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Is our local law enforcement adequate?

Over on Facebook there is an informative post about city police vs county sheriffs. While police officers and sheriff’s deputies have similar authority, duties and responsibilities, it matters whether they get their orders from a City Council or a Board of Supervisors. The post, reporting testimony to the El Dorado Hills Community Services District in October 2019, says municipal police departments typically staff at 1.8 to 2 police personnel per 1000 residents.

Arden Arcade gets its municipal law enforcement services from the Sacramento County Sheriff’s North Division. According to the web site of the North Division, the Division has 134 sworn officers and 19 support staff. The Division provides patrol services for 415,000 people in Carmichael, Fair Oaks, Gold River, Orangevale, Arden-Arcade, Foothill Farms, Antelope, North Highlands, Rio Linda, Elverta and the Garden Highway. That works out to .37 personnel per 1,000 residents, which is awfully low compared to a typical city. Let’s add another 15 detectives and, say 20 human resources and budget support staff in Scott Jones’ HQ. Hmm…now we’re up to .45 personnel per 1,000, still much less than 1.8 to 2 per 1,000. To be fair, these are just estimates. But it is probably safe to say that the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department has less than 1 cop per 1000 residents in total. It is way understaffed. Maybe that explains why us local yokels - who worry about our cars being broken into, are concerned about our homes being robbed, don’t like homeless litter strewn about, and generally fear for our lives when crossing a street full of speeding cars - have a hard time believing that “crime is down” under the watchful eye of our county sheriff.

Our sheriff’s deputies put their lives on the line for our public safety. We are all absolutely grateful for their service on our behalf. Still, it is a legitimate question to wonder if there are enough of them.

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Our Deputies work hard to keep the bad guys in check. But do we have enough deputies? Would we have greater law enforcement services if our community was a city?
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