Sheriff gets go-ahead to charge more for patrol deputies

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Riverside County supervisors today signed off on a sheriff's department request to hike the rates charged to cities and other contract entities for the use of patrol deputies and other personnel.

In a 4-0 vote, with Supervisor Jeff Stone absent, the Board of Supervisors approved the rate increases, retroactive to July 1, 2012, which sheriff's officials say are needed to recoup higher operational costs incurred by the department over the past year.

Under the revised rate schedule, the cost of a sheriff's patrol deputy will rise from $126.74 per hour to $132.69 -- a 4.69 percent jump from the previous fiscal year.

The increase reflects higher labor expenses and the costs associated with support functions, including supervisors and administrators. The cost of staff benefits are also priced into the figures.

Higher extra duty pay rates for other sworn and non-sworn personnel were included in the revised rate schedule. According to sheriff's officials, cities and other contracting parties will only be billed for those expenses if they choose to expand their public safety staffs beyond the number called for under their law enforcement services agreements.

According to the plan, the cost of an additional sheriff's patrol corporal will increase from $135.53 per hour to $141.15 per hour, or about 4.15 percent; an additional sheriff's investigator from $69.13 to $73.17, or 5.84 percent; and an additional school resource officer from $68.22 to $73.51, or about 8 percent.

In several instances, costs for contingency personnel will go down. The hourly rate of a sheriff's captain will fall from $120.51 to $116.23 per hour, a 3.5 percent drop; a lieutenant from $106.03 to $102.96, a 3 percent dip; and a sergeant from $92.39 to $89.45, also 3 percent lower.

According to sheriff's documents, 15 cities, a community services district and the Morongo Band of Mission Indians will be required to pay increased sums for the sheriff's use of facilities dedicated to servicing the communities.

According to the sheriff's department, the heftier bills generally stem from county Department of Facilities Management costs to maintain stations, including lights, waterworks, landscaping and custodial operations. The sheriff initially carries the expenses, then passes them on to the contracting parties, each of which is invoiced in proportion to how much they consume.

The largest percentage increase in facilities costs will be borne by Eastvale, which faces a $96,253 bill, compared with $53,264 the previous year-- an approximately 81 percent jump that sheriff's officials attributed to full-year service costs being imposed on the nascent municipality. The previous year, Eastvale was only charged for a partial year's services.

The city of Perris will bear the highest facilities fee in dollars and cents: $495,714, up from $451,905 the previous fiscal year.

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