An ongoing study of police services in Danville has passed the halfway point and is expected to reach completion by the end of next month. Members of the Danville Town Council were given an update on the status of the police survey during their study session last week.
"Back in March the council approved entering into a contract with a firm to do a police services study. We went out jointly with the cities of Lafayette and Orinda, hired one firm which is working with all three cities," explained Danville Town Manager Joe Calabrigo.
The firm, Matrix Consulting Group, is providing three separate studies to the three cities, he noted.
Matrix gave a brief status report at the study session on where they were with their report.
"At this point they are thinking that they will have an administrative draft to us by the beginning of August," Calabrigo stated.
After receiving the draft report, Calabrigo and Police Chief Chris Wenzel will go over the findings to check the factual information presented.
"After that we will be prepared to distribute it to the council to look at," he said.
Danville does not currently have its own police force, contracting for the service through Contra Costa County. As such, the town will periodically examine the costs associated with the contract and compare them to the costs with providing police services "in house."
"We do an analysis of how we provide our police services to the community," he said. "We do it to make sure we're utilizing the resources we have in the best possible way."
Calabrigo stressed that the reason for the study is not because Danville officials are unhappy with the level of service they've received, but rather it is in order to provide sound recommendations to the county regarding how taxpayer money is being spent.
"This is one of those areas where through the county's pension system, costs have increased rather significantly in the last few years. The concern is that we might not be able to keep pace with those cost increases as we move forward," he added.
Under the contract with the county, Danville is provided 30 officers from the Sheriff's Department. Those officers are detailed to work for the Danville Police Department and are overseen by Police Chief Chris Wenzel, who is a captain within the ranks at the Sheriff's Department.
Calabrigo said that once they have gone over the figures and results from the Matrix study he will formulate recommendations for the Town Council on how best to proceed.