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Review of Sheriffs Office, Sacarmento County CA, 2006

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COUNTY OF SACRAMENTO
CALIFORNIA

For the Agenda of:
February 28, 2006
Timed: 10:30 a.m.

To:

Board of Supervisors

From:

Judy McGarry, Director, Department of Compliance
George Anderson, Chief, Sheriff's Department

Subject:

Presentations of the Findings and Recommendations of the Sheriff's Department
Program Review by Joseph Brann & Associates and The Public Strategies Group,
Inc. (PSG)

Overview
On AprilS, 2005, the Board of Supervisors approved the recommendation of an Evaluation
Team to retain Joseph Brann and Associates and the Public Strategies Group, Inc. to perform a
comprehensive assessment of the Sheriff's Department. The approved scope of work included
an analysis of the core functions/serviccs of the Sheriff's Department, an examination of
comparable agencIes, promlsmg practices and opportunities for efficiencies, and
recommendations that will lead to great effectiveness and efficiency in the Sheriff's Department.

Subsequently, on January 31, 2006, the Board of Supervisors approved an amendment to the
contract to include specific custody issues, such as the handling, processing, and treatment of
individuals in custody, current internal controls/systems, review of the role of the Sheriff's
Citizen Advisory Board and meet with key stakeholders directly related to recent allegations of
the mistreatment of individuals in custody. The findings of this addition scope of work will be
presented to the Board of Supervisors in late June 2006.
Today's presentation will focus on the findings and recommendations of the assessment of the
department. The consultants will discuss their respecti ve methodologies, observations, findings
and recommendations, as detailed in the attached consultant report.
Recommendation
1. Receive and file.
2. Direct the Sheriff and the County Executive to evaluate the consultant's recommendations
and report back on said recommendations and possible implementation in approximately 6090 days.

I

MeasureslEvaluation
Unknown at this time. Measurement will be possible after consultants' recommendations are
assessed by a team of Sheriff and County Executive representatives.
Fiscal Impact
Specific cost impacts will depend upon which of the consultants' recommendations are
implemented.

Presentations of the Findings and Recommendations of the Sheriff's Department Program
Review by Joseph Brann & Associates and The Public Strategies Group, Inc. (PSG)
Page 2

BACKGROUND:
On December 2004, the Board authorized the issuance of a RFP for the review of all the
Sheriff's Department programs, except contract cities and the Court. The contract was approved
in May 2005. The scope of work includes the following areas:
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o

o

Assess the criteria and practices related to deployment of personnel
(effecti veness)
Organizational structure
Span of control (management/staff ratios)
Assess personnel practices (overtime, holiday-in-lieu, home retention of vehicles,
management time off, off duty program
Customer/stakeholder expectations
Data and information in key operational areas and practices will be assembled and
assessed
Develop and discuss preliminary findings, opportunities for immediate
improvement and recommendations
Determine types of best and promising practices to further investigate
Examine comparable agencies and promising practices for County's
consideration, identify where and what efficiencies can be achieved
Identify key industry standards related to staffing and service delivery for
Correctional Services and Field Services (patrol and investigations)
Develop final recommendations including implementation goals, activities to be
undertaken and timelines for operational and organizational improvements that
will lead to increased effectiveness and/or efficiencies
Recommendations for improved organizational efficiencies and effectiveness will
be identified and presented to selected audiences

Project management of this department review was the responsibility of Judy McGarry, Director
of Compliance in the Countywide Services Agency, and George Anderson, Chief, Sheriff
Department. The following individuals were invaluable in assuring that the consultants were
given unrestricted access to individuals and data:
•
•
•
•
•

Lou Blanas, Sheriff
John McGinness, Undersheriff
Dave Lind, Assistant Sheriff
Terry Schutten, County Executive
Geoff Davey, Chief Financial and Operations Offieer

DISCUSSION:
The consultants' respective methodologies, observations, findings and recommendations related
to this effort are discussed in detail in the report from Joseph Brann and Associates, LLP and The
Public Strategies Group, Inc. (PSG).

Presentations of the Findings and Recommendations of the Sheriff's Department Program
Review by Joseph Brann & Associates and The Public Strategies Group, Inc. (PSG)
Page 3

A working group, comprised of the Sheriff and his Executive Management Team, Geoff Davey,
designated CEO staff and co-project managers Judy McGarry and George Anderson will be
responsible for reviewing the consultant's recommendations in detail and assessing whether to
implement them or not. The Sheriff and the County Executive's Office will attempt to reach
consensus and present a consolidated response to the Board within 60-90 days. If consensus is
not possible on every item, separate responses will be submitted to the Board of Supervisors.
FINANCIAL ANALYSIS:

Specific cost savings will depend upon which of the consultant recommendations the Board
chooses to implement.
Respectfull y submi tted,

APPROVED:

JUDY MCGARRY, Director
Department of Compliance

TERRY SCHUTTEN
County Executi ve

George Anderson, Chief
Sheriff's Department

Attachment: Executive Summary

Sacramento County
Sheriff's Department
Assessment
Executive Summary and
Key Findings and
Recommendations
Prepared by
Joseph Brann & Associates, LLC
The Public Strategies Group, Inc.
February 2006

2

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND
OVERVIEW OF KEY FIl'mINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

I. ApPROACH TO SCOPE OF WORK

II. OVERVIEW
III. KEY FINDINGS AND RECOMMEl'.'DATlONS BY THEME
I. Approach to Scope of Work
The consulting team assembled by Joseph Brann and Associates and the Public
Strategies Group began its work on an assessment of the Sacramento County Sheriff's
Department in May 2005. The team included nine consultants with expertise in
policing, jails, information technology, performance management, strategic planning,
and government system reform. The team viewed its client as both the Board of
Supervisors and County Executive, and the Sheriff and his Executive Team.

The approved scope of work that guided the consultants' activities included an analysis
of the core functions and services of the Sheliff's Department; an examination of
comparable agencies, promising practices, and opportunities for efficiencies; and
recommendations that would lead to greater effectiveness and efficiency in the Sheriff's
Department. The work was carried out in three phases:
•

Phase I identified preliminary observations about the Sheriff's Department
based on the consultants' research. The research and observations were
organized by service areas within the department, and by specific topics of
interest such as home retention of vehicles, span of control, ctc. At the
conclusion of this phase the observations were reviewed with SCSD command
staff and county officials to get their comments regarding the accuracy of the
observations. During this phase the following questions were asked regarding
each service and function:
• What are the mission, vision, and/or goal of the service or function?
• Who are the customers of the service or function?
• How are efficiency, effectiveness, and customer value measured?
• How are employees held accountable? What training is provided?
• Who is involved in service delivery and how are they organized (sworn and
non-sworn employees, managers, organizational structure, span of control)?
• How does the service or function operate - what are the accepted practices?
• Who are the external partners?
• What is the budget dedicated to this service (including matching funds,
mandates, dedicated funds)?

Assessment of Sacramento County Sherif!"s Department by Joseph Brann & Associates
and the Public Strategies Group
February 2006

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•

Phase II identified preliminary findings and recommendations, based on the
observations from Phase I, but now organized around common themes that
emerged during the course of the assessment. In this phase suggestions of
opportunities for immediate action were also proposed. The preliminary findings
and recommendations and opportunities for immediate aetion were reviewed
and discussed with SCSD command staff and county officials. Responses by the
Sheriff's Department to the opportunities for immediate action are noted in the
Key Findings and Recommendations section of this Executive Summary.

•

Phase III involved the development of final findings and recommendations,
examination of key data points with eomparable jurisdictions, and the
framework for an aetion plan to implement reeommendations. The final report is
based on a combination of (1) the collective professional experienee and
judgment of the eonsulting team, (2) observations regarding promising
contemporary practices and best praetiees in comparable jurisdictions or other
ageneies that are dealing with issues and challenges similar to those found in
Saeramento County, and (3) efforts already underway in the Sheriff's
Department and in County government.

We understand the desire to improve effectiveness (the ability to make a difference in
aehieving a result) and to inerease efficiency (the cost to aehieve the result) is a major
goal of this assessment. Thus, this report makes specific recommendations for aetions
and areas of improvement to better use resources efficiently and effeetively. However,
we believe it is important to note that the eore questions of effieieney and effectiveness
hinge on the degree to which an organization identifies its goals clearly and uses its
resourees well to fulfill these artieulated goals.
It is dangerous to look at efficiency outside the eontext of effectiveness in reaching
specific, measurable goals and this is the frame of reference for our reeommendations.
Thus you will see an emphasis in our reeommendations on achieving clarity of goals
first, then deeiding what best praetices are most likely to achieve those goals, followed
by what are the most cost effeetive ways of implementing those praetiees and strategies.
We believe that providing specific recommendations based on best practices and
providing our best thinking on systemic reforms and strategic approaches for the
Sheriff's Department and the Board of Supervisors will provide the most value to the
Sheriff's Department and to the citizens of Saeramento County who pay the bill.

Assessment of Sacramento County Sheriffs Department by Joseph Brann & Associates
and the Public Strategies Group
February 2006

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II. Overview
Context
Sacramento County faces significant challenges in the next few years. Community
expectations of local government have been and will continue to increase. Large areas
of the County, often referred to in the media as the "Un-City", are becoming more
urbanized and residents of these unincorporated areas often expect and demand services
that are consistent with neighboring incorporated communities. In the midst of this, the
County must find a way to balance its budget while dealing with repayment of pension
bonds and the allocation of scarce resources among competing interests such as public
safety, health and human services, deteriorating infrastructure needs, and innumerable
other demands. These wider county issues are the context within which the Sheriff
must also operate.
Setting a Clear Vision is Critical
The purpose of an organization is often found in thc articulation of its' fundamental
mission and vision. Providing clarity of purpose, priorities, and desired outcomes is
essential for the efficient use of an organization's resources. In public organizations
priorities are driven by the citizens served and the needs they express to and through
their elected leaders. The outcomes desired are more readily achieved when goals are
prioritized and described in terms of measurable results that the organization strives to
accomplish.
The vision for the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department comes from its leadership as represented by the elected Sheriff --- hopefully in conjunction with the Board of
Supervisors. Sheriff Lou Blanas provided his vision for the evolution of community
policing in the Sheriff's Department. This vision was described in his statement in
1999 that launched the Department's Community Policing Transition Plan (START 21).
In that document the Sheriff stated:
"My vision seeks to improve the quality oflife for our citizens. We must focus on
solving problems: success or failure should depend on qualitative outcomes (problems
solved), resolving situations to improve the quality of life, rather than Just on
quantitative results (arrests made, citations issued). "
The Sheriff also characterized his approach as a community policing philosophy "that
promotes and supports organizational strategies to address the causes of crime, reduce
fear of crime and combat social disorder through problem solving tactics and
community/police partnerships. Community policing is not a program or series of
programs, but is rather an overall style and philosophy ofpolice service delivery."

Assessment of Sacramento County Sheriff's Department by Joseph Brann & Associates
and the Public Strategies Group
February 2006

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SheriffBlanas deserves significant credit for advancing the Depmtment's transition
from a traditional model of policing to a community policing approach. Specifically,
the creation of station houses to decentralize services and better respond to unique
communities, and various efforts undertaken to involve the public in new ways were
fundamental steps in this transition. In addition, team policing was started and,
although the Sheriff chose to cut team policing as a result of reductions in his budget,
much has been learned that can be incorporated into a renewed effort to advance this
policing strategy.
With this geographic service system in place the foundation is set for the next phase of
implcmentation. That phase will largely becomc the responsibility of a new Sheriff
since Sheriff Blanas has announced his retirement.
Big Challenges for the New Sheriff Starting in 2007
The new Sheriff will have an opportunity to lead and influence the next stage of
transformation of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Depmment. That individual will
have the opportunity to make key decisions about the organization's future and must
determine whether to take on the very difficult work of cultural transformation that
accompanies successful community policing endeavors. As pointed out in the START
21 report, departments that have been the most progressive and successful in their
implementation of community policing showed "a willingness to empower staff at
lower levels with a broader range of decision-making authority". This requires
changes of attitude, relationships, and operations at every level of the organization --from the top to the bottom.
The next Sheriff must also decide how to work with the Board of Supervisors to achieve
mutual objectives. The Sheriff has the right as an elected official to use the agency's
budget to shape the organization as he/she desires. However, the Sheriff can choose to
make those decisions alone, or do this in conjunction with the Board so that there is
agreement and a shared sense of ownership for the objectives and strategies adopted.
The new Sheriff will have the opportunity to reaffirm the agency's community policing
vision and add a uniquc stamp to this vision. The vision for 2007 and beyond will be
shaped by new forces. The loss of law enforcement contracts with some cities in the
county, the increasing importance of and the need to apply contemporary technologies,
the county's fiscal situation, the growth of population in unincorporated areas, and the
need to address evolving public safety issues such as methamphetamines, identify theft,
and homeland security will certainly require new approaches or thinking and increased
dialog with the community regarding their priorities. The Sheriff will also have to deal
with the challenges and concerns surrounding a wide array of issues in the jail,
including ensuring the safety and well being of both jail personnel and inmates in the

Assessment of Sacramento County Sheriff's Department by Joseph Brann & Associates
and the Public Strategies Group
February 2006

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county jails while assuring adequate jail space through the judicious use of availahle
resources.
The START 21 report continues to have great relevance and serves as the agency's
foundation for the transition to community policing. It provides strategies that have not
yet been implemented and it should be updated if there is a desire to continue this
transition. However, despite all the strengths of the START report, it lacks well-defined
public safety goals and lacks measures to gauge progress. The department would
benefit from aligning resources around clearly articulated goals and community
outcomes. Fortunately, the county has already started a performance measurement
initiative that could prove to be of assistance in this aspect of a renewed planning
process.
One of the important areas recognized in the START 21 report dealt with the use of
technology to collect, analyze, and communicate information. The lack of sufficient
investments in technology infrastructure and training in the Sheriff's Department, along
with a lack of commitment to using data and information has, in some respects,
hampered the implementation of community policing and greater effectiveness in the
use of available resources.
Preparing for the Transition in Leadership
Sheriff Blanas is justifiably proud of what has been achieved during his tenure as
Sheriff. One of his final contributions can be to lay the groundwork for the next stage
of progress in the Sheriff's Department. With the time he has left in his position he can
take action on immediate and pressing issues such as;
• Advocating for improvements in technology and data systems with the Board of
Supervisors and working with the County's Office of Communications and
Information Technology (OCIT) to enhance the capabi lities of IT systems so
they better support operational needs. This is critical because without solid,
reliable data management will struggle to make appropriate decisions regarding
allocation of resources. This will also assist the team the Sheriff intends to create
to develop a larger technology and information plan in 2006-07.
• Creating a succession planning strategy to address the growing number of
retirements and other workforce changes that will impact the department. The
growing competition for qualified candidates at all levels is a critical challenge
in the public safety arena today. The ability of the Sheriff's Department to
deliver high quality public safety services to the citizenry is ultimately
dependent on the quality of candidates in the labor force and the organization's
leadership. As "baby boomers" are aging out of the workforce this places
greater demands on the organization to recruit and retain new personnel while

Assessment of Sacramento County Sherif]"s Department by Joseph Brann & Associates
and the Public Strategies Group
February 2006

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•

•

•

•

simultaneously preparing and putting into place a new generation of qualified
managers and supervisors.
Consolidating the department's human resources functions into one unit with a
clear mission and charge to efficiently and effectively serve their customers in
the department.
Involving the department in the county's performance measurement initiative.
The Department does not routinely measure its level of service or relate its
staffing and funding (inputs) to the workload, service quality, efficiency or
outcome of its services. The Department does not track, report, or review a
regular set of performance measures to aid in managing and monitoring results
in key areas across the department.
Improving the use of crime analysts and data in the Field Services Division.
While the consultants were able to identify various sources of data to assess
community crime trends, we were struck by how often we were speaking with
managers who were either unfamiliar with the specifics of this management
information or were plainly not contemplating actions in response to it. For
example, despite efforts to transition to a more proactive policing model, patrol
resources, with exception of POP teams, are highly call-driven. It appears that
crime analysis is not being leveraged effectively and, as such, some local
hotspots, and other suppressible crime patterns, are not being identified and
tracked for prevention and reduction. This potentially results in more
"downstream" workload for the rest of the department - requiring more
resources for reactive work involved in call response, investigation, an'est, and
incarceration.
Addressing the current issues regarding safety of inmates and deputies in the
county jails. Jails across the country are facing challenges related to
overcrowding resulting from changes in public policy, the application of consent
decrees, and dealing with increasing numbers of inmates with mental health
issues when there are no other resources available. A separate study has been
commissioned to address the jail situation.

Budget Challenges and Opportunities
The county has significant budget constraints due to upcoming pension bond payments
and loss of revenue due to incorporations. Even in the best of times there is not enough
money to do everything that is desired so establishing what the priorities are, funding
them, and identifying the most cost effective means of producing the desired results is a
critical first step. The Sheriff and the Board of Supervisors should strive to come to
agreement as to what the public safety priorities are for the residents of Sacramento
County. If community policing is the top priority then the dollars should be allocated
with that goal in mind. The Board of Supervisors should establish how much money
they have to fund the Sheriff's Department. Likewise, the Sheriff should identify and

Assessment of Sacramento County Sheriff's Department by Joseph Brann & Associates
and the Public Strategies Group
February 2006

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communicate what level(s) of service can be produced in the priority areas based on
these funding levels.
As a fiscal steward of county resources the Sheriff is responsible for identifying where
revenue can be increased or money saved by providing services in a different manner.
Some of the opportunities that appear to be especially promising include:
• Creation of a new job classification (corrections assistant) for staffing the jail
(reduces rotation and saves money). Estimated annual cost reduction of $15,000 per
position
• Reduce false alarm responses (through verified call response program or nonresponse to chronic violators and notice to insurance carriers) and increase false
alarm cost reeovery fees
• Reduce worker's compensation claims through aggressive management of these
cases
• Implement 3-1-1 to reduce 9-1-1 ealls and lessen demands on sworn officers
• Reduce the number of executi ve lieutenants (currently there about 20 of these) and
substitute with more cost-efficient positions
The Sheriff's Department should budget for on-going investments that improve the
operations and aceountability of the department. Areas that eould improve the retumon-investments (ROI) include training, professional development, risk management,
asset replacement, performance evaluation, and succession planning.
Role of the Board of Supervisors
The Board of Supervisors and the Sheriff should be congratulated for agreeing to look
closely at the use of resources in the Sheriff's Department to determine where
improvements can be made in efficiency and effectiveness. The responsibility for
implementation should also be borne by both parties, recognizing the unique
relationship of a separately elected Sheriff and an elected Board of Supervisors. The
Board has the responsibility to citizens to identify the outcomes they expect for the
public safety services of the county and to allocate sufficient resources to achieve those
outeomes. The Sheriff has the responsibility for using his resourees as he sees fit to
achieve his public safety goals. Currently the Board is not asking about results achieved
but, instead, is eoneentrating on how the Sheriff is using his resources. The Board and
the Sheriff have an opportunity to work together, recognizing each others respective
roles and responsibilities, to mutually agree upon the public safety outeomes they want
to aehieve for citizens.
The public safety system is a complex system and challenging to understand for even
the best of public officials. The Board of Supervisors should take it upon themselves to
learn more about this system, publie safety best practices, and the philosophy and

Assessment of Sacramento County Sheriff's Department by Joseph Brann & Associates
and the Public Strategies Group
February 2006

9

practice of community policing, This will allow them to make better budget and policy
decisions and work more effectively with the Sheriff
Strengths to Build On
It is important to note that the consultants observed a variety of strengths in the
Sheriff's Department upon which improvements can be built
The Sheriff's belief in community policing and commitment to the vision mticulated in
the START plan led to the development of a number of programs that have improved
services in neighborhoods and communities, The department has developed a greater
appreciation for the role citizens can and should playas "co-producers of public safety",
wherein they not only help define neighborhood issues but also become active
participants in meeting those needs, At the station housc level, community pmtnerships
are evident and POP officers have forged strong working relationships with the
residents and business people they serve, The SCSD has experienced success with
volunteer programs such as the HAM radio operator program to assist with undercover
work and with use of retired annuitants,
Many policies and practices in the department support and nurture employees, We
heard almost no complaints regarding pay levels and did hear appreciation for the
various opportunities to supplement income with overtime and work off-duty
assignments for those who want to put in the time, From our interviews, it appears that
employees strongly believe the Sheriff supports them on a personal level and cares
about their welfare, This is reinforced by the department's positive relationship with
the unions representing department employees,
The work release program in Corrections stands out as an excellent program that helps
deal with the jail population and generates $5 million per year for the General Fund,
Throughout the department, from patrol to the jails, there are employees who are
dedicated, competent and hard working, Overall, the line employees of the Sheriff's
Depmtment care about their work and are doing their assigned work welL
Action Plan Framework
The recommendations that have arisen from this assessment range from small and
seemingly easy changes to large and tough department-wide initiatives, It would be
seductive to gravitate towards doing the former (essentially "checking off' tasks),
putting off the latter for another day,
We encourage the Sheriff and his Executi ve Team to map out a strategy that uses the
small and easy changes as a stimulus for making the larger changes, The Executive

Assessment ofSacramento County Sheriff's Department by Joseph Brann & Associates
and the Public Strategies Group
February 2006

10

Team should identify high leverage opportunities and allocate resources to taking
advantage of those opportunities.
The Sacramento Sheriff's Department has tremendous assets to build on to take their
efforts to a new level, not only in terms of efficiency and effectiveness in achieving
outcomes currently desired, but also in defining and realizing goals yet to be
determined. This will require engaging employees at all levels in the change process
starting with chartering teams or groups to implement the specific recommendations
agreed to by the Executive Team.
However, experience has shown that the most critical ingredient for success in
managing change is leadership that is consistent, operates with a sense of urgency, and
is prepared to bust barriers to get to their goals. These leaders keep the following
questions in mind at every turn:
•
•
•
•
•

What is our purpose?
To whom are we accountable?
Do the incentives we use show what matters?
Have we placed control in the right hands for every function?
Are we paying attention to the unwritten rules of our culture?

The Sheriff's Department is at a turning point. It has benefited from the leadership of
the past and it is now about to experience new leadership. It is at these points of
transition when significant change can happen. We urge the Sheriff and the County to
take advantage of this unique moment and opportunity.
III. Key Findings and Recommendations bv Theme

11. Management and Strategic Planning

I Management Accountability and Performance, Creating and Managing High
I Perf()l1l1ance Organizatiol1~,~ovingthe Strategic Plan Forward

]
~ __

Findings:
Organizational Culture
• The SCSD is engaged in transition from a reactive to a proactive model of pohcing
• Accountability is not adequately stressed and reinforced at all levels of the
organization
• Although not universal, conflict avoidance appears to be a cultural norm in thc
SCSD~~-based on the collective perceptions of the consultants
• Desires to satisfy employee needs sometimes conflict with organizational needs

Assessment of Sacramento County Sheriff's Department by Joseph Brann & Associates
and the Public Strategies Group
February 2006

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•

Lack of emphasis on critical thinking, analytical, and entrepreneurial skills

Management in Sheriff's Department
• While fiscal information is distributed on a timely basis, the department does not
appear to have a formal review process at the management level to monitor
expenditures and overtime utilization
• Performance measures currently used tend to be activity and process measures
rather than measures focused on outcomes or results desired
• Ratio of supervisors to employees not uniformly based on the nature of an operation
or on the skill, training, and experience level
• Auditing and inspectional activities relating to policy compliance and performance
expectations are not routinely conducted
• In interviews with county departments that SCSD routinely interacts with, issues of
collaboration and effective working relationships with other county departments
were raised as concerns
• Human resources management functions are decentralized and fragmented
throughout the organization.
County Government Policy Considerations
• The Board of Supervisors has not articulated the results they would like to see
achieved by the Sheriff's Department.
• There has been no effort to routinely poll the community to determine the outcomes
residents want or expect in the area of public safety services.
• The Board of Supervisors does not determine up front how much they want to spend
on public safety relative to the amounts they want to allocate for other service areas.
Recommendations:
Improving Management and Organizational Performance
• Use patrol resources effectively and efficiently by focusing on problem solving
efforts that will reduce repeat calls for service at particular locations (alarm calls,
nuisance calls, alcohol related offenses, etc.)
• Identify union contract issues that are the biggest barriers to meeting department
goals and attempt to renegotiate with unions or include as priority bargaining issues
during the next contract negotiations.
• Increase the use of data including crime analysis data through policy, procedures,
training, and management focus.
• Build upon the excellent financial tracking practices in place in Administrative
Services by developing regular, formal management reviews of budget and
expenditure status

Assessment of Sacramento County Sheriff's Department by Joseph Brann & Associates
and the Public Strategies Group
February 2006

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•
•
•

Implement a performance appraisal system for managers that is developed around
individual goals and objectives tied to agency priorities and goals
Participate in County's Performance Management Initiative trainings
Create an internal auditing and compliance function to routinely assess unit
operations and performance. Note: the Sheriff currently has a plan under
development to create an "inspector" general" or "compliance officer" position.

Policy and Budf!et Development
• Based on community input, agreements (if possible) should be reached between the
Board of Supervisors and the Sheriff concerning the top results that citizens want
from the Sheriff's Department
• The Board of Supervisors, in consultation with the County Executive, should
determine at the start of the budget process how much they want to spend for public
safety and how to allocate that for each of the results they want to achieve. In doing
this it must be recognized that priorities will have to be made about what will or will
not be funded.
• Periodic updates (quarterly or semi-annually) concerning progress toward public
safety performance measures should be provided to the Board and community
• The Board of Supervisors would benefit from more information and timely updates
about the needs, issues, and challenges the SCSD is facing. As is common with
many elected bodies, there is a limited understanding on the part of some board
members about contemporary or best practices in the public safety arena.
2. Workforce Issues
Deployment, Staffing, Use of Civilians, Managing and Mitigating Risks (Internal
Affairs, Workers Compensation, Liability, Claims, etc.), Training & Professional
Development, Recruitment and Retention
Findings:
Deployment and Staffing
• Opportunities exist to achieve improved efficiency in the deployment of
personnel if relevant data is captured and used by managers to establish
appropriate staffing levels
• Mandated vacancy and salary savings strategies distort the budget and impacts
operations
• More use of civilians is possible
• The staffing level in some operations is inadequate - it poses a potential danger
to employees and exposes the county to increased risk
• Some operations suffer from lack of adequate supervision

Assessment of Sacramento County Sheriff's Department by Joseph Brann & Associates
and the Public Strategies Group
February 2006

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•

Frequent rotations and modified shift schedules impact service delivery and
response to community needs

Retention, Hiring, Training
• Employees have cited required overtime as contributing to burnout and higher
attrition rates
• Fragmented human resource responsibilities in the department and nonrcsponsiveness in the county HR function have created inefficiencies and
hampered hiring and training
• Training activities are not neccssarily aligned with organizational goals
Managing Risk
•

Worker's compensation activities tend to be focused on processing claims

•

There is a lack of attention to how data can be used to reduce and prevent claims

Internal Affairs
•

40% of IA investigations are from Main Jail

•

Inadequate documentation and data compilation on all use of force incidents

Recommendations:
• Collect relevant data and establish appropriate criteria (tied to clear objectives)
to detcnnine staffing levels and deployment plans
• Prioritize filling vacancies based on critical needs and where ROI is highest
• Create a long-range workforce plan (recruitment, training, promotion, job
satisfaction) to address retirements and other workforce changes
• Adopt plan to assure that all employees have opportunities to succeed and
advance (training, job openings widely distributed)
• Align training plan with organizational goals (problem-solving, risk reduction,
safety, employee promotions)
• Analyze data and set targets and plans for reducing workers comp claims and
lost time

•

Fully implement and make use of Early Warning System to reduce liabilities and
risk exposure

•

Improve investigations of and data analysis from use of force cases

3. Use of Information
Information Technology (IT), Communications

Assessment of Sacramento County Sheriff's Department by Joseph Brann & Associates
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February 2006

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Findings:
Information Technology
• As is true for a majority of puhlic and private organizations management of
information resources and information technology tends to be ad hoc and the
application of IT is not nearly as effective as it could be
• The strategic information plan in place is not guiding IT operations and decisions
• SCSD spends a total of $6.4M annually in information technology
• Operations are highly dependent on technology but planning and budgeting for
technology do not seem to have a high priority
• A high proportion of IT professionals in the Department are contract employees
Communications Center
• The Communications Center has experienced an increase in service demands in
both the emergency and non-emergency calls for service categories while staffing
levels in the Field Services Divisions have declined
• Sheriff's staff study of alarm calls indicate:
• 36,000 alarms responded to (almost 100 alarms per day county wide)
• An average of 18 minutes to clear (this equates to a minimum oflO,800
hours per year based on one officer responding; however, many alarm
calls require two or more officers)
• 8,500 reports taken for cold burglaries
• Only 1,200 False Alarm Notices (FANs) completed annually
According to staff, "these numbers suggest that (at a minimum) over 26,000 alarm
calls were false with no FAN left for the responsible party"
• The false alarm fine has remained constant for the last several years and does not
reflect real cost of response to the department
Recommendations:
Upgrade IT Capacity
• Create a CIa (at least de facto) with budget authority over IT expenditures and
responsibility to update and implement the IT strategie plan
• The CIa, with the support of top management, should enter into a service contract
with OCIT that clearly defines roles, costs, serviee standards, and methods for resolving
problems.
• Work with the County to invest in IT infrastructure based on business cases
prepared by the Sheriff that includes estimates of funds needed for asset replacement
and on-going maintenance. Be wary of accepting grants that don't have lifecycle
funding in place.

Assessment of Sacramento County Sheriff's Department by Joseph Brann & Associates
and the Public Strategies Group
February 2006

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• Identify the proper proportion of contract employees to full time positions,
balancing the benefits of the flexibility from using contract employees and the necessity
of having key IT resources in-house.
Use Data More Effectively to Adjust Systems
• Hold crime analysts in station houses accountable for providing more relevant data
and supervisors accountable for using/applying the data. Note: the Sheriff has assigned
staff to examine this issue. They have concluded that criminal intelligence analysts are
an extremely valuable resource and function well. However, they found that the seven
crime analysts located in station houses are "underutilized and misdirected due to:
• Being over utilized for data-entry of irrelevant and useless infomzation,
• Receiving, or not having access to, valuable data in a timely manner, to a
point that it is useless,
• Lack of communications between criminal analysts assigned to other Field
Service Divisions, and
• The reports that are produced are not used, or are oflittle value, due to the
lack of useable content. "
"Draft Response to Phase I Report: Opportunities for Immediate Improvement,
January 26,2006", pg.7.
• Immediately assess the calls-for-service workload to identify chronic call locations
and area hot spots that generate a disproportionate level of police resource utilization.
• Develop standard summary report to track call volume and abandoned calls on a
routine basis (e.g. post weekly or even daily). Develop similar routine reports on call
taking and dispatching performance (time in minutes). Begin sharing information
among levels of management and with staff to better understand problem areas,
recognize areas of good performance, and encourage dialog about work processes.
• Identify readily available public communication opportunities to increase public
awareness of appropriate use of 9-1-1.
• Consider implementation of 3-1-1 in concert with Sacramento Police Department.
Note: The Sheriffhas indicated he supports the efforts ofthe county and city to jointly
implement a 3-1-1 system.

4. Corrections
Jail Operations, Inmate Welfare & Mental Health

Findings: Corrections
• Concerns were identified regarding insufficient staffing levels, supervision and
security in jail facilities. Note: In September of 2005 several steps were taken
to rectify this problem. These steps included:

Assessment of Sacramento County Sheriff's Department by Joseph Brann & Associates
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February 2006

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•

•
•

The Sheriffauthorizing an expenditure of $2 million dollars from the Inmate
Welfare Fund to restore the Roger Bauman Facility (RBF), and
• The Board of Supervisors authorized an additional 18 deputy sheriff
positions to staff RBF
• Use of security cameras in the Honor Facility is being explored
Insufficient number of security beds and safety cells

Public and staff have identified concerns about suicides and safety of inmates in
jails

Recommendations: Corrections
• Create a team immediately to develop and implement short and long term
strategies to address jail staffing, security, and facility needs
•

Expand the Inmate Welfare Commission to include representation from outside
the Jail

I 5. Airport Operations
I<'indings: Airport
• The SCSD and DOA operate in different organizational cultures with different
goals in mind and this contributes to conflict
•

There is a lack of agreement between SCSD and DOA concerning appropriate
staffing levels and deployment plans

Recommendations: Airport
• Key leaders from SCSD and DOA should reach agreement on goals and what
performance measures should be used
• Each organization should have input in those areas where they are impacted by
the other's policies and procedures
• Jointly develop, fund and maintain a training program that meets the mission of
both organizations
• Research possibility of using contract security to meet all or some of airport
needs

I 6. Issues Not Included in Above Themes
Home Retention of Vehicles
Findings
• A high percentage of agency vehicles (47%) are take home vehicles
• The full costs associated with this employee benefit are not known

Assessment of Sacramento County Sheriff's Department by Joseph Brann & Associates
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•

Documentation is lacking to monitor employee or organizational conformance
with policy

Recommendations
• Review and clarify policies; institute monitoring process to track conformance
with policies
• Evaluate the benefits of take home vehicles versus known and hidden costs
incurred
• Employees with take home vehicles should be required to maintain and insure
own vehicle for personal use
Note: Plans are underway to review the policy for home retention of vehicles
and amend this to align the Sheriff's Department policy with the policy
governing other County departments.
Benefits Management
Findings
• SCSD paid out over $600,000 in vacation payout in 2005
• SCSD paid out approximately $4.4M for Holiday in Lieu pay in 2005 (up 2%
from 2004)
Recommendation
• Set targets and strengthen management practices so as to reduce payouts, where
possible
IV. Comparable Jurisdictions
Data Points
There are several jurisdietions across the state that the consultants recommend be used
by the County for the purpose of benchmarking. These jurisdictions and some of the
data points (which include staffing figures, performance measures, policy
considerations and miscellaneous information) are identified and discussed in Section
IV of the report.
It is important to keep in mind that many of the data points included are rather
traditional measures and they are not necessarily the best (or even good) measures of
what is desired by and for the residents of Sacramento County. Nonetheless, they offer
a beginning point for discussions and an opportunity to identify where some efficiencies
might be achieved. We do urge everyone to engage in serious "critical thinking" when
trying to use this information. On the surface, the data cited may appear to be factual
and consistently defined by and among law enforcement agencies. However, that is

Assessment of Sacramento County Sheriff's Department by Joseph Brann & Associates
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February 2006

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often not the case and this can distort the picture and lead to extremely flawed
conclusions. The concept of "comparing apples to oranges" should be kept in mind
here. By way of some examples, pay heed to the fact that 9-1-1 calls, calls for service
and response times are not defined or measured consistently among law enforcement
agencies.
The discussion provided under this section attempts to shed some light on this and offer
insights that can be of help in determining what measures can or should be used in
Sacramento County.
Best Practice Topics Researched
Best and/or promising practices from other jurisdictions can be a good starting point
and an excellent source of ideas for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of an
organization. This is especially true when it can be determined that the other
jurisdictions examined subscribe to a similar organizational philosophy and view of
service deli very in the areas of concern. The consultants identified various programs
and approaches in several service areas that merit consideration by the County and the
Sheriff's Department. These are briefly described, along with contact information, in
an appendix to the full report.
Recruitment
Retention
Training
Civilianization
Risk Management
Performance Management
Management Accountability
Strategic Planning
Jail Operations
Inmate Mental Health
Inmate Welfare
Information Technology and Information Resource Management
Call Reduction
False Alarm Reduction
Crime Analysis
Crime Prevcntion
Crime Suppression
Patrol Deployment
Off-Duty Employment
Airport Security

Assessment of Sacramento County Sheriff's Department by Joseph Brann & Associates
and the Public Strategies Group
February 2006

 

 

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