Inter-Departmental Correspondence




October 23, 2006


November 7, 2006







Honorable Board of Supervisors


Don Horsley, Sheriff


Service Agreements with the Towns of Woodside and Portola Valley for Law Enforcement and Public Safety Communication Services.



Adopt a Resolution authorizing: 1) the President of the Board to execute Agreements with the Towns of Woodside and Portola Valley for the provision of law enforcement services by the Sheriff’s Office, for a three year term from July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2009 and a combined total of $4,546,109; and 2) the Sheriff to execute contract amendments which modify the County's maximum fiscal obligation by no more than $25,000 (in aggregate), and which modify the contract term and services to correspond to the revised fiscal provisions.



Commitment: Ensure basic health and safety for all.

Goal(s): Maintain and enhance the public safety of all residents and visitors.

These Agreements contribute to the enhancement of public safety by providing high quality law enforcement and public safety communication services.

Key Performance Indicators



The Sheriff’s Office has provided law enforcement services to the Townships of Woodside and Portola Valley for many years. The services provided include basic police patrol, traffic enforcement, crime investigations, and crime prevention services. Additionally, public safety communications services are also provided by the County Dispatch Center, under this Agreement. Both towns have continued to find it more economical to contract for law enforcement services with the County than to finance separate police departments within their town budgets. Because the township boundaries are contiguous and are surrounded by unincorporated areas, the Sheriff’s Office can serve as a police department for both townships, with an economy of scale which could not be matched by either town individually. Due to the relative proximity to the Sheriff’s Redwood City headquarters, there are no overhead costs for operation of a separate police substation. (Space is made available at both town halls (at town expense) for officers to complete reports and meet with town officials or citizen groups, functioning as a “mini-substation”.)



Prior Agreements with both towns expired June 30, 2006. Contract discussions and negotiations commenced in January, 2006, but because of needing to re-negotiate costs to accommodate increases in overhead, changes in employee benefits and retirement costs, and other adjustments made in late Spring, the approved contracts were not approved until the end of June and due to vacation schedules and staffing changes within the Towns, we did not receive the executed copies until late July/early August, so there has been a delay in getting this contract agendized for the Board. However, the extra time did result in broader reimbursement of actual costs.

The Sheriff’s Office has met repeatedly with Town management, Town Councils, and Town public safety committee’s over the last half-year period, and both towns desire to again contract with the County for a three-year period from July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2009. A current level of police service, with no major changes is desired by Portola Valley. The Town of Woodside desired to add an additional traffic patrol Deputy, dedicated just to Woodside; that is accommodated within the proposed Agreements, and the additional Deputy for this purpose has also been approved in the FY 2006-07 June budget.

The Sheriff’s Office currently services the consolidated beat with eight (8) deputies working a 7-day, 24-hour shift, and one detective. Two of the Deputies are partially offset by State COPS funding of $100,000 annually, which is received by each of the Towns. Portola Valley prefers to separate out the COPS-funded position into a renewable annual supplemental Agreement, for financial reasons, whereas Woodside prefers to consolidate all positions into one working Agreement. Hence, there is a supplemental Agreement for Portola Valley, but not one for Woodside.

This year, the Sheriff’s Office also worked with a subcommittee of the County Manager’s Office to review all contract-related projections and expenses, to ensure that all appropriate direct and indirect overhead and administrative costs were fully reimbursed to the County. The allocation cost base for the proposed Agreements include the following support cost items, some of which are new and some are existing: Patrol Bureau supervision and management; Sheriff’s departmental overhead; administrative and fiscal support; and payments to County service agencies for workers compensation and liability insurance, motor vehicle replacement, radio maintenance, communications, ISD services, space rental costs, and other miscellaneous costs, totaling $438,078. Contract expenses also cover direct operating expenses such as vehicle maintenance costs, uniforms, safety equipment, replacement radio equipment, and various other operating costs.

As per a Controller’s Office audit recommendation several years ago, a three-part formula is used to allocate share of costs under the Agreements. The formula incorporates the factors of square miles, population, and calls for service. The 2006 allocation results in a 43% share of costs for Woodside; 27% for Portola Valley; and 30% for the surrounding unincorporated area. Contractual costs are allocated along these lines, with the unincorporated area community services being a routine County Patrol responsibility.

Both Towns have assured compliance with the County's Contractor Employee Jury Service Ordinance, as well as all other contract provisions that are required by County ordinance and administrative memoranda, including but not limited to insurance, hold harmless, non-discrimination and equal benefits.

County Counsel has reviewed and approved all three agreements as to legal form.



Under the proposed three-year Agreements, 2006-07 contractual revenues will increase by $421,728, or 37.6% percent over FY 2005-06 costs, with a total three-year contractual increase of $1,414,704, or 45% average, over the previous three-year contract reimbursements costs. This allows recovery of negotiated salary and benefit increases for assigned Sheriff’s personnel, as well as anticipated inflationary increases in operating expenses. Under the proposed Agreement, Woodside will pay the Sheriff’s Office $2,758,685, and Portola Valley will pay $1,787,424, over the three-year period. Additionally, both towns – like all other California jurisdictions – receive $100,000 State COPS program funding annually. Both Woodside and Portola Valley currently utilize their COPS allocation to pay for supplemental Sheriff’s services on an as-specified basis, reimbursable at actual costs. The Agreements provide for a continuation of this option, at the town’s discretion.

Revenue from both proposed Agreements has been included in the Sheriff’s Recommended FY 2006-07 Budget, and will also be included in future budgets through the term of the Agreements. Both Agreements contain an option to renew the agreement term for an additional three years, through negotiation of a formal Amendment for subsequent approval by the Town Council(s) and your Board.