Arroyo Grande is moving forward with its proposal to woo Grover Beach.
On May 8, the Arroyo Grande City Council unanimously approved a plan for consolidating the city’s Police Department with police from Grover Beach. That proposal will now go to Grover Beach for consideration.
“I think we’d be crazy not to ask,” Arroyo Grande Councilwoman Caren Ray said of the plan.
If all goes according to that plan, Arroyo Grande’s and Grover Beach’s police would meld under one department, with a new facility (Arroyo Grande plans to move its police into a new facility regardless, according to city officials). Arroyo Grande currently has 26 sworn officers, eight non-sworn officers, and 15 part-time positions; Grover Beach employs 19 sworn officers and eight non-sworn officers, according to an Arroyo Grande staff report. After consolidation, the new dual-city department would employ 38 sworn officers, 12 non-sworn civilians, and 16 part-time positions.
Consolidation of the departments would save Arroyo Grande $311,200 annually, according to a city staff report.
Arroyo Grande City Councilman Joe Costello called it a “win-win situation.”
Grover Beach City Manager Robert Perrault told New Times, “We’ve indicated a willingness to look at consolidation, but ultimately the decision will be based on several factors. … It will have to be evaluated on what best suits our situation, what best works with our department with the service capabilities we have.”
But members of the Grover Beach Police Officers’ Association (POA) are nervous. Perrault said the union has penned a letter expressing concerns about the consolidation plan. Arroyo Grande officials also acknowledged that Grover Beach officers have concerns.
New Times was unable to obtain a copy of the letter before press time. Members of the Grover Beach POA didn’t return calls before press time.