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Wednesday, September 16, 2009.

AVC considers contract by sheriff’s department to police campus

Sheriff’s deputies could become the new campus police force at Antelope Valley College this fall under proposals outlined for college trustees during Monday night’s board meeting.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has provided two options in contracting with the college district to provide security for the college campus instead of the college operating its own police department.

The most expensive option, $1.5 million a year, calls for three full-time deputies and a part-time sergeant, plus another 13 armed security officers employed by the department as well as student cadets to staff a front desk.

A $1.2 million option calls for the same number of deputies, but only nine security officers to be supplemented by additional AVC security.

There may be additional one-time start-up costs associated with a sheriff’s department contract, according to officials.

“This proposal is based on our recommended service level and serves to provide you with the associated costs to assist you with your decision making,” wrote Capt. Edward Rogner, with the department’s Contract Law Enforcement Bureau.

The department currently offers contract law enforcement services to the nine campuses of the Los Angeles Community College District and 40 cities, including Lancaster and Palmdale.

The proposal touts the ability of the sheriff’s department to relieve college officials of the day-to-day burden of managing policing operations. The department would maintain contract service levels, in spite of absences for vacation or illness, at no additional cost.

A sheriff’s sergeant would manage daily operations, with management support from the Lancaster sheriff’s station command staff, under the direction of Capt. Axel Anderson. Deputies would work day and evening shifts, Monday through Saturday.

Security officers working for the sheriff’s department would provide 24-hour-a-day coverage, seven days a week.

Vice President of Business Services Deb Wallace told trustees the district is paying approximately $1.4 million a year currently for its police operations and contract with a private security firm.

“They understand the dynamics of a community college,” Wallace said in reference to the sheriff’s department and its work for the Los Angeles Community College District for the last 10 years.

Board President Jack Seefus directed college President Dr. Jackie L. Fisher Sr. to bring the sheriff’s department proposals for a vote by trustees.

Fisher said if the board supports the proposal, the college would implement the program prior to the fall semester, which begins Aug. 24.