A Facebook group of just over 200 residents of Yorba Linda is opposing the idea of ending the City of Yorba Linda’s contract with the City of Brea’s Police Department. There are 64,500 residents in Yorba Linda, which means this group of 200 is numerically insignificant – they aren’t even 1% of Yorba Linda’s population! Some of them also apparently set up a website too. Their site notes about 325 supporters – again a pittance compared to the entire population of Yorba Linda.
The real question, which has been raised by famed FFFF blogger Tony Bushala, is why in the world the tiny City of Brea is providing police services to the City of Yorba Linda in the first place! What the heck is that all about? If the Brea police have too many officers, can’t they just cut the extra ones? Or, as has been suggested by one of the Yorba Linda Council Members, shouldn’t the two cities be running the police in conjunction, under the auspices of a joint authority?
The Brea police groupies fail to mention that costs have absolutely skyrocketed over the past few years, as illustrated in this graphic:
Click here to see that chart online, in a bigger version. Here’s what it boils down to, according to the O.C. Register, Yorba Linda Mayor Mark Schwing told a crowd at a City Council meeting that the cost of the police contract has increased by nearly 68 percent in the past decade, double the rate of inflation during the same period! Yorba Linda’s police costs have almost doubled since 2001/2001, shooting up from $6.5 million to $11 million. Yorba Linda’s police costs now make up 41% of their total city budget. How does this affect each resident of Yorba Linda? The cost per person for police services in 2000-01 was $108.37, and that cost has now increased to $171.13 per resident. Can you really blame the Yorba Linda City Council for wanting to explore their alternatives?
An informal analysis of what it would cost the Sheriff’s Department to police Yorba Linda determined that the first year would be about $1.1 million less than what the city is paying Brea. Start-up costs for buying vehicles and equipment would be $1.5 million, and there would be unknown costs for housing the 46 employees that would be assigned to the city, according to the O.C. Register.
The Brea police groupies have complained that the Sheriff’s Department can’t possibly serve the City of Yorba Linda since they would be stationed in Santa Ana, even though Sheriff Hutchens herself acknowledged that there would be unknown costs for housing the Deputies who would be assigned to the City of Yorba Linda. But did you know that the Sheriff’s Department already polices the unincorporated area just east of Yorba Linda? Click here to learn more about the OCSD’s North Operations.
Other options that the City of Yorba Linda is exploring include contracting with the police in the Cities of Anaheim or Placentia. At the very least they have put some pressure now on the City of Brea’s police department to do something about their costs in any subsequent proposals.
It seems to me that the Yorba Linda City Council deserves kudos for their actions to reduce their cost overruns and their increasing reliance on their reserves. You can learn a lot more about this entire imbroglio by reading the City of Yorba Linda’s staff report about their police services and budget.
You should also have a look at the City of Yorba Linda’s crime statistics, which reveal that just about every category of crime has gone down in their city- in fact they have had only 5 homicides since 2006, and only one since 2009. What in the world are the Brea police groupies having such a cow about? Their city is about as safe as could be – and will likely stay that way no matter which police department ends up serving them.
As one might imagine liberal Orange Juice blogger Greg Diamond, who apparently rents an abode in Brea, weighed in on this story and after exhausting perhaps ten thousand words he appeared to lack a conclusion, but he did at least advise that interested parties may attend the Yorba Linda City Council meeting on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 6:30PM. That is probably not a bad idea, but the City of Yorba Linda apparently offers online videos of their meetings so there is no need to rush down there at dinnertime.