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Imperial Beach Sheriff Station Now Substation, Contract Negotiations Continue

The move is part of a series of possible changes for the sheriff's department in Imperial Beach, including possible cuts to staff in the future. Contract negotiations continue next week.

Last month , the San Diego County Sheriff's Department Imperial Beach station's captain since Aug. 2011, left the station.

With his move, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department Imperial Beach station became a substation. Captain Pete Callewaert at the Lemon Grove station is now the substation's captain.

The substation has also had a shakeup in its sergeant ranks.

Traffic Sgt. Ted Greenawald and Detective Sgt. Jeff Duckworth left the station last month. 

Sgt. Greenawald was replaced by Sgt. Laura Spang-Dvorchak for Traffic Services and Detective Duckworth was replaced by Sgt. Miles Ting.

Since Sgt. Spang moved to Traffic Services, Sgt. Mary Lou Marq moved to IB from Santee to fill the Patrol Sergeant position.

Lt. Marco Garmo will now be the chief officer at the IB substation. The changes will not impact the number of deputies on patrol, Garmo said.

"This really doesn't have a direct impact to the city. It's just business as usual," he said.

As a lieutenant, Garmo said he will need approval for some decisions from the station captain like to approve use of force reports.

He insists that he couldn't make many changes to the substation if he wanted to.

"If I want to make any major changes here I'll run it by him [LG station captain], but we don't have the manpower to do any drastic changes," he said.

Public Safety Director and Fire Chief Tom Clark agree the change from station to substation will have no adverse impact to the number of deputies who patrol Imperial Beach or level of law enforcement in the community.

"It's still a station. It's just terminology. Instead of a captain being in charge, a lieutenant is," he said.

Clark is currently negotiating a five-year sheriff's contract along with eight other cities or unincorporated areas of San Diego that receive sheriff services. The negotiating team will meet next Thursday and will have more to announce about a contract Aug. 13.

"The hope is that we don't have to downgrade any positions in the sheriff's department," he said. "There may be changes in the following year but we don't know that yet."

The city wants to keep sheriff contract costs at $5.65 million in the coming year.

"We want to be able to maintain this level of service and we'll have to look at next year's costs," Clark said.

Projections in the by city council estimates that within four years, sheriff contract costs could make up $6.3 million of $18 million of the city's expenses.

Earlier this year Clark told the Imperial Beach City Council that .

In the next year the IB substation will be under the Rancho San Diego station, said Lt. Garmo, along with Lemon Grove, Spring Valley, Bonita and Lincoln Acres.

Some cuts anticipated to take place this year have been averted, Clark said, including keeping a motorcycle traffic deputy. A Community Service Officer position will remain unfilled, and a secretary position was downgraded as well, he said.

The South Bay Union School District and Sweetwater Union High School District both agreed to carry more of the costs of a School Resource Officer.

Still, the position is estimated by city staff to cost a total $215,000 during the 2012-13 fiscal year and near $240,000 in the next two years.

Libi Uremovic August 01, 2012 at 04:20 AM
the sheriffs need to look at their budget....the city has added $355,633 for 'abc charges'...which is their way of hiding expenses in other departments. ...the abc charges on the fire department budget are $450,000....
Shorebird August 01, 2012 at 02:31 PM
maybe we should look at the expense of our own police dept?
Pat P August 02, 2012 at 04:42 AM
It would cost far more to create a new police dept for IB. That's why we contract for the SD County Sheriff to provide law enforcement services. We need to keep them here, or we'll be overrun with gangs and drugs. I understand that was the case before there was a substation on Seacoast near the Pier.
Daniel August 23, 2012 at 04:07 AM
How can I become a cso?? I am a imperial beach local with security background and love law enforcement, I plan on becoming a deputy in the near future and think this will be a great step in that direction!!

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