Oakley’s new Police Chief, Dan Gomez, gives a speech during a City Council meeting in Oakley, Calif., on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014. Former police chief
Oakley's new Police Chief, Dan Gomez, gives a speech during a City Council meeting in Oakley, Calif., on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014. Former police chief Bani Kollo, will be taking another assignment with the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office, after being promoted from lieutenant to the rank of captain. (Doug Duran/Bay Area News Group)

OAKLEY -- In an effort to curb the rising costs of fighting crime, the city is considering the possibility of parting ways with the county sheriff's office.

The idea was the subject of a brief discussion at Tuesday's council meeting, where City Manager Bryan Montgomery presented an overview of the situation.

Oakley has been a so-called contract city for 13½ years, one of four municipalities in Contra Costa County that pay to have sheriff's deputies patrol their streets.

By city officials' accounts, they are doing a fine job, but it's getting expensive: Oakley began with a force of 17 peace officers and a $2.5 million budget, but it now has 28 sworn personnel and $8.2 million dedicated to public safety.

Dan Gomez, left, Oakley’s new Police Chief, has his badge pinned  to his uniform by outgoing Oakley Police Chief Bani Kollo, during an Oakley City
Dan Gomez, left, Oakley's new Police Chief, has his badge pinned to his uniform by outgoing Oakley Police Chief Bani Kollo, during an Oakley City Council meeting in Oakley, Calif., on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014. Kollo will be taking another assignment with the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office. (Doug Duran/Bay Area News Group)

The cost per deputy has risen by nearly 22.8 percent over the past five years, according to city records, a significant chunk of which is pension costs that the county is passing on.

The realities have prompted Oakley's City Council to start exploring other options, including having the city provide its own police services.

Additional possibilities that the city will be weighing are establishing a police department that is a combination of in-house and contract employees, and contracting with another city for police services.

Oakley is one of four cities among the 19 municipalities in Contra Costa County that use the sheriff's office's resources -- Lafayette, Danville and Orinda are the others.

City staffers will spend this year doing a detailed analysis of each scenario and report on their findings.

If the city were to strike out on its own, it would have to give the county a 12-month notice, Montgomery said.

In other police matters, city leaders acknowledged the service of former police Chief Bani Kollo with a standing ovation as uniformed officers lined the back of the council chamber to honor their boss.

"It's been a really, really good run," Kollo said while city employees took turns presenting him with gag gifts and giving him some good-natured ribbing.

Kollo was promoted last month and now is working within the sheriff's office in another capacity.

The city also welcomed Kollo's successor, Chief Dan Gomez, who starts work Tuesday.

Gomez has been with the sheriff's office since 1992, and before that served eight years in the U.S Air Force.

Reach Rowena Coetsee at 925-779-7141. Follow her at Twitter.com/RowenaCoetsee.


Dan Gomez, left, Oakley’s new Police Chief, has his badge pinned  to his uniform by outgoing Oakley Police Chief Bani Kollo, during an Oakley City
Dan Gomez, left, Oakley's new Police Chief, has his badge pinned to his uniform by outgoing Oakley Police Chief Bani Kollo, during an Oakley City Council meeting in Oakley, Calif., on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014. Kollo, will be taking another assignment with the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office, after being promoted from lieutenant to the rank of captain. (Doug Duran/Bay Area News Group)