Sunday, 25 February 2024

Glenn County Sheriff’s Office, city of Willows try to come to agreement on 2023 contract for services

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA — The city of Willows and the Glenn County Sheriff’s Office are trying to come to an agreement on a new contract for services, but officials said they’ve been unable so far to agree on terms, which could result in law enforcement services in Willows coming to a halt later this month.

The Glenn County Sheriff’s Office has provided law enforcement services to the city of Willows since 2017 under a contract for services. This contract expired on June 30.

Following several months of negotiations, the Sheriff’s Office and the city of Willows have been unable to come to an agreement on the 2023 contract for services.

Due to increased costs to provide services and increased caseload within the city of Willows jurisdiction, the total cost of the contract has increased.

The city of Willows jurisdiction accounts for approximately 50% of the sheriff’s office’s total law enforcement caseload. This increase in costs and caseload must be accounted for in the contract renewal, officials said.

Per government code 51350, Glenn County must contract for actual costs for services provided and cannot provide services at a discounted or lower rate than actuals. Additionally, the sheriff’s office said it will not sacrifice officer safety by agreeing to staffing levels below the minimum required.

The sheriff’s office has continued to meet with city management to discuss this issue and has provided documentation for the increased costs as well as the required increase in staffing to meet the law enforcement needs of Willows.

The sheriff’s office has also presented alternative solutions to the city of Willows including a transition plan for the restart of city provided law enforcement services. This transition plan would come with phased law enforcement coverage by the Sheriff’s Office until the City Police Department could be reinstated.

Currently, there is no contract for law enforcement services in effect for the city of Willows. The sheriff’s office continues to provide law enforcement services within the city limits, however, has been unable to bill for the services provided since July 1. Currently the costs incurred exceed $600,000.

If the sheriff’s office and the city of Willows are unable to come to an agreement by Oct. 16, contracted law enforcement services, including animal control, will end in the city of Willows. The sheriff’s office said it will continue to provide dispatching services and respond only to felonies in progress.

The sheriff’s office said it remains committed to finding a solution that ensures the safety of the residents of Willows as well as the safety of its deputies.

For additional information regarding this matter, including the letters to the city of Willows dated Sept. 1, 22 and 25, 2023, can be read below.

Letters to City of Willows 9-1 Thru 25-23 by LakeCoNews on Scribd

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