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Yorba Linda votes to cut ties with Brea Police Department

April 25, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Yorba Linda City Council voted to break a 42-year deal with the city of Brea to provide law enforcement to its city.

The move, which came after a nine-hour meeting, means Yorba Linda will contract with the Orange County Sheriff's Department for five years, starting May 2013.

The City Council said it took the step for financial reasons.

"We've had a downfall this year financially of about $3 million and we've been looking at cost cutting savings," said Councilwoman Nancy Rikel.

Last November, the Yorba Linda City Council began asking for contract proposals for its policing services. The cities of Anaheim and Brea, as well as the Orange County Sheriff's Department, submitted bids. On Tuesday, members of the council, voted 3-2 in favor of the sheriff's offer, which includes a station housed at Yorba Linda City Hall.

"Our officers will be briefed and deployed directly from the city of Yorba Linda, so essentially it is their police department," said Sheriff Sandra Hutches.

Hutchens was able to undercut Brea's bid for police services. Yorba Linda will pay the sheriff's department $9.8 million annually, less than Brea's two bids of $10.7 million and $10.3 million, with two less officers.

Anaheim police Chief John Welter also submitted a bid of $10.9 million, with start-up costs of nearly $887,000.

The sheriff's department has offered to hire Brea police officers laid off in the transition.

After four decades of the Yorba Linda-Brea partnership, some residents in Yorba Linda said they do not want to see Brea police leave their community.

"I think it is a shame," said Liz Quigley of Yorba Linda. "They've done a good job for us at the coin shop here on Main Street and they've been here when we've needed them."

Even so, some residents see the split as necessary.

"Unfortunately, everything is about the money - isn't it with this economy? So you have to do what's best and I think the Orange County sheriff's do a great job in the cities that they serve already," said Linda Sandoval. "I trust them. I think they'll do a good job too."

City News Service contributed to this report.


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