Agenda Item: 3



City Manager Approval:


Item to be presented by:

Tina Haddad


April 22, 2014




City Manager's Office



1. City Council approve the Municipal Law Enforcement Agreement with Los Angeles County for the period of July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2019, and authorize the City Manager or designee to sign the contract, subject to City Attorney approval.

2. Authorize the City Manager or designee to execute all documents, including five annual renewal options, in accordance with the terms of the contract, subject to City Attorney approval.


Since incorporation, the City of Santa Clarita has contracted with the County of Los Angeles (County) for law enforcement services. Per the terms of the Law Enforcement Agreement (Agreement), the County provides law enforcement services within the incorporated limits of the City. The current five year Agreement between the City of Santa Clarita and a number of cities throughout the County is set to expire on June 30, 2014.

Contracting with the County’s Sheriff's Department provides many benefits over the City having its own police department. Through this partnership, the City has access to regional resources such as special weapons and tactics (SWAT) units, crime labs, special investigative units, and many more.

The primary activities provided by the Sheriff’s Department through this Agreement include continuous neighborhood patrol, traffic enforcement, accident investigation, detective functions, Crime Prevention Unit (CPU), helicopter patrol, Juvenile Intervention Team (J-Team), Vital Intervention and Directional Alternatives (VIDA) unit, Detective Bureau, parking enforcement, community policing services, and supplemental service during special City events.   

While having our own police department does not preclude us from establishing these services, it is much more efficient to spread the costs among the County and other cities that also contract with the Sheriff's Department. 

In addition to the services provided, the City also works very closely with the Sheriff's Department and is assigned a captain that serves as the City's Chief of Police and reports directly to the City Manager. The contract provides the City with a highly trained police department with vast resources and personnel that is focused on our City. 

Santa Clarita is a great example of successful, innovative and efficient contract law enforcement services. Based on experience from similar municipalities, Santa Clarita spends less money contracting with the Sheriff’s Department than it would if the City operated and maintained its own police department. 

The City experienced a drop in its Part I crime rate in 2013, with reductions over the previous year in arson, robbery, aggravated assault, and grand theft auto.  Based on FBI statistics, Santa Clarita is one of the top 10 safest cities of its size (population over 150,000) in the nation.  Santa Clarita continues to experience some of the lowest crime rates in Los Angeles County compared to all other cities with a population over 75,000.

The most significant changes to the Agreement are found in Sections 2.6 and 2.7.  Specifically, the new Agreement only holds the Limited Liability Trust Fund (LTF) liable for compensation to any County employee or agent of the County for injury or sickness arising out of their performance of services stated in the Agreement.  The previous Agreement with the County does not make this distinction and theoretically the LTF could potentially be liable for compensation to a contract County employee if they are injured while participating in activities not outlined in the Agreement.  Each year the City pays a contribution to the LTF as a surcharge on all contract services with the Sheriff’s Department.   These funds are pooled with the other contract cities in the County and are used to pay a variety of settlement claims stemming from policing services, such as use of excessive force, false arrest, etc. 

The new Agreement also adds language to Section 3.0 pertaining to monthly service compliance rates. The compliance rate is the percentage of minutes provided by the deputies as compared to the target minutes that are paid for by the City. The additional language to Section 3.0 states that the Sheriff’s Department will make every attempt to avoid deployment deficiencies and if the monthly compliance rate falls below 98%, the Chief of Police will need to meet with the City Manager and provide a plan for resolution. The resolution may include overtime and staffing adjustments, at no additional cost to the City, provided by the County until the City’s concerns are resolved and the required monthly deployment service levels are met. The purpose of this modification is to strengthen the collaboration and communication between the County and the contracting city.

Since 2009 the average compliance rate for law enforcement services provided in the City is 99.98%. The County has met the City’s deployment service levels consistently for the past five years and the City does not anticipate the need for requiring a future plan for resolution from the Sheriff’s Department.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department contracts with 42 cities. Of these cities, 40 have already approved the recommended Agreement. The County Board of Supervisors is expected to approve this Agreement during their meeting on May 20, 2014.


Other action as determined by the City Council.


Rates for law enforcement services are provided by the County of Los Angeles Auditor- Controller on an annual basis effective July 1 of each year of the five-year agreement. Rates are determined based on the fully burdened cost of deploying patrol units including variables such as salary, benefits, equipment (vehicles, radios, maintenance, etc.), vacation and sick relief.

All activities required to carry out the recommended action are contained within the City’s proposed Fiscal Year 2014-2015 budget.


Proposed Amendments to Law Enforcement Services Agreement

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