Serving the community since 1922

City making strides with new Police Department

At the regular meeting, the Wasco City Council moved forward with several resolutions related to the start-up of the Police Department, including salaries for positions and a CalPERS safety plan, with permission to begin recruitment and training activities.

"CalPERS will review those job descriptions to ensure they are actual safety employees [full law enforcement officers]," Wasco Police Department Chief Charlie Fivecoat said. "We do salary comparisons with other agencies throughout the region to ensure our salaries are comparable."

The salaries approved at the meeting included the following:

Police lieutenant with a salary range of $104,573.69 - $133,465.47.

Police records administrator with a salary range of $61,276.28 - $78,206.18.

Police records clerk with a salary range of $46,701.72 - $59,604.48.

Police dispatcher with a salary range of $$50,292.58 - $64,186.98.

Senior police dispatcher with a salary range of $55,513.38 - $70,850.78.

Police officer with a salary range of $61,276.28 - $78,206.18.

Senior police officer with a salary range of $65,987.74 - $84,219.46

Police sergeant with a salary range of $78,439.92 - $100,110.66.

Of the recruitment process, Chief Fivecoat said that it could be initiated at any time.

"We are going to start with the lieutenant position, and then we will follow up with supervisors, patrol officers, and dispatchers."

He added, "We are very happy with how quickly the project is moving and how everyone has come together to make this a reality."

Another resolution that passed involved signing a professional services agreement with Mary Valenti, Ph.D., for law enforcement clinical psychologic services.

Dr. Valenti is a California Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) approved law enforcement-related clinical psychological services provider.

She provides pre-employment psychological screenings, fitness for duty evaluations, critical incident debriefings and wellness interventions and is recognized and used by law enforcement agencies throughout Kern County.

The council also approved the appropriation of $275,000 for the Police Department start-up expenses related to network infrastructure, internet services and office reconfiguration for the fiscal 2022-2023 year.

This is required to operate the department records system, computer-aided dispatch and general office systems.

In addition, the council approved an internet services agreement with New Horizon Communications Corp., with a monthly cost proposed is $928.90.

Sentinel Engineering was approved to provide Police Department network infrastructure, including equipment, configuration and installation.

The department requires a secure computer network, including infrastructure to support computer-aided dispatch and police records administration. The department network design must meet state cybersecurity standards.

The network designed by Sentinel Engineering will meet or exceed the state of California standards to provide protection from internal and external threats.

The council also saw the new department vehicles designed with the city's logo.

"The local designs were created in-house by Neomi Perez of the marketing/IT department, and we are quite pleased with the graphics that were designed for the cars."

In other actions, the City Council presented several proclamations for National Public Works Week, National Police Week and Professional Municipal Clerks Week.

Public Works Director Luis Villa said, "I think that the proclamation presented to public works staff is a special way of showing how much they are needed and appreciated and that they each play a role in maintaining excellent service to our residents."

He added, "I want to thank the staff that showed up and accepted the proclamation. Again they each play a huge role in how the City provides service on a daily basis."

"I appreciate that anytime I call anyone, with no hesitation, they are quick to respond and take care of any issues. Staff is dedicated to our community and provides excellent service. We have a great team.

Carlos Hermosillo, a public works mechanic/supervisor, said, "It's an honor to be recognized and to show everybody we are doing our best to keep the city going."

Regarding Professional Municipal Clerks Week, Mayor Vincent Martinez said, "Our clerks are amazing. They really hold our city together in a lot of ways."


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