

    • Big AL December 2, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

      This story is a good article ,, it is showing the real truth in a lot of things.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  5. what next December 2, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

    Look at it this way:

    Fire town manager , Save at least 150k – affect on Joe citizen = NONE
    Fire Assistant Town Manager Save at least 300k – affect on Joe citizen =NONE
    Fire Public works Director save maybe 200k – affect on Joe citizen = NONE
    Get rid of MLH save 300k – Affect on Joe citizen = Little, aid is small %

    Get rid of Director of Tourism – save 100k affect on Joe citizen = lots, loss of tourism –
    loss of jobs , ………
    Get rid of proper police Dept. save ????? Affect on Joe citizen, increase of crime, loss of tourism

    Build foolish monuments priceless.

    Waste money on reports , consultants, other foolish things!

    Gee I see lots of savings. Good ones too.

    NOT!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

    • Trouble December 4, 2012 at 6:23 am #

      Should we burn down the Mission also?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  6. what next December 2, 2012 at 11:30 pm #

    oh another item :
    what the hell is a Town manager dictating to Law enforcement how to run a department. Deciding what is acceptable LOS ( level of Service ).

    When did Walbrect or the Town council become subject matter experts of Law enforcement? Huh. what right do they have to basically override industry experts opinion.
    Folks these are the ones we trust!

    We need a petition to get rid of all of them.

    Also
    Anyone curious as to the fact that Scholl announced his retirement at the same time of these letters. …. Benett you care to investigate this one.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

    • Big AL December 3, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

      Umm they obviously are not experts, they were trying to get the Sheriff to submit a contract plan to them, when the Sheriff suggested they contact the LA Sheriff to do it, they could easily put together a report for them, they decline, they didn’t want to pay LA for a report, hmmm.

      If they were experts they would know that cutting the PD is senseless. Obviously they are not.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  7. Let the recall commence December 3, 2012 at 6:27 am #

    A recall is the only way The People can rid themselves from the self-centered corruption in the community.

    Where’s the petition I can sign?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

    • the dissenting vote December 3, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

      I wonder who the lone councilman was that gave the recall idea a thumbs down?
      I bet it was Eastman.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  8. Roy December 3, 2012 at 8:52 am #

    I spent 30 years with the LA County Sheriff’s Dept. 15 years at patrol stations that served contracted cities.. I found that the cities always got more service than what they paid for. One city only paid for one criminal car around the clock and one traffic car for 16 hours… If a hot call came out,, 2-3 County cars would be called to assist the city car and that service from the county cars was free…

    Contract city cars were never ever busted, but it was not uncommon for a patrol car assigned to a County area to be not in service due to manpower issues…

    My last station was located in the contract city with a huge unincorporated county area to patrol. Every county car had to travel thru the contract city to get to their assigned beat which gave the city free service and visibility of a patrol car…I can recall many times when the city car got tied up for hours on a call ( suicide for example) and county cars came in to patrol the city which was a service not paid for…

    The LA Sheriff’s Dept. is without a doubt the best agency to do the survey for the town, but its the towns responsibility to pay for it…

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  9. Do as I say - not as I do December 3, 2012 at 9:37 am #

    A former County official disclosed that not long ago, County officials were sold on the idea of a salary freeze that continues to this day. Even Rusty Gregory volunteered to reduce his salary in a show of good faith.

    It seems to me, the honorable (and wisest) thing to do, is to follow suit and also reduce the salaries of the highest ranking and highest paid officials rather than fire cops and/or expect the County to pick up the slack.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  10. what next December 3, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    The problem is no one can force a public union employee to take cuts without contract approvals. Most public employees will not go for that as the pension is based upon last so many months of service. Even Wilbrect and Council realize is that even contracting with MCSD will not provide a lower cost per se as the one big savings will be the elimination of the MLPD police chief. Now if Cheif Watson wants to save his position and reduce his salary that may help. MCSD will still need to staff at appropriate levels , pay similar to what the current officers make, and hire additional supervisory officers.

    Keep up the great work Wilbrect … Your time is limited as Manager of this town. Same goes to the Council.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  11. Sean F December 3, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    If you guys want to really get something done the people here need to organize and force change. Otherwise we are all just keyboard commandos.

    Whoever is the most interested might consider forming a group online where people can register, form some sort of group,and then take direct action. Something like “Citizens for a safe Mammoth Lakes” .com .

    I am sure Bennett would write about the new group so people could become aware of it and join if they wanted.

    Don’t look at me for this. It is just an idea I am putting out there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  12. Charles O. Jones December 4, 2012 at 11:12 am #

    Public safety services should not be cut until all administrators and department heads have taken a 15% pay cut.

    All those in favor vote thumbs up!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

    • Get Real December 4, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

      I am thinking they should tale a 26% pay and benefit cut like they made the cops take. Fair is Fair.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

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