Goodbye Yorba Linda.

Yellow TapeYesterday, January 3rd, the City of Brea distributed a press release announcing that the delivery of police services to Yorba Linda would cease at midnight tomorrow night. That’s the boots on the ground. Dispatch Services will follow later Saturday morning.

OC_logoYorba Linda, using the OCAlert system, informed all Yorba LInda residents of the transition on Wednesday, January 2nd, but you can’t find the press release on the Brea city website anywhere.

According to the release, “Other terms and conditions affecting the early termination of the law enforcement services agreement are still being worked out.” The release doesn’t clarify what this means. Are we on the hook for a big cash settlement or two? Are we giving away a fleet of cars and motorcycles? Could there still remain a lingering threat of litigation?

Using the excuse that the OCSD’s premature hiring of 21 Brea officers (likely half of the force assigned to Yorba Linda) caused the Brea PD great harm and drastically reduced their ability to live up to the contract, Brea seems to have leveraged a threatened lawsuit into an early out agreement.

LightsLooking for more details?

Brea Matters has covered this story from the beginning in posts published on December 17 and December 21.

In response to the OCR article on December 19 “Yorba Linda will stick with sheriff’s contract” I commented, “Since, according to Mr. Schwing, the OCSD has everything in line to take over duties, i.e. cars and pirated officers, except for a couple of wall lockers, would you mind if Brea pulls the plug on December 31?

People scoffed at my comment saying that such a quick exit was impossible, but it seems that I was more right than wrong. Can I get a big… I told you so?

The OCR also hinted at the early exit on December 21st as well, citing, “The Orange County Sheriff’s Department is now working on a plan to expedite its takeover of police services in the city, said Capt. Steve Doan of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. The department could be in charge of patrolling the 20-square-mile city by Jan. 5.”

NBC-LA: New Sheriff In Town.

In case you didn’t quite catch it, Mayor Garcia said, “I think any community that isn’t looking at that is woefully not looking at the train coming down the tracks.” Thanks for clearing that up, Mister Mayor.

Staff as sneaky as ever.

So… if we all pretty much saw the handwriting on the wall, why has Brea waited until now to even whisper about it? Because Brea operates with a culture of secrecy and it’s greatest fear is that residents will actually want to know what’s going on and, heaven forbid, dictate what they prefer!

BREA-YLThe closing comment in the news release stated, “A Brea only Police Department increases budgeted costs by approximately $2.5 million annually due to the loss of economies of scale and sharing of command positions with the City of Yorba Linda.  The budget increase is anticipated to be partially offset by new city revenues stemming from a recent boost in the economy combined with cost savings from a major, structural city reorganization implemented at the beginning of the Great Recession.”

What! Are you kidding me?

Not a loss due to economies of scale, a loss due to the sudden and unanticipated termination of what must have been a very lucrative contract.

We didn’t share command staff, we charged Yorba Linda an arm and a leg for command support. Are they thinking of the Fire Department’s relationship with Fullerton? (How’s that going by the way?)

And do they really think we’re that stupid to buy off on their “recent boost in the economy” line? C’mon, what’s in your wallet?

And what “structural city reorganization implemented at the beginning of the Great Recession” are they talking about? The one where the WPA bailed us out or the one where Tim O’Donnell and senior city staff got big fat raises?

Hard to tell if they’re referring to the “New Deal” or the same ol’ crap!

I don’t know about you, but that obnoxious O’Donnellism, “Leadership is disappointing your constituents in increments they can absorb.” seems to have been the underlying mantra of staff and council for at least a decade or more.

Start doing things for us Tim, not to us.

Ending the costly relationship with Yorba Linda early makes sense and saves us money, funds we’ll need to offset rising costs to police our own neighborhoods. But I’m still hot under the collar that Brea took so long to offer this half hearted half baloney attempt at keeping us informed.

Where is Measure U now that we need it? Oh, you didn’t pass it. Maybe next time.


The other elephant in the room.

2 thoughts on “Goodbye Yorba Linda.

  1. Rick,
    I’m guessing that since Brea could not hold up their end of the contract and the fact that YL paid upfront for services, Brea will owe quite a chunk of change for the remaing 5 months of the contract.

    But there’s more; Add into the mix that YL was paying for a majority of Brea’s dispatch center, Command Staff and factoring in that all monies paid by YL into the CALPERS system was placed into the GF instead of being applied to the officers credits and you get a huge debt not yet accounted for (17 million by CALPERS accounting).

    Losing YL really blew up in Brea’s face considering that O’Donnell has been attempting to make a closed door deal with other agencies in the area to combine police services. And if that would have happened with YL still on board, Brea would have been the lead agency in determining resources, etc. This whole debacle was more about power than it was about doing the right thing for the citizens of Brea.

    But why are we surprised; just look how the fire service contract ended up.

    • Paul… Seems my worst fears aren’t far from the truth. I didn’t realize we paid in advance. You’re right, that could cost us a bundle and maybe that’s the “other terms and conditions” the release mentioned. There’s O’Donnell and Ryan slipping another bombshell through using vague language.

      That $17 million into the General Fund would go a long way to helping balance the budget if Council wasn’t keeping an eye on the details or getting a complete set of books to review. I suspect they’re working with some sort of staff produced executive summary… who knows, they don’t let the public in on that stuff.

      I’ve heard no update concerning the feasibility study on regional law enforcement. Thankfully Yorba Linda opted out a long time ago. Are you suggesting there is a parallel effort going on behind closed doors?

      From Brea’s side I think the issue has long been about dollars and profitability. Yorba Linda’s issues centered around money as well, if you listen to their council members complaints and accusations. Remember, O’Donnell admitted to them that they had been overcharged in some areas. I don’t believe that issue has ever fully been put to bed. More “other terms and conditions” I guess.

      I would agree that the OCFA matter was almost exclusively about control, but we have to remember to factor in Yorba Linda in this mess. If we had been in control, we would still have the contract.

      Thanks for following along and adding your insight.

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