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Bell Gardens : Survey Seeks Opinions on Switching to Sheriff's Dept.

December 06, 1990

Bell Gardens city leaders are asking residents whether they want to keep their police department or contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

According to a financial study by city staff members, the city would save $2 million in law enforcement services by contracting with the Sheriff's Department.

The cost of running the Bell Gardens Police Department for 1990-91 will be $4,979,358. If the city had contracted with the Sheriff's Department for 1990-91 the cost would have been $2,956,290, according to the report.

Residents are being asked in a survey distributed in the December issue of the City Hall newspaper, What's Happening, to say yes or no to the proposal. The survey also asks residents how they think the potential savings should be spent. The choices include more drug enforcement, gang suppression, senior citizen housing, single-family housing and the prosecution of slumlords.

City Manager Claude Booker said the City Council has not discussed contracting for law enforcement services, nor has the Sheriff's Department been contacted. He said that before they discuss the issue, city leaders want to gauge residents' response.

"As long as the public understands that they will pay $2 million more to keep the Police Department and they still want it, we will probably keep it," he said.

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