• Pacific Grove and Seaside set to share more police services — Woefully understaffed, PG needs more officers

    By Marge Ann Jameson POSTED 01/03/13

    Hoping to expand shared services opportunities for the police departments of both cities, Pacific Grove and Seaside staff are looking for more capacity and efficiency in law enforcement and protection services. Police chief Vicki Myers made a presentation to the City Council on Jan. 2 which outlined advantages for both departments.

    Since 2004, Pacific Grove has had a shared services agreement with the city of Carmel, and since 2012 have shared a police chief with Seaside. The Monterey Peninsula Regional Special Response Unit shares resources and officers from Seaside, Pacific Grove, Monterey, Carmel, Sand City, Marina and CSUMB: Officers train monthly to be able to respond to high-risk criminal activity. At the Dec. 19 meeting, Chief Myers obtained approval for Pacific Grove to join the Monterey Peninsula Regional Violence and Narcotics Team (PRVNT), a regional effort to respond to the challenge of the sale, distribution, and use of illicit drugs.

    Grossly understaffed due to resignations and unsuccessful recruiting, Pacific Grove has struggled to provide services for its citizens. There are 22 officer positions and 17 of those are filled. But three of those officers are on disability due to on-duty injuries and one is in the National Guard and is currently deployed to Afghanistan. He will not return until the spring of 2013. That leaves 13 officers, of which two are commanders with administrative duties. Result: 11 officers for patrol. There are no detectives, there is no funding for the school resource officer, and there is none for traffic control. There are no sergeants, either. The lobby of the Pacific Grove Police station will close during the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., saving the City an estimated $52,000 per year.

    “The financial consideration,” said Chief Myers in her report, “is to draw upon straight-time personnel instead of paying overtime.” Pacific Grove has already used this program to fill patrol vacancies with a Seaside patrol officer. In the past, with Carmel, Pacific Grove and Carmel have “traded hours” to fill needs. If a Pacific Grove officer goes to Carmel for three hours, for example, a “tab” is run and later, Carmel will lend an officer to Pacific Grove for three hours. No checks are traded.

    The proposal now goes before the Seaside City Council and then will come back to Pacific Grove if there are any changes. The respective negotiators (in our case, Tom Frutchey, City Manager) will then present the plan to the safety officer organizations.

     

    posted to Cedar Street Times on January 3, 2013

    Topics: Front PG News

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