Injured deputy spells end for county's Oakland patrols

Alameda County sheriff's deputies will end their patrols in Oakland on Saturday after failing to come to terms on a new deal to help the city's undermanned Police Department.

The sticking point was connected to the deputy who was shot during a traffic stop in Oakland last month. The county is paying workers' compensation and other associated costs from the shooting but wanted Oakland to agree to cover those expenses in any future incidents, Sheriff Greg Ahern said

"Obviously, I would like to be reimbursed for all our costs," Ahern said. "The city of Oakland's position is that if we are in a contract, that is part of the risk and that the risk falls upon us. It was something we couldn't resolve."

Mayor Jean Quan's office declined to comment Friday.

Council President Pat Kernighan said she was unaware the county was pulling out and hoped there was still a chance to preserve the patrols. "Obviously, that's a real loss to Oakland," she said.

With its police force at its lowest staffing level in well over a decade, Oakland earlier this year contracted with both the Sheriff's Office and the California Highway Patrol to help police some of the city's most dangerous streets. Oakland recently graduated 38 police recruits, but the department is still severely understaffed.

Sgt. Chris Bolton, chief of staff of Oakland Chief Howard Jordan, said deputies "were doing the kinds of patrols that otherwise wouldn't have been done."


Advertisement

The CHP will continue working in Oakland, city officials said.

Ahern said deputies averaged about 15 arrests per shift, working in teams of 11, two days a week, mostly weekends, under a 90-day, $265,000 contract. The last patrol is Saturday night.

On March 30, Deputy Eric Larson was shot in the foot while making a traffic stop in the Fruitvale district. The deputy, who is undergoing physical therapy, isn't expected to be back on duty for several months, Ahern said.

Until recently, Oakland officials had hoped the county would increase its patrols to four days a week free of charge. Ahern said that won't be happening. He also said the county won't be subsidizing any Oakland police academies, as the city had requested, although Oakland could send recruits through the county's program.

Hayward red-light cameras to end May 1

Red-light cameras in Hayward will be turned off May 1.

The City Council voted 6-1 Tuesday to terminate the program as quickly as possible.

Councilwoman Barbara Halliday cast the lone dissenting vote. Police Chief Diane Urban gave the council options for when to end the program, recommending that it be stopped in July. Halliday said she preferred the chief's recommendation because it would cost Hayward less money. To terminate the contract with Redflex Traffic Systems on May 1 will cost the city $125,591, compared with $107,292 on July 1.

The council voted in March to end the contracts before they expired after police found that half of the intersections with red-light cameras had seen an increase in rear-end collisions, ranging from 25 percent to 75 percent. And there were no reductions in broadside accidents at any of the red-light camera intersections.

"The issue is the safety of our drivers," Councilman Greg Jones said.

The positions of two community service officers were funded by proceeds from the tickets. The council voted to temporarily retain those two officers, at an annual cost of $215,496, absorbing the positions through attrition. City Manager Fran David requested flexibility, saying Hayward is entering into a difficult budget time.

Agreement continues Fremont's participation in Alameda County dispatch center

Fremont has entered into a five-year agreement for the Alameda County Fire Department to continue to handle the city's emergency medical and fire calls at a Livermore dispatch center.

The city will pay about $450,000 for fiscal year 2013-14 and continue to be part of a consortium of local agencies whose dispatch services are managed at the Alameda County Regional Emergency Communications Center.

The city's tab will vary each year, depending on the previous year's volume of calls. Last year, Fremont paid about $504,000. It had 13,887 calls.

Other agencies participating in the consortium include Paramedics Plus and fire departments for Livermore/Pleasanton, Camp Parks and the city of Alameda.