Costa Mesa could hire 11 full-time jailers after ending third-party contract in May

Costa Mesa Police Department building
The Costa Mesa Police Department’s jail has been understaffed following a “mass resignation,” officials said.
(Sara Cardine)

Members of the Costa Mesa City Council will be asked Tuesday to consider spending $1.12 million to hire 11 full-time custody officers to staff the police department’s jail, after a third-party contractor failed to find adequate personnel.

The city in May terminated its contact with G4S Secure Solutions and parent company Allied Universal, which had provided jail services for the Costa Mesa Police Department since 2013.

Officials maintained that a “mass resignation” had left only two jailers at the facility, which could be forced to close unless a temporary staffing arrangement can be made; they have suggested negotiating with the city of Huntington Beach for temporary services.


Seven temporary part-time custody officers have been hired to work in the jail, according to a staff report that proposed hiring 10 full-time officers and one custody supervisor. The cost of the new positions is estimated at $1,120,717 — $175,215 more than the cost of the contract the city maintained with Allied Universal.

If the City Council decides not to authorize the hiring of full-time staff, officers would be required to complete the booking process in Costa Mesa, then transport arrestees to the Orange County jail in Santa Ana.

The position of custody officer would require the city to create a job classification with an annual salary of $97,020 to $130,008, according to city documents.

The matter is on the council’s consent calendar, a list of items that may be approved with a single vote unless there is a request to pull one out for discussion.

Also Tuesday, the council is scheduled to consider authorizing the city manager to purchase four ambulances through the Houston-Galveston Area Council of Government’s cooperative agreement with RedSky Emergency vehicles, at the cost of $841,068.

Additionally, the council will consider accepting $265,000 from the state’s Office of Traffic Safety for an enforcement program that could include the hiring of additional personnel for targeted traffic operations, such as DUI saturation patrols and checkpoints, according to a staff report.


The council will also discuss whether to enter into an agreement with the county to receive $100,000 in grant funding to support the city’s permanent bridge shelter and other homeless support services.