Placer supes to act on COPS grant deputy hiring

Seven deputy sheriff trainees to be funded under federal program
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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AUBURN CA - Placer County supervisors will be asked Tuesday to move ahead on a federal Community Oriented Policing Services hiring grant to put new deputies to work tackling illegal drug use. The Sheriff’s Office is requesting a reallocation of eight previously unfunded positions to fill the COPS grant slots paid for under a new $2.6 million federal grant awarded in September. Lt. Mark Reed said hiring procedures are still taking place, including full background checks. The Placer County funding will fill almost a third of the 25 front-line deputy vacancies the sheriff’s office now has. But the new deputies aren’t destined for regular patrol duties. Instead, they’re going to be part of a multi-agency project with several goals to tackle illegal drug use. As part of the grant, the Sheriff’s Office will be utilizing the new deputies to develop stronger links with minority communities, strengthening law-enforcement relationships with schools and introducing “The Drug Store,” a new anti-drug program in middle schools. The federal government pays for Placer County’s eight entry-level deputies’ salaries and benefits over the first three years of the program and the county will be responsible for costs in the fourth year. Also on the agenda Tuesday: - Supervisors will be applying a formula approved by Placer County voters in 1977 to determine deputy sheriff’s salaries. Measure F was sponsored by the Placer County Deputy Sheriff’s Association. The new increases, which would become effective this month, provide for 3.15 percent pay hikes for most positions. The maximum base salary for a deputy sheriff trainee will rise 3.16 percent from $4,583 a month to $4,728. A sergeant’s base pay at the top pay grade would increase 3.15 percent from $6,989 a month to $7,209. A captain’s pay will rise 0.58 percent from a maximum base rate of $10,289 to $10,349. The pay increases are based on a survey of comparative salaries for El Dorado, Nevada and Sacramento county deputies. - Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery will be asking the board to support efforts to exempt Placer County from requirements to dispose of property the former Placer County Redevelopment Agency purchased in the Tahoe Basin. All redevelopment agencies were dissolved Feb. 1 and assets are being sold off to provide compensation to other governments. The Tahoe properties, including vacant land at Kings Beach and parking lots at Kings Beach and Tahoe City, were bought with bonds and property-tax-dollars totaling $10.8 million. In theory, Placer County would have to buy the properties back after spending funds to initially buy them, Montgomery said. “There are many competing demands for the county’s general-purpose use dollars and it would seem unrealistic that residents would expect their taxpayer dollars to pay for these properties again as $5.1 million of property tax dollars already funded the purchase,” Montgomery said. Placer County Board of Supervisors meeting When: 9 a.m. Tuesday Where: County Administrative Center, 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn