Comet C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS as seen from Mount Dale, Western Australia. The lights on the distant horizon are from the city of Armadale, which is southeast of Perth. Image credit: Astronomy Education Services/Gingin Observatory
Budget cuts hurt Altadena's sheriff station
by Timothy Rutt
Cuts in the Sheriff's Department budget are putting the squeeze on Altadena's sheriff station.
Altadena Sheriff Capt. John S. Benedict said that Altadena still has full patrol coverage, but at the cost of shifting detectives, lieutenants, and community relations officers -- and the captain himself -- into patrol cars.
Sheriff Lee Baca clashed with the county Board of Supervisors last week over charges that he was, according to the LA Times, "ignoring the needs of unincorporated parts of the county in favor of cities that contract with his department for police services." Due to budget constraints, the Sheriff's Department has cut deputy overtime.
The LA Times reports that the sheriff's department, with a budget of $2.8 billion, had its budget cut by the supervisors by $128 million in 2010, $96 million in 2011 and $140 million in 2012.
A county audit released this week showed that deputies in unincorporated parts of the county took a minute longer to respond to emergency calls in unincorporated parts of the county than from contract cities. The sheriff's department contracts for police services in more than 40 cities in LA County that do not maintain their own police force. The contracts specify a minimum level of enforcement. Baca's critics are saying that he is hewing to these contracts at the cost of reducing services to unincorporated county areas.
In unincorporated Altadena, Benedict said that they've maintained having three patrol vehicles per shift, but without overtime, it means that higher ranking officers or officers with other duties now have to pull patrol at least one day a week. "Not only my detectives, but my lieutenants, community relations officers, deputy administrators, sergeants -- even the captain," Benedict said.
What this means is that some other tasks will feel the pain, Benedict said -- detectives will have one less day a week to investigate crimes, and community relations officers will have one less day a week to work on graffiti abatement and other quality-of-life issues.
"We're looking at creative ways to maximize resources is what it comes down to -- but it won't be easy", Benedict said.
Benedict said that the manpower is so stretched, there's not much left. "We're not talking about vacations, sickness, or if a deputy is injured on duty," Benedict said. "I don't even have time to think of that right now."
Some Things Are Too Toxic To Trash!
Residents are encouraged to bring unwanted Household Hazardous Waste and Electronic Waste (HHW/E-Waste) items to the County mobile collection events for safe and proper disposal free of charge.
For more information visit www.CleanLA.com or call 1 888-CleanLA.
If you reside in the City of Los Angeles, please visit City of Los Angeles website for information on permanent collection centers and mobile collection events near you.
Please feel free to forward this information to friends and family.
Everyone deserves a toxic free home!
Altadena HHW/E-Waste Collection Event 3/16/2013,
9:00 AM -3:00PM
L.A. County Department of Public Works, Fleet Maintenance Yard,
252 West Mountain View Avenue,