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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Lost Hills Beach Team Price Tag Is $500,000+

• Weather Determines Coverage Needs


The Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station has released its annual proposal for the 2011 Summer Enforcement Team—better known as the Beach Team. The total cost for the 2011 season is anticipated to be $503,781.44, according to the report.
The team is deployed at Zuma from Memorial Day through the week after Labor Day. This year’s team will consist of the equivalent of one sergeant, six deputies, one dedicated traffic car, two motorcycle deputies and two community service deputies, the report states. The Beach Patrol also usually includes the services of the mounted police.
“With the exception of Memorial Day holiday, the team will deploy only on weekends, for eight hours per team member per day, until Friday, July 2, at which time they will deploy throughout the week and weekends,” the report states.
“Also beginning July 2, the team will deploy for 10 hours per day maximum coverage during the peak summer months.
“On Monday, July 4, the Summer Enforcement Team deploy increases for the remainder of the summer months by the equivalent of one additional motorcycle officer and one additional community service officer. The team will officially conclude its deployment on Sunday, September 11.”
“There are no changes this year, except some new members,” Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station Liaison Tracy DeMello told the City of Malibu’s Public Safety Commission last week. She added that in 2010, changing the shifts from eight to 10 hours “statistically improved productivity by more than 30 percent. “[The department] still hasn’t put together [final] numbers for funding,” De Mello said. “There could be a four percent increase or decrease.”
DeMello reported that the 2010 beach team reported few problems, in part because unusually cold weather kept crowds to a minimum.
“There were just two complaints,” she said. “A helicopter too close to the sand and quads driving too fast, they were responding to a child buried under the sand,” she explained.
“My concern is if it turns into a warm summer [the team won’t have] enough people.”
Public Safety Commissioner David Saul expressed concern that the team could be short staffed.
“We will adjust,” DeMello replied. “The hours are exactly the same, the cost is the same. It’s 40 hours every week.”
In addition to monitoring Zuma Beach, the team assists with traffic incidents and other emergency situations.

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