Rate Hike Proposed for Sheriff's Patrols

The Ventura County Sheriff's Department is proposing a 3% to 5% rate increase for neighborhood patrols and other services it provides to the cities of Thousand Oaks, Moorpark, Camarillo, Ojai and Fillmore.

The department is asking for a rate increase retroactive to July 1, according to a sheriff's report. The proposed rate hikes vary among cities, based on the amount, type and range of services provided.

Overtime rates, however, in all five cities would be the same across the board. For instance, hourly overtime rates for deputies would increase from $34.07 to $36.28, while the rate for a lieutenant would jump from $54.36 to $54.84, according to the proposal.

The department also asks that the rate paid for the time deputies spend in court be increased from $22.72 an hour to $24.18. The hourly rate for a sergeant in court would increase from $30.60 to $32.34.

Moorpark Mayor Paul Lawrason said the rate increases would have a major impact on his city's budget, which spends more than $2 million annually on law enforcement services.

"We're just not in a position to absorb a retroactive increase no matter how small the percentage," Lawrason said.

Sheriff's officials could not be reached for comment Monday.

The County Board of Supervisors will consider the proposed rate increases at its regular meeting today.

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