The nation already has between 15,000 and 20,000 local law enforcement agencies, but California is creating more of them. After considering potential recruiting problems, the expense of 911 systems, and dire budget projections, the city of Citrus Heights, Ca., near Sacramento, is forming its own police force, says the Sacramento Bee. The city is the second in Sacramento County, along with Elk Grove, to opt out of a contract for policing services with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.
By 2007-2008, the annual contract with the Sheriff’s Department was expected to cost about $18.1 million. The budget for a city police force is projected at $15.5 million that year. The city’s main challenge will be crafting a compensation package that will attract a top police chief and a police force featuring officers with a variety of experience. City officials have projected a base top salary range for police officers of almost $57,000, slightly higher than the base top salary of about $54,500 for sheriff’s deputies. Undersheriff John McGinness was skeptical. He said, “My true, heartfelt belief is that they do not have the resources to do this. I don’t know where they are going to draw the talent.”