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

Costa Mesa Police Department
(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 Allied Universal, the company that acquired it in 2021, which had provided jail services for the Costa Mesa Police Department since 2013.

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

Since then, 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 as well as one custody supervisor. The cost of the new positions is estimated at $1,120,717, which is $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 and then transport arrestees to the Orange County Jail in Santa Ana, a move staff claims could delay response times.

The position of custody officer would require the city to create a new job classification with an annual salary range from $97,020 to $130,008 over seven years to account for annual pay raises, according to city documents.

The agenda item is on the council’s consent calendar, a list of business items that may be approved in a single vote unless there is a request that an item be pulled 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.

— Formally accepting $265,000 from the state’s Office of Traffic Safety for a Selective Traffic Enforcement Program, which could include the hiring of additional personnel for targeted traffic operations, such as DUI saturation patrols and checkpoints, according to a staff report.

— Entering 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.

The council meeting begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Costa Mesa City Hall, 77 Fair Drive. For the meeting agenda, visit costamesaca.gov.

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