Bishop City Council examines LE contract with Inyo Sheriff

Sheriff Bill Lutze will meet with City of Bishop officials.

Sheriff Bill Lutze will meet with City of Bishop officials.

Like most towns, City of Bishop officials worry about money. Council members have met in a series of workshops to look for ways to cut costs and save cash. One of those ways they will look at involves the potential for the County Sheriff to contract with the City for law enforcement service. This is not something council members have decided on, but it is something they feel they should examine.

At their last meeting, the Council did agree to send a letter to Inyo Sheriff Bill Lutze to ask for discussions about dispatch services or complete law enforcement service. Sheriff Lutze said that he has received the City’s letter and will meet with representatives to start a dialogue on this issue.

Asked how he feels about a law enforcement contract, Bishop Police Chief Chris Carter said he could not blame the City Council for looking into it “because they do have a financial responsibility to look at any and all areas to save money,” he said. Carter said the Council has been clear with him that they would ask the County to provide the exact same level of service that the Police Department provides.

Chief Carter said going with the County would mean loss of control by the City Council over the details of police service and who oversees it. The Sheriff is an elected official. The Police Chief is employed by the City Council.

Chief Carter said he thinks that he, Sheriff Lutze, County Administrator Kevin Carunchio and City Administrator Keith Caldwell will initially sit down for a meeting. Citizens are just hearing that the Council is looking into a County contract. Police personnel watch developments with some tension.

 

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Dan
Dan
8 years ago

There is no way you will have the same service that you have with the local Police Department if you contract with the Sheriff’s Dept. I grew up in Bishop, work in Bishop, and live in the City Limits. I am raising my children here as I was raised. I… Read more »

lifetime local
lifetime local
8 years ago

Did anyone else notice that in the story regarding suspects being arrested for breaking into Rite Aid and Wave rave that the police dept had to step in due to the fact that the sheriff’s deputy on duty was unavailable? Not to infer that the deputy was not doing his… Read more »

Seriously?
Seriously?
8 years ago
Reply to  lifetime local

lifetime local: If the Sheriff’s Department is to be contracted for the City of Bishop, then it would be exactly that. There would be deputies assigned to the city limits and the deputies working the county would work that area. Where is the political vendettas and personal conflict with the… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago
Reply to  Seriously?

That is not how it works in real life. Instead of voting my comments down, study the experience of the city of Tehachapi when they disestablished their police force and hired Kern County Sheriffs Dept. to patrol their city. It did not work for them and there are knowable, understandable… Read more »

Lesson Learned
Lesson Learned
8 years ago

Actually, I think the legacy of the last 4 sheriffs of Mono County, current sheriff in particular would be an example of why you should do anything you possibly can to keep your current PD intact. The honesty and integrity that should be required to be sheriff of a county… Read more »

Big Rick OBrien
Big Rick OBrien
8 years ago

Consider the crappola that goes on north of the Inyo County line and the fact that no one can do anything about it (at least until the next election) I’d bet $$$ there are many Bridgeport residents that wish they had a Chief of Police, INSTEAD of a …

tim
tim
8 years ago

One big negative especially in the more rural counties, is that the Sheriff is elected from a small list of candidates and the quality of the overall agency can vary dramatically and nothing can be changed until the next election and then is still kneecapped by the lack of a… Read more »

sugar magnolia
sugar magnolia
8 years ago

Has Bishop ever considered expanding it’s city limits? Very few cities are only 1 square mile. Many people don’t even realize that the 3,500 population sign only means the small area that is actually incorporated. A logical City boundary might be Schober lane, Shepard Lane and Dixon Lane. Having a… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago
Reply to  sugar magnolia

Bishop is 1.9 square miles in area with a 2010 census population of 3879. West Bishop has a 2010 census population of about 2600. I think you would have to draw the city limit of Bishop awfully large to encompass ten thousand people. The whole population of Inyo County is… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago

Remember, most of the population is in northern Inyo. The generally accepted population of the Bishop area is 10,000. We’ll have to check the census on that.
BK

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Where? The only sizeable “Census Designated Place” or CPD north of Bishop is Dixon Lane-Meadow Creek with 2645 people as of the 2010 census. The rest of the CPDs have populations in the tens to the low hundreds.

Pedro
Pedro
8 years ago

Paiute – Shoshone Nation.

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago

While the sheriffs department might this year or next offer a contract with a price that undercuts the cost to operate the Bishop PD, a real concern has to be what price the sheriffs department choosed to extract from Bishop several years from now when the Bishop PD has been… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago

By the way, this is the precise reason why the city of Tehachapi fired KCSD and re-established their police department again. They too once thought they would save money from the municipal budget by closing their PD and hiring Kern County Sheriffs Dept and chose to follow this path. It… Read more »

Mr. NRA
Mr. NRA
8 years ago

On way the city can save money is by stop using the Siren. That thing is not only a nuisance but is not needed in a this modern day of technology. Nobody likes being woken up in the middle of the night by a blaring siren and we don’t need… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  Mr. NRA

The 12pm sirens in our towns are a daily test. As a news person, I appreciate the sirens. They alert me to listen to the scanner to see if something critical is happening that needs to be reported. Not sure if the volunteers still need the siren, but it used… Read more »

Dingo
Dingo
8 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Since I don’t own a watch or a cell phone, I can appreciate the siren as well.

Don’t look at me like that.

Con
Con
8 years ago
Reply to  Mr. NRA

The city won’t save anything by cutting the sirens. They don’t cost the city anything other than maintenance every couple of years.

Mr. NRA
Mr. NRA
8 years ago

Whatever happened with Symons? Did they ever pay up? Get a new contract, or are they just getting free services? The citizens of Bishop would life The Rest of the Story.

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  Mr. NRA

The City said payments of the past were resolved and a new contract is in the works.
BK