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The possibility of having the County Sheriff take over public safety duties in the city and dismantling the Baldwin Park Police Department gained traction on Wednesday, after the City Council agreed to continue evaluating a potential contract.
With 3 votes in favor and 2 against, personnel was instructed to conduct an additional study, which costs $90,000, to evaluate a contract with the Sheriff.
This study could take up to 6 months to be completed, and it will provide exhaustive analysis of initial costs, as well as a revision of police personnel, equipment and facilities.
After a heated debate, Mayor Manuel Lozano and Council members Marlen Garcia and Mónica Garcia approved the continuation of the study's second phase. Mayor Pro Tem Susan Rubio and Councilmember Ricardo Pacheco opposed the measure.
The city of Baldwin Park faces a projected budget deficit of $1 million, which has already caused as well as these talks of a contract with the County.
It is estimated that by the 2012-2013 fiscal year, the cost of services with the current Baldwin Park Police department could rise to $19.4 million, while the Sheriff's total cost would be $14.7 million, according to a report presented on Wednesday (attached to this story).