Here is a little City of Stockton History for anyone who is interested. In the early 1980,s and prior to that, the City of Stockton only had a city Marshall / night watchman. The Sheriff’s Office at the time helped as much as they could (keep in mind that there may have been only one deputy on duty to deal with the entire county, and at times there was no deputy on duty, they took calls from home sometimes) So, due to ever increasing crime, including burglaries and stealing the people of Stockton realized that a night watchman / city Marshall was not enough. So in the early 1980’s the city hired a police Chief and 2 officers. By working extra hours patrolling and being on call part of the time they managed to keep the city covered with an officer that would be available 24 hrs. a day 7 days a week, ready to respond to calls in Stockton very quickly. The burglaries, stealing and other crime was greatly reduced.

Within 2 or 3 years the City hired another officer, making 4 officers (In 1988 I was one of those Officers). This cut down on the on call or home standby time, reduced crime even more and resulted in even better response times to calls. At some point in the mid 90’s the City got a hiring grant, which allowed them to hire another officer, making a total of 5 officers for the city. The on call time was pretty much eliminated. Crime was reduced even more.

Around 1999 the hiring grant expired, which meant that the city had to pay all of the officers salary that was hired on that grant. The city elected not to do that, so the Chief had to let one officer go. This resulted in the Chief (Me) having to work an average of 70 hours a week to keep 24 hr. a day coverage for the City. So after doing so for 3 years, it got to the point where it was extremely difficult for the Chief to maintain the 70 hour work weeks. So in 2002 the Chief, the Sheriff and Stockton City Council got together and entered into an agreement where the Sheriff’s Office would provide law enforcement services for the city. The Police department was disbanded and the Chief and all the Stockton officers went to work as county deputies. The very first year the city saved $80,000 over what it would have cost to have their own Police Dept. Now it is well over $100,000 a year the city is saving.

So, for the past 21 years the Sheriff’s office has provided 24 hour a day 7 day a week law enforcement services for the City. The city and county share the cost of the extra deputies that this around the clock service requires (The City basically pays the county for the deputies salaries and the County covers the cost of everything else, fuel, vehicles, equipment, utilities etc. ). Without the agreement the Sheriff would have to lay off those extra deputies.

I would like to ask the people of Stockton… Do you believe going back to having only a city Marshall would be good enough? Or do you believe the city and county should stay with the agreement that they have?

Keep in mind that without the agreement, the Sheriff’s Office would still respond to calls in Stockton, but with the reduced number of deputies, there would only be one deputy on duty to cover the entire county at times (and possibly only on call from home at times). This would result in much longer response times to calls for service, including emergencies. It would be almost like going back to 1980.

Thank you

Sheriff James McCrary

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