Like most towns, City of Bishop officials worry about money. Council members have met in a series of workshops to look for ways to cut costs and save cash. One of those ways they will look at involves the potential for the County Sheriff to contract with the City for law enforcement service. This is not something council members have decided on, but it is something they feel they should examine.
At their last meeting, the Council did agree to send a letter to Inyo Sheriff Bill Lutze to ask for discussions about dispatch services or complete law enforcement service. Sheriff Lutze said that he has received the City’s letter and will meet with representatives to start a dialogue on this issue.
Asked how he feels about a law enforcement contract, Bishop Police Chief Chris Carter said he could not blame the City Council for looking into it “because they do have a financial responsibility to look at any and all areas to save money,” he said. Carter said the Council has been clear with him that they would ask the County to provide the exact same level of service that the Police Department provides.
Chief Carter said going with the County would mean loss of control by the City Council over the details of police service and who oversees it. The Sheriff is an elected official. The Police Chief is employed by the City Council.
Chief Carter said he thinks that he, Sheriff Lutze, County Administrator Kevin Carunchio and City Administrator Keith Caldwell will initially sit down for a meeting. Citizens are just hearing that the Council is looking into a County contract. Police personnel watch developments with some tension.