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Public Safety Tax Proposal To Preserve Police Department Rejected

The decision by the Baldwin Park City Council could mean a possible dismantling of the organization.

The possibility to give voters an option to approve additional taxes to fund public safety, analyzed by the City Council of Baldwin Park, completely lost steam this week when authorities refused to continue with the measure.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported Sunday that the City could be looking at a possible contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff, after the Council unanimously rejected asking residents to pay additional taxes to maintain the police force.

"We're dealing with difficult decisions, but I don't think taxing our residents are the solution to our challenges," said Councilwoman Monica Garcia to the newspaper.

The City faces big challenges, with a projected budget deficit of $1 million for the next fiscal year, and with upcoming payments of retirement pensions for police officers.

One option discussed as a possible solution was to dismantle the police department and hire the services of the Sheriff. A preliminary study indicated that this action could mean savings of almost $5 million for the city.

Baldwin Park currently spends about $19.5 million to manage the police department. A contract with the Sheriff would cost about $14.8 million.

A current study on the feasibility of a contract with the Sheriff could be ready sometime next year.

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