COSTA MESA : Police Propose City Hire 5 New Officers

The Police Department on Monday proposed to hire five new officers with money the city will get from Proposition 172, a ballot initiative passed in November to give money to safety services.

City Manager Allan L. Roeder said the city will get about $430,000 this year to spend on public safety from a quarter-cent state sales tax. The Police Department proposes to spend $345,000 on the new officers and a patrol car. It will take about eight months to recruit and train new officers, said Cmdr. Dick Greer.

The City Council discussed the police proposal in a study session and agreed that the money should be disbursed quickly. The council will consider acting on the proposal at its Feb. 21 meeting.

The Fire Department also suggested various ways to spend money on equipment and support services, including adding a fourth paramedic engine company at a cost of about $23,000.


The council also scheduled a joint meeting with the sanitary district board of directors for Feb. 22. Council member Peter F. Buffa said he would like the city to take over the district if the job of residential trash collection and sewer maintenance can be done without costing residents any money.

Buffa said he is concerned because the council members are responsible for achieving state-mandated recycling levels, but do not have control over the process. The sanitary district was founded 50 years ago, 10 years before Costa Mesa incorporated.

Jim Wahner, who heads the sanitary district’s board of directors, said the district already meets the recycling requirements and is committed to serving the city. He said the directors want to remain autonomous from the city.