FULLERTON (CBSLA.com) — Should one of the Southland’s most notorious police departments be replaced with sheriff’s deputies?
That’s the question facing the Fullerton City Council ahead of a meeting on Tuesday in which they will discuss whether to ask the Orange County Sheriff’s Department for a bid on their services.
Councilman Travis Keiger and Mayor Pro Tem Bruce Whitaker have requested the Council to review such a proposal, but Fullerton Mayor Sharon Quirk-Silva told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO that at this point any plan to do so is in the very early stages.
“I understand they’re wanting to do maybe a compare-and-contrast, and I certainly will look at that closely as we discuss it, but as far as if I support that and will vote on it, I’m gonna make that decision on Tuesday night,” said Quirk-Silva.
The analysis could ultimately pave the way for the Sheriff’s Department to submit a bid to take over foot patrols and other services in Fullerton in the wake of the fatal beating of homeless man Kelly Thomas that has resulted in widespread protests and national attention.
Three officers — Manuel Anthony Ramos, Joe Wolfe and Jay Cicinelli — also received letters of intent to terminate in May as they face charges including second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter for Thomas’ death.
The 108-year-old city of 144,000 currently has almost 150 sworn officers and a budget of between $35 million and $37 million, but Quirk-Silva said the numbers may not tell the whole story.
“Many, many times when I’ve seen these type of proposals, whether they be on regional boards I serve on or even within cities, whenever you in essence go out for a bid, many times those bids don’t include indirect costs,” she said.
The Council is scheduled to meet on Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.