County Pulse

County leaders could approve new sheriff’s service contracts with Hughson, Waterford

kcarlson@modbee.comNovember 30, 2013 

Stanislaus County leaders could approve new contracts this week for law enforcement services in Hughson and Waterford.

The small cities recently agreed to renew contracts for Sheriff’s Department service until June 30, 2016. County supervisors could sign off during their regular meeting Tuesday morning at 10th Street Place in Modesto.

For Hughson, the annual estimated costs for staffing, overtime, dispatch and supplies will be $1.12million, a 3percent increase over the last budget year. Hughson is adding a half-time sergeant to its police service, which also includes five deputies, a chief and clerk.

Waterford is expected to pay $1.48million a year, a 6percent increase. The Sheriff’s Department provides Waterford with seven deputies, a half-time sergeant, a chief and legal clerk.

The cities reimburse the Sheriff’s Department for actual costs of service based on a monthly reconciliation. At the end of each year, the county either returns any extra payments to the cities or the cities write checks for additional amounts owed.

Hughson and Waterford no longer will share a chief to manage their respective police services. After hearing complaints from residents about response times and rising crime, the Waterford City Council asked Sheriff Adam Christianson for a chief to focus on improving public safety. Lt. Robert Hunt is taking over as interim police manager in Waterford until the post is filled on a permanent basis in January.

Lt. Darin Gharat will be the chief only for Hughson.

The previous agreements for sheriff services in Hughson, Waterford and Patterson expired in July but were extended month-to-month on the same terms until new agreements were negotiated. The sheriff also has a contract with Riverbank that runs until June 2015.

In the past few months, county officials met with all four cities to hammer out standardized agreements for police service. On Nov. 19, the Patterson council considered a new contract with options for beefed-up staffing, but asked for more information before taking a vote.

Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at kcarlson@modbee.com or (209)578-2321.

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