Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach discussing police merger

May 10, 2011

Facing significant budget cuts, the cities of Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach are discussing combining their police departments. [KSBY]

Arroyo Grande City Council will consider the merger which would save from $850,000 to $1 million a year on Tuesday. According to the proposal, both police stations would be consolidated into one slated to be in Arroyo Grande near the Grover Beach border.

Currently, Arroyo Grande has 26 officers and Grover Beach employs 19. If the merger is approved, the new joint department would have a total of 38 officers.

Grover Beach’s city council has not formerly discussed the issue. A recent merger of the Oceano, Grover Beach and Arroyo Grande fire departments has been a success saving the cities a few hundred thousand dollars over the past few years.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Welcome to the real world.

What is, is what made made it.

I’d consider it if AG could guarantee at least the same level of service and response time we see now. Covering BOTH cities and with Grover becoming even more of a social armpit and likely to consume more resources, I don’t think they can pull it off. We’ll start off behind the eight ball and we all know government, it will NEVER get any better.

I say NO WAY!

It may work for Fire because we don’t have fires every day that consume the bulk of the available resources. Our law enforcement resources don’t need anymore workload thrown at them now.

The arm pit you speak of does not exist in Grover Beach. Satisticaly the crime is higher in Arroyo Grande than it is in Grover Beach. Have you already forgot that the recent cross burning and arson fires have all occured in Arroyo Grande!

Historicly the murder rate his higher in Arroyo Grande.

We have our problems in Grover Beach and I have provided the satistics here before proving Grover Beach has a below average crime rate companred to other cities in the county.

Please check the facts and think before you speak!

I lived there for 15 years and still hold property there.

You live in what’s becoming a cesspool and will never see the day when roads and other infrastructure are anywhere close to good. I’d invite you to drive around your “fine” town, especially south of Grand Ave and have a real good look at the houses, yards, and occupants of many of those homes.

I know you’d never come forth and admit I’m right but Grover is about 1/4 step above the Oceano Ghetto.

So then, you’re a slum lord, what a dweeb… You are SO VERY WRONG. Your comments are offensive, ignorant and ridiculous. Stick to the topic and if you don’t know the facts, just do everyone a favor and keep yourself silent.

Did I “offend” you Apathy? You poor thing, you.

Sorry, I’m not a Slum Lord, either. LOL! I don’t rent to anyone.

You should probably drive around the neighborhoods, too. You will become enlightened once you take those blinders off.

As a resident of Grover Beach and very proud of our home town police department I am very much against disbanding our fine police department and contracting with Arroyo Grande. This is not a merger in any means. The pending proposal is Arroyo Grande Police taking over police services of Grover Beach on a contractual basis.

This is not good for the citizens and tax payers of Grover Beach for several reasons.

1. Loss of local oversight and management.

2. Loss of budget control, and no legal right to be a party at the negotiations table with the employee unions leaving the Grover Beach tax payers held hostage to ever increasing labor costs of another city with a larger more powerful union with it’s higher demands of compensation and benefits.

3. Growing mistrust between local citizens and a contract police force with no local accountability.

4. Fewer local police officers on patrol within the city limits.

5. A police chief who is not accountable to the concerns of local citizens.

6. In almost every contract city, the long term costs even with reduced services have proven to be more expensive than it would have been to maintain a home town police department.

7. Once we give up our home town police department we will never get it back due to the high cost of reestablishing a police department from scratch. Therefore holding the city and tax payers hostage to ever increasing higher cost of contracting that will be kept just below the cost of canceling the contract and paying the cost of reestablishing a hometown police department.

I have lived in contract cities. In my experiences the service quality significantly decreases with each year that passes. Slower response times, face time with a officer replaced with online reporting, fewer officers on patrol within the city, no local accountability. Increasing officer attitude of “us vs them”, growing mistrust of the community and contract police force.

Grover Beach Police provides excellent service for a city of our size. Our officers are professional, courteous, and quick to respond. Their pay is lower than the county average, however it is appropriate to our budget and our officers are dedicated. Our city and political leaders do a good job of maintaining costs. A cost control that will be given up if they go forward with this terrible offer.

I am very proud of our hometown Grover Beach Police Officers and leadership.

NO, NO, NO to contracting.

I read “merger” and did not get that it was AG taking over GB’s force. I would like to know the details of the agreement, somehow I am doubtful that GB residents will not have a voice. I would hope that whatever new agency is formed from the two forces would act more as a CSD or School District, where boundaries include both cities, and thus representation is given for all those covered.

Of course, that would be creating a whole new bureaucracy, but it would eliminate two others.

I’m not saying you don’t have cause to be worried about accountability, but I did not read any of that in this CalCoastNews piece. Can you provide links to information that would enlighten us further?

I spoke with city hall yesterday based on other news reports.

It looks like AG would benefit from savings. How about Grover? What will the new station cost? If it’s connected to the affordable housing solution with the Redevelopment Agency in AG, it’s one strange idea.

Sounds like a good idea to me.

Not just a good idea, but a great standard by which to conduct the public’s business: efficiency.

Win-Win all around. I’m all for cutting waste and abuse before cutting employees, but sometimes you have to let some go (and that’s the down side of it, for those let go).

I’m wondering if it has gotten so out of hand that “cops, firefighters and teachers” are not as much the sacred cows/sacrificial lambs as before.

Ideally, they should trim all other overheads FIRST, such as administration, any unnecessary facilities, etc. before the actual useful people (the aforementioned sacrificial lambs).

Too often, when the government wants to gouge the taxpayers for even more, they offer up the “front line” folks. I mean, who doesn’t want teachers, firefighters and cops, right? Surely, we’re all willing to pay MORE (again and again).

We need to trim everywhere, less there be nothing left to trim at all. More than that, we need to reset our economy and get people back to being entrepreneurs and producers. It really is simple math: growing government shrinks the private sector, the private sector funds government (well, it used to before the “bail-outs” for public union pensions via the digitizing of the debt).

Allow me to calculate: 26 officers plus 19 officers equals….38 officers? A few going to be in the unemployment line? Hope their union sends them a comforting letter about how the union worked in their best interest all along and how their unemployment makes a polictical statement for officers everywhere and their sacrifice is worth it…should have lived on the right side of greed and settled for lower benefitis. This is just the beginning. Change is here!

Sure enough, they plan to layoff at least 7 officers. I wonder which Police Chief will be in charge and how many detectives will be workig the streets again as uniformed LE? I agree, “should have lived on the right side of greed and settled for lower benefitis”.

I hope the “beat cops” remain, and it’s a reduction in the upper echelons. As Cindy queries, which chief goes? I hope they both don’t stay, just for cost reasons. I think one chief is about two officers? I’d be curious to know that, too.

The hard part (for all agencies, nation-wide) will be the pensions. Those looming unfunded liabilities still need to be addressed, but this is a good start for smaller, co-located communities.

It looks the Chief made about about $150k in 2009 (although the upper limit is $130) and the officers made between $80k and $110k in 2009 (although the upper limit is $67k). That’s a pittance compared to what they’re pulling in in SLO though.