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Lathrop extends pact with SJ County sheriff
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The San Joaquin County Sherriff’s Department will provide contracted police services to the City of Lathrop for another year. 

Last month the Lathrop City Council approved a $7 million contract extension that will provide the nearly 20,000 residents with police protection under a contract with the Sherriff’s Department through June 30 of 2017. 

The two agencies have partnered since 1990, and the contract has been revised several times since the most recent five-year extension that was set to expire. Under the terms of the new contract, the city and the county both have the option of extending the contract every year for the next five years.

Over the course of the next 12 months the city and the county will have additional time to consider their options – which include renegotiating for a longer period of time and evaluating whether both parties agree to continue with the arrangement that has served residents of Lathrop for more than 25 years. 

There has been some discussion at the council level of Lathrop – which owns the building that currently houses Lathrop Police Services as well as the vehicles that are used for patrol and some of the equipment necessary for police protection of the community – about funding its own independent department. It’s believed that move would likely cost millions of dollars and take an extended period of time to accomplish. Nobody on the council has committed to beginning that process yet. 

Of the $7 million that will go to the county for the service, $4.6 million of that will come from the general fund. In the last several years Lathrop has used the proceeds of the one-cent Measure C sales-tax increase to add four additional positions, and will add another one this year now that the independent oversight committee that approves expenditures has agreed to fund the hiring of an investigative deputy to assist with the existing and expected caseload. 

Lathrop’s Police Chief holds the rank of a Captain in the Sherriff’s Office, and the department utilizes a community-oriented approach to providing contracted services. Upon the recent retirement of Chief Danelle Hohe, Lieutenant James Hood was promoted to both Captain and Lathrop Police Chief.