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SANTA FE SPRINGS : City May Switch Its Law Enforcement

October 06, 1994|JOHN D. WAGNER

City officials may tear up their contract with the Sheriff's Department and hire Whittier police to provide law enforcement.

The Sheriff's Department has patrolled Santa Fe Springs since the city was founded in 1958, but city officials said they are concerned about rising costs for sheriff's services. The city is paying $4.3 million this year for deputy patrols, up 21.1% from the cost four years ago.

Santa Fe Springs officials said they would hope to save at least $500,000 by hiring Whittier police to patrol the city. Whittier and Santa Fe Springs officials have agreed to study the issue.

Whittier Police Chief Charles B. Hoover said he welcomed the proposal.

"I was flattered that Santa Fe Springs approached us," he said. "I don't believe it would make our job more difficult, because there would be (greater) staffing to take care of the increased caseload." The 94-officer department would have to be expanded by at least 30 officers to patrol Santa Fe Springs, police officials said.

Santa Fe Springs signed a five-year contract with the Norwalk sheriff's station in July but has the option of pulling out as early as May 1, 1995, city officials said.

Sheriff's officials were unavailable for comment.

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