OC sheriff too costly for its cities?

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This month, the 13 cities served by the Orange County Sheriff's Department all voted to conduct a study about their contract with the law enforcement agency. Council members from Mission Viejo to Yorba Linda are complaining about rising costs over the past five years, and about paying for services like helicopters and SWAT teams that many of the municipalities never even use. Some politicians in South County, where the sheriff's department patrols almost exclusively, have even suggested starting a new regional police force to cut down on costs. In this problematic year for the retiring Sandra Hutchens, will the breakup of these lucrative contracts be their ultimate legacy?



Benjamin Gottlieb