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Goleta Approves New Contract With Sheriff’s Department

$7.1 million pact will maintain the city's current levels of law enforcement services

The City of Goleta on Tuesday approved a $7.1 million contract with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department that maintains current levels of law enforcement services.

It’s the city’s largest contract, and Goleta has used the Sheriff’s Department for its police force since it officially became a city in 2002.

For the 2012-13 fiscal year, which begins July 1, the City Council approved 32.08 full-time positions that will service the city, including that of a third traffic officer that was added last November. Those services will add up to $7.1 million, a 7.4 percent increase over adopted funding levels.

Council members have expressed concern about the rising costs of law enforcement in the past, and hired an independent consultant to look into the contract.

The report concluded that the Sheriff’s Department provides a good level of service to the city, and that it would be too expensive to create a city police department for the time being.

The contract also will continue the Sheriff’s Department storefront in Camino Real Marketplace, which is provided at no cost to the city.

Just before the council approved the contract unanimously, Undersheriff Jim Peterson spoke.

“We really do look forward to continuing on in the service,” he said, adding that the consultant report was affirmation for the department. “On behalf of the SBSO, Let’s keep it going and keep everyone safe.”

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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