Why Are We Discussing Creating a Police Department? FAQS
Why Are We Discussing Creating a Police Department?
Frequently Asked Questions
There have been many great questions asked regarding the current discussion of the City of Eastvale considering creating an Eastvale Police Department. To help answer these questions and to give more background of this matter, we have put together frequently asked questions for reference.
The City of Eastvale invites residents to join in a community workshop at the next Public Safety Commission Meeting on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers located at 12363 Limonite Avenue Suite 900 in Eastvale. View agenda for this meeting.
What is driving this decision?
The City of Eastvale is considering creating its own Police Department to address the rising expense of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department contract. This consideration could save millions of dollars per year while improving response times and increasing the number of officers that are available for patrol. On Wednesday, March 13, 2019, the City of Eastvale hosted their second budget goal setting workshop for the 19/20 fiscal budget year, specifically focused on public safety. Among the topics discussed was the possibility of creating Eastvale’s own Police Department.
What could the cost savings be by creating an Eastvale Police Department?
The current contract with Riverside County Sherriff’s Department is $11,825,572, with rising cost predictions. In the last five years, the RSO rate has increased by more than 30%, outpacing regional index cost of living. The City of Eastvale’s contract with RSO has increased nearly 75% in the last 5 years which includes additional patrol hours. The RSO five-year budget projection is estimated at $74,860,000 and a future Police Department five-year projection is $68,310,000; estimating a five-year savings of approximately $6,550,000.
Is there something wrong with the services provided by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department?
This discussion does not in any way reflect our satisfaction with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. The hard-working women and men from RSO are working hard every day to keep our city safe and we value every deputy who is assigned to Eastvale. They have helped Eastvale become the 12th safest city in California, in addition to our Neighborhood Watch Program and City Council’s strategic public safety investments.
This is a decision on how to best provide law enforcement services that our residents desire. With the rising annual contract costs from RSO, it would be irresponsible of us not to research this opportunity. There are many factors to consider and we look forward to engaging the community in this process.
With the RSO contract, the City doesn’t have control over how and when the services are provided. For example, in February 2018, City Council authorized a 10 hour increase from 90 to 100 hours of patrol per day. While the money is available and within the City budget, we have not received the authorized hours. Unfortunately, we are about 500 hours short this year of receiving 90 hours per day, as we are averaging 87 hours per day currently.
What difference can I see in response times for calls for service?
Our current law enforcement response times are between 7-8 minutes for priority 1 calls (i.e. an immediate threat to life or property) and we could see this time reduced to under 5 minutes with more available officers.
When I dial 9-1-1, who would answer and what does this transition look like?
We would identify the best option for these needs and evaluate if it would be more advantageous to create our own dispatch center or partner with a nearby agency to collaboratively provide dispatch services. The goal would be to provide the highest quality of customer service for the best value.
When would we be able to start recruiting for this Police Department?
The timing of recruitment is to be determined based on City Council’s direction. We would be looking to recruit lateral officers from law enforcement agencies.
Where would the Police Department be located?
The City now owns two properties. We own 22 acres of which 12-15 acres is developable at the southwest corner of Citrus Street and Scholar Way. The City also owns approximately seven acres east of the Schleisman Road and Hamner Avenue intersection. We purchased these lands because we have land use needs such as a Civic Center for City Hall, Library, and potentially a Police Station. We are also beginning to do a site selection and design for a permanent Civic Center.
What would happen to the deputies currently assigned to Eastvale through the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department?
We have spoken with our RSO Management representatives and have confirmed that there are enough vacancies, as well as normal attrition of deputies through retirements, etc. throughout the agency that would provide transition assignments according to RSO polices. There could also be an opportunity for them to apply for potential future recruitment openings with an Eastvale Police Department.
What types of programs and specialized teams can we expect with an Eastvale Police Department?
We would develop a comprehensive local Police Department with community desired programs that align with our residents’ needs. There may be a desire to partner with other agencies to provide some of these services through a transition phase.
How many sworn officers do we currently have and how many would we anticipate having with an Eastvale Police Department?
Currently, the contract we hold with RSO ensures approximately 29 sworn officers, although we have budgeted for 32. By incorporating an Eastvale Police Department, we can anticipate having approximately 44 sworn officers in the first year and, we could grow it to 56-60 sworn officers over a four to five-year period if the voters of Eastvale support a 1% sales tax measure.
Why would the City be considering a 1% sales tax measure and what would it pay for?
In the recent Community Satisfaction Study, residents were asked the following question:
“In order to help fund priority services and projects, voters in Eastvale may be asked to vote on a local ballot measure in the future. Services shall include:
- Police Patrols, Crime Prevention, Fire Protection, 9-1-1 Emergency Response
- Street Maintenance, Pothole Repairs, Traffic Light Synchronization, and Smart City Technology
- Parks & Recreation, Walking Trails, Infrastructure
Shall the measure establishing a 1% sales tax be adopted, providing up to 10 million dollars annually for City services until ended by voters that can’t be taken by the State, and requiring resident oversight, independent audits, and all funds controlled locally?
What is the need for a 1% sales tax measure?
At the public safety budget workshop on March 13, 2019, we shared that if we do not create fiscal revenue opportunities, the two lines of revenue to expenses (pictured below) will outpace revenue by 2024. Fortunately, decisions made by the City Council over the last few years will help push that number out a little further into the future. As we maintain fiscal responsibility that our residents are counting on, we want to make sure we have financial stability decades into the future.
If we as a City were to consider a local sales tax measure, the generated revenue would stay in Eastvale and serve our residents and businesses. This could generate an additional $9.5 – 10 million in revenue for the City to better serve our residents, enhance services, and make strategic investments to grow our revenues with commercial retail and higher value generating land uses.
If a sales tax measure were approved, it would allow Eastvale to more than double hours of patrol from 90 to 210 patrol hours per day. Without the 1% sales tax increase, we would be between 100 to 150 patrol hours per day.
How much more would my property taxes increase with a 1% sales tax?
Zero percent of property taxes would be impacted by this potential sales tax measure. Property taxes would remain the same. The sales tax initiative would include anyone, both residents and non-residents, buying taxable items within the City of Eastvale.
How are my property taxes currently spent on City services?
*Additional assessment costs exist in many homes such as CFD’s, LMD’s, etc.
On an average priced home, the City of Eastvale receives $550; $400 of which is restricted to Fire Services and $150 goes to the City’s General Fund.
How do I voice my opinion, and will there be future meetings hosted to further this discussion?
We want to encourage residents to voice their opinions, feedback, and input on this important discussion. We encourage residents to participate in our upcoming public meetings that will include further discussion of this matter.
- Public Safety Commission Meeting | March 26, 2019 at 6 p.m.
- City Council Meeting | March 27, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.
- City Council Meeting & 1st Hearing Budget Adoption | April 24, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.
- City Council Meeting & 2nd Hearing Budget & Adoption | May 22, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.
More information can be found on our website at www.eastvaleca.gov or on our social media platforms. *All meetings will be held in our Council Chambers located at 12363 Limonite Avenue Suite 910 Eastvale, CA 91752.
What is the best way to stay updated on the status of the possibility of creating a Police Department?
When can we expect a decision to be made and what does the timeline look like for this possible project?
The timing and decision are up to the City Council and have not been determined at this point.