Cities move toward shared policeBy Heather Murtagh
The cities of Millbrae and San Bruno are taking an important step toward sharing police services with a consultant contract vote tonight.
The Millbrae and San Bruno city councils will meet tonight to approve a contract with Municipal Resource Group, LLC to study further options for sharing police services. Each city will pay $27,000 toward the contract charging the Municipal Resource Group to examine current services and evaluate realistic changes for shared services, according to staff reports by Millbrae City Manager Marcia Raines and San Bruno City Manager Connie Jackson.
"This is a financial issue and it's just the beginning of being financially responsible," said Millbrae Mayor Paul Seto, who added conversations about such shared services have casually included other cities. Not all the other cities were ready to study the potential savings, a move Seto wanted to see researched sooner rather than later.
Sharing services could save money for both cities. The Millbrae and San Bruno fire departments have successfully operated with a shared command staff for the past several years.
The Municipal Resource Group outlined six possible tasks under the current contract, according to a Feb. 17 proposal by President Mike Oliver. Outreach is the sixth task, and optional. Oliver estimated the first four steps - which generally covers all research, evaluation and completion of the draft report - will take up to 12 weeks. Preparing a final analysis, Oliver wrote, will depend on the ability to schedule city meetings.
It is anticipated that the initial fiscal analysis will take up to six months, according to a previous Millbrae press release. Various models including costs will be better understood at that time.
On Tuesday, both councils will vote on the contract to share Police Chief Neil Telford, a 27-year veteran of the San Bruno Police Department. This partnership was announced in February. The one-year contract calls for the cities to equally share Telford's contract, which in total costs $263,427.42 or $131,713.71 per city.
The Millbrae City Council meets 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 9 at City Hall, 621 Magnolia Ave. in Millbrae. The San Bruno City Council meets 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 9 at the Senior Center, 1555 Crystal Springs Road in San Bruno.
Copyright ©2010 San Mateo Daily Journal. Published 03/09/2010.