Serving the community since 1970

Council talks about police costs

Wasco Police Services requested continued coverage of operating costs at the City Council meeting on Tuesday.

The City of Wasco holds a contract with the Kern County Sheriff’s Department to maintain and fund sufficient law enforcement services for the city. Any services offered by Wasco Police Services unit outside of that contract is covered by the City of Wasco.

“We want to continue covering those costs,” said Interim Finance Director Satwant Tukhar.

One such cost was for the maintenance of in-car dash-mounted and body-mounted camera systems for law enforcement officers. These systems were implemented in 2012 and 2015 respectively and are beginning to fail.

Additionally, Police Services holds annual events to train officers in the specific traffic control needs of the City of Wasco and conferences on special narcotic training, said Tukhar. The proposed operating budget for law enforcement services was $3,168,058.

Animal Control Services requested that the City Council include in the annual operating budget of the City of Wasco an allowance for improvements to the Animal Shelter and other services offered.

Representatives of Animal Control Services addressed the council last week regarding sanitation, safet, and organizational difficulties the shelter is facing. The council agreed to include an allotment of about $5,000 in the operating budget for spay and neutering services, said City Manager Daniel Ortiz-Hernandez. The budget for Animal Control Services was $272,250 before the changes were made.

The City of Wasco has only two drivers for the Dial-A-Ride services.

“We heard from a few residents who were there [at the council meeting]. There was a request to continue and, if possible, expand the Dial-A-Ride service,” said Hernandez.

These residents petitioned for increased access to the transportation service after hours and on the weekend. The council considered hiring another part-time driver to fulfill these requests.

City Council will vote to approve the operating budget at the next week’s council meeting on Tuesday.


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