Thursday, 07 December 2023

Glenn County Sheriff’s Office set to cease providing services in city of Willows

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA — With negotiations between city and Glenn County officials yielding no new agreement to cover law enforcement services, the city of Willows is about to be left without law enforcement services.

Beginning at 11:59 p.m., Monday, Oct. 16, the Glenn County Sheriff’s Office will no longer provide law enforcement and animal control services to the city of Willows.

The sheriff’s office will continue to provide dispatching services and respond only to felonies in progress. Routine calls for service will be transferred to the City of Willows.

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

Since July, there has been no contract for law enforcement services in effect for the City of Willows.

The Glenn County Sheriff’s Office said it has continued to provide services to the city of Willows in good faith, however, the Sheriff’s Office has been unable to bill for the actual costs of the services, which exceed $700,000.

The Glenn County Sheriff’s Office is unable to continue providing law enforcement services to Willows without adequate funding from the city.

County officials said the sheriff’s office cannot continue to shoulder the cost of city services without significant impacts to county services, county residents, and risks to officer safety.

The city of Willows jurisdiction accounts for approximately 50% of our total law enforcement caseload. The cost of providing services has increased significantly since 2017 due to increased wages, benefits, and inflation on supplies, equipment, and transportation.

Per government code 51350, the county must contract for actual costs for services and cannot provide services at a discounted or lower rate than actuals, therefore, providing services at a reduced rate to the city is not an option.

“We continue to negotiate with the city of Willows to provide essential law enforcement services. A potential solution being explored is an option to provide phased law enforcement coverage by the Sheriff’s Office until the City Police Department could be reinstated,” the sheriff’s office said.

Citizens with questions regarding law enforcement services in the City of Willows should contact the City of Willows at 530-934-7041 or in person at City Hall 201 N Lassen St. Willows.

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