By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula Times
The City Council will be asked at Monday’s meeting to approve sending police officers to a conference to sharpen their investigative skills, the only item of business on the agenda for the February 3 session.
The council will first meet at 5:30 p.m. in the Administrative Conference Room for a closed session to discuss ongoing labor negotiations and to confer with City Attorney John Cotti regarding the ongoing arbitration with Santa Paula Water LLC, the owner/operator of the city’s wastewater treatment plant.
When the council reconvenes to open session at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall Council Chambers the meeting will be broadcast live by Time Warner Cable Channel 10 and replayed per schedule. The session will also be live-streamed on the city’s website and archived for viewing on demand.
There will be one presentation by Carla Edwards who will address the February 8 Run or Dye Fun Run expected to attract thousands to the Santa Paula area.
There are several Consent Calendar items, those considered routine and passed without debate unless requested for discussion by the council, staff or members of the public.
The lone item of business centers on public safety, specifically officer training according to the report by Police Chief Steve McLean.
His staff report notes that reducing last year’s 21.1 percent overall increase in violent crime - including a 500 percent increase in murders with six homicides - is the top priority for sending four Santa Paula Police Officers to a gang undercover narcotics training program to be held in Las Vegas.
Funding for the four officers to attend the February 10-13 conference - fees of $1,800, transportation costs of approximately $120, travel and lodging of about $440 and subsistence cost of about $1,278 - will come out of the police budget.
“Fighting gangs and narcotics is a number one priority,” and it is “imperative to have properly trained officers” in the McLean revised SPPD Gang Unit.
City Hall is located at 970 E. Ventura St. For more information contact Deputy City Clerk Lucy Blanco at 933-4208.