Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL

FROM: ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER

DATE: SEPTEMBER 16, 2003

SUBJECT: USE OF FEDERAL AND STATE FUNDING FOR SUPPLEMENTAL POLICE SERVICES – CORE POLICE TEAM

RECOMMENDATION

Approve the continued use of LLEBG (Local Law Enforcement Block Grant) and COPS (Citizen Option for Police Services) funds in FY 03-04 to pay for the CORE Police Team to perform enforcement and crime prevention duties at the schools and commercial areas in the Region and in the parks and open space areas adjacent to and south of Crest Road.

INTRODUCTION

This hearing fulfills the requirement that a public hearing be held prior to obligating funds the City receives from both the U.S. Department of Justice and the State of California (AB 3229 Brulte) for supplementing police services in the City.

BACKGROUND

The CORE (Community Resource) Police Team consists of three Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputies who perform law enforcement and crime prevention duties at the high schools and intermediate schools; perform anti-gang and anti-narcotics activities in the Region; patrol the Peninsula Center commercial area during designated hours; patrol the park and open space areas adjacent to and south of Crest Road; and assist civic, Neighborhood Watch and Business Watch crime prevention and emergency preparedness programs. The CORE deputies are in addition to the personnel for which the City contracts with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for law enforcement services.

This will be the eighth year that the City has received funding for the CORE Police Team from the U.S. Department of Justice under the LLEBG program. In addition to this Federal grant, the City also receives State grant funding provided under AB 3229 (Brulte). This year, the amount of funding from the state will decline from $100,000 to approximately $86,000. The chart below summarizes the level of funding the City has received from the LLEBG grant program since its inception:

LLEBG GRANT FUNDING

Year

Amount

1996

$25,104

1997

$25,302

1998

$25,144

1999

$24,470

2000

$19,484

2001

$22,782

2002

$15,581

2003

$12,773

Additional funding comes from a cooperative public safety program with the Cities of Rolling Hills Estates and Rolling Hills (based on a 60/30/10 cost sharing formula).

DISCUSSION

Mission of the CORE Police Team

The CORE Team is concerned with quality of life issues, especially those involving juveniles. Since its inception, the CORE Team has built a high profile in the community and its primary activities include the following:

  • Conduct daily foot patrols on each of the school campuses and make frequent vehicle patrol checks of the parking lots and surrounding areas.
  • Gather information from students, teachers and local residents about illegal narcotic activity in school areas; identify and interview any suspected gang members that they encounter; and keep of database of these contacts.
  • Provide foot patrol during designated hours in the Peninsula Center and Avenues of the Peninsula on a daily basis.
  • Provide crime prevention assessments and instruction whenever requested; and, attend Neighborhood Watch activities and business crime awareness meetings.
  • Attend monthly Student Attendance Review Board meetings and assist Board members in counseling students and their parents/guardians. Make home visits when necessary to check the progress of truants. (This effort has been very successful in reducing truancy and enforcing the City’s curfew ordinance.)
  • Conduct daily checks of the cities’ parks, business districts, fast food restaurants and unoccupied dwellings for truant students and to deter criminal activity.
  • Conduct undercover surveillance when situations require it, e.g., burglaries at Peninsula Center, thefts from autos in the vicinity of Peninsula High School, and juvenile violations of liquor and tobacco laws.
  • Provide assistance to City Code Enforcement personnel by accompanying them during nuisance abatement efforts and other code enforcement activities.
  • Patrol both on and off-road areas in public parks and coastal areas: Del Cerro Park, Ladera Linda Park and Community Center, Highridge Park, Ryan Park, Point Vicente Interpretive Center, Point Vicente Fishing Access, Abalone Cove Shoreline Park, Sacred Cove/Smuggler’s Cove, Portuguese Bend, Forrestal Preserve, Ocean Trails and Shoreline Park.
  • Off-road patrol of the open lands and canyons, including hiking and horse trails: Armaga Canyon, Paint Brush Canyon, Sepulveda Canyon, Portuguese Canyon, Forrestal Preserve, Barkentine Preserve, Klondike Canyon, William Springs Horse Trail and Peacock Flats.
  • Work with property owners and homeowner associations to prevent crime associated with public land and coastal access in their neighborhoods.
  • Enforce State Department of Fish and Game regulations.
  • Coordinate traffic control and public safety during special events, such as the Palos Verdes Marathon, Whale of a Day and the Concours d’ Elegance.
  • Maintain and update School Safety Plans for each school campus and assist Neighborhood Watch with the implementation of its Neighborhood Emergency Preparedness program.

Restriction on the Use of Grant Funds

Use of the both the LLEBG and COPS funds is limited to the following activities:

  • Hire, train and employ additional law enforcement support;
  • Enhance security measures around schools and other areas with special crime risk;
  • Establish and support of drug courts;
  • Enhance adjudication measures for violent crime offenses;
  • Establish multi-agency crime prevention task forces;
  • Establish crime prevention programs; and,
  • Defray the cost of indemnification insurance for law enforcement officers.

Sources of Funding

As staff reported to the Council during the budget process earlier this year, the City has depleted the fund balance in the LLEBG/COPS program and began supplementing it with a transfer from the General fund in FY 02-03. In FY 03-04, the program will be funded through a combination of State and Federal grants, a transfer from the General Fund approved by the City Council with the adoption of the FY 03-04 City Budget and continued sharing of the cost with two other incorporated cities in the Region (Rolling Hills and Rolling Hills Estates).

Advisory Board Review

After completion of this public hearing, the next step in the process is to hold a meeting of the Advisory Board to review the use of the grant funds. The Advisory Board consists of representation from the City, the School Districts, the Lomita Sheriff’s Station and the City Attorney. Staff anticipates holding the meeting in late October 2003.

CONCLUSION

Beginning in 1996, the City has been the recipient of State and Federal grants enabling the City to supplement police services with the CORE Police Team. This program has proven to very successful and has a positive impact on the community. Before funds can be committed for FY 2003, certain public hearings must be held to satisfy the requirements of the grants. This evening’s public hearing is part of the compliance with these requirements.

Respectfully submitted:

Carolynn Petru

Assistant City Manager

Reviewed,

Les Evans

City Manager