MOORLACH UPDATE — OC180News — June 16, 2011

The discussion on providing police (public safety) services to unincorporated areas of the county is provided in the OC180News article below.  This service is customarily provided by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.  However, it can also be provided by the city in whose sphere of influence the unincorporated area resides through a municipal service agreement.  As with most decisions, it may come down to the dollars involved.  Another factor includes ease of serviceability.  Can OCSD be as responsive as a neighboring city’s police department?  Is the city willing to provide the service?

Once you have the hard data and the willingness, it should allow you to make a decision in your head.  The next step is making a decision in your heart.  Overcoming emotionalism is difficult, especially when you have an intrinsic attachment.  The song “Tradition” from “Fiddler on the Roof” comes to mind. 

The research is being done, negotiations are in progress, and positions are being drawn.  Let’s hope that cooler heads prevail.

Rossmoor To Seek Authority Over Police Services Amid Concerns Of Los Alamitos Takeover

Dolores Barr, Editor and Publisher, OC180NEWS.com

One of the justifications for the Rossmoor Community Services District to ask for authority over police services is concern Orange County might transfer the responsibility from the Sheriff’s Department, to the Los Alamitos Police Department. Whether that concern is well founded, or whether it is something to be feared by Rossmoor residents, was one of the topics which came up several times during Monday’s public hearing (see related article.)

The idea of Los Alamitos providing patrol services to Rossmoor was discussed at an initial meeting a few months ago between Supervisor John Moorlach, his Chief of Staff Rick Francis, and Los Alamitos City Manager Jeff Stewart. Although nothing came out of that meeting and there are no current discussions on the subject, the possibility remains an option.

“If Los Al were to provide that amount of service [the current service level provided by OCSD] to Rossmoor, I’m pretty certain I could save a substantial amount of money,” Jeff Stewart told OC180NEWS. “I think we’re willing and able to do that.”

“Either save money on it or break even,” Rick Francis told OC180NEWS, “I think that would be enticement enough for the County to move forward on it.”

But Francis indicated further discussions are “on the shelf” pending review of the financial analysis being developed by the Local Agency Formation Commission, LAFCO. Francis said to make such a change would require a vote of the Board of Supervisors and the consent of Sheriff Hutchens — but, apparently, not a vote of the residents of Rossmoor.

Not one speaker at the public hearing in Rossmoor on Monday expressed dissatisfaction with Sheriff’s Department services. In fact, several speakers expressed strong satisfaction with OCSD in Rossmoor. Fear that Orange County will make the switch from OCSD to Los Alamitos police for Rossmoor, is an outcome many are trying to prevent by giving authority over law enforcement to the Rossmoor Community Services District.

But City Manager Jeff Stewart thinks the switch from OCSD to LAPD would result in higher satisfaction with Rossmoor law enforcement services.

The recent public opinion survey of Rossmoor residents reported “54.7% prefer the Orange County sheriff to provide law enforcement services in Rossmoor.”

“After 50 years with Los Al [police Department], that number would be in the 80’s,” said Jeff Stewart.

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