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New Times / News

The following article was posted on June 5th, 2013, in the New Times - Volume 27, Issue 45 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from New Times [newtimesslo.com] - Volume 27, Issue 45

Grand jury advises a dispatch merger for Arroyo Grande and Grover

BY RHYS HEYDEN

A May 30 San Luis Obispo County grand jury report recommends a consolidation of police and fire dispatch services in Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach.

Similar ideas have been floated for many years, but this report requires all the major parties—city governments and the police and fire departments—to respond to the report’s findings by July 29.

Grand jurors concluded that A.G. and Grover agencies have reached a consensus that “some consolidation of police and fire dispatch is feasible and desirable.”

Law enforcement and government officials interviewed in the report raised several concerns about the merger possibilities, and most boil down to two factors: maintaining service levels and keeping the taxpayers’ costs low.

“So far, we just haven’t found the right mix to make any changes,” Grover Beach Police Chief Jim Copsey told New Times. “The various proposals either haven’t met our service needs or our cost constraints.”

Copsey said his department would have its response to the report by around July 15, when officers plan to present it to the Grover Beach City Council.

That same City Council, citing concerns about cost, rejected a proposal from Arroyo Grande last year that would have seen that city providing police services to Grover under a five-year contract.

“Really, it’s just up to City Council, and whether they feel a need to explore anything further or not,” Copsey said.

Arroyo Grande Chief Steve Annibali couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.