Sheriff's response time is longer in unincorporated areas, audit finds

It took Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies a minute longer to respond to emergency calls from unincorporated parts of the county than from cities that contract with the department for police services, according to a county audit.

The finding comes days after Supervisor Gloria Molina accused Sheriff Lee Baca of "stealing" police resources from residents in unincorporated neighborhoods and threatened to hire "independent private patrol cars" to backfill cuts in sheriff's patrols. She has accused Baca of providing better service to contract cities than to unincorporated areas.

According to the audit, which examined the last fiscal year, it took deputies, on average, 4.8 minutes to respond to emergency calls in contract cities compared with 5.8 minutes in unincorporated areas.

Sheriff's officials said the extra minute was because neighborhoods in unincorporated areas are more spread out and have more difficult road conditions.

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-- Robert Faturechi, Los Angeles Times


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