Police services study nearly complete | July 31, 2009 | Danville Express | DanvilleSanRamon.com |


Danville Express

Newsfront - July 31, 2009

Police services study nearly complete

Town Manager says draft report should be ready by late August

by Geoff Gillette

An ongoing study of police services in Danville has passed the halfway point and is expected to reach completion by the end of next month.

"Back in March the council approved entering into a contract with a firm to do a police services study. We went out jointly with the cities of Lafayette and Orinda, and hired one firm which is working with all three cities," said Town Manager Joe Calabrigo.

The firm, Matrix Consulting Group, is providing three separate studies to the three cities, he noted.

Matrix gave a brief status update June 14 at a Town Council study session on where they were with their report.

"At this point they are thinking that they will have an administrative draft to us by the beginning of August," Calabrigo stated.

After receiving the draft report, Calabrigo and Police Chief Chris Wenzel will go over the findings to check the factual information presented.

"After that we will be prepared to distribute it to the council to look at," Calabrigo said.

Danville does not currently have its own police force but contracts for the service through Contra Costa County. The town periodically examines the costs associated with the contract and compares them to the costs of providing police services "in house."

"We do an analysis of how we provide our police services to the community," Calabrigo related. "We do it to make sure we're utilizing the resources we have in the best possible way."

He stressed that the reason for the study is not because Danville officials are unhappy with the level of service they've received, but rather it is in order to provide sound recommendations to the county regarding how taxpayers' money is being spent.

"This is one of those areas where through the county's pension system, costs have increased rather significantly in the last few years. The concern is that we might not be able to keep pace with those costs increases as we move forward," Calabrigo said.

Under the contract with the county, Danville is provided a complement of 30 officers from the Sheriff's Department. Those officers are detailed to work for the Danville Police Department and are overseen by Police Chief Wenzel, who is a captain within the ranks at the Sheriff's Department.

Calabrigo said that once they have gone over the figures and results from the Matrix study he will formulate recommendations for the Town Council on how best to proceed.