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Lathrop spending $158,000 on code enforcement officer

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POSTED September 29, 2012 1:42 a.m.

LATHROP – The services of Lathrop’s Community Resource Officer will cost local taxpayers $158,526 this year.

But thanks to an annual grant from the State of California, $100,000 is knocked off of that total as part of the Citizen Option for Public Safety – or COPS – grant that can go to fund a sworn officer position or pay for necessary equipment.

And when the Lathrop City Council meets on Monday they’ll decide whether to apply that same amount money to make sure that Deputy Matt Lindemann returns in his current capacity for another year – tapping into the general fund to cover the remaining cost of the annual position salary.

The budget that the council approved back in July already accounted for the city’s portion of the funding, and if they were to opt out of the program – which requires that a public hearing be held and that the monies be used to enhance the public safety in Lathrop through the funding of a position or equipment – the city would end up having to cover the full cost of the position.

Whether additional officers are added to the Lathrop Police Services roster, however, could be up to voters in November depending on how the one-cent sales tax increase oversight is structured.

With an emphasis on public safety, the addition of firefighters to fill-out barebones rolls and police officers to maintain the level of service that people on the street expect are two of the major sticking points that are being pitched to residents to lobby support.

Lindemann, who serves in a special capacity in his current assignment, was one of the organizers of the annual Junior Police Academy that gives kids in the community interested in law enforcement and public safety a chance to see up close what goes on. He helps to maintain programs that connect the department to the public and bridge the gap that sometimes separates the two – providing Child ID kits at certain events, organizing a Bicycle Rodeo that distributes helmets to those who need them and even overseeing the Citizen’s Police Academy that gives adults an inside look at the world of community policing.

Deputy Val Cardoza serves as the department’s School Resource Officer.

The Lathrop City Council meets on the first and third Mondays of the month at Lathrop City Hall – located at 390 Towne Center Drive. Meetings start at 7 p.m., and are broadcast live in Lathrop on Comcast Channel 97. For additional information, or to obtain a copy of the upcoming agenda, visit www.ci.lathrop.ca.us.

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