Unsettled by the county’s plan to move the local sheriff’s station from Valencia to Castaic Junction, the Santa Clarita City Council will consider sending a letter Tuesday asking Sheriff Lee Baca and the Board of Supervisors to rethink the idea.
The city’s population of 180,000 residents “represents about two-thirds of the overall population currently served by the Santa Clarita Sheriff Station,” yet “at no time prior to the consideration of the item by the Board of Supervisors was the City Council or city staff consulted regarding the proposed action,” a city staff report states.
“It also appears that Sheriff Baca had not been fully apprised of the actions being undertaken,” the report states.
The Board of Supervisors voted Feb. 14 to instruct county staff to finalize a $2.9 million deal with The Newhall Land and Farming Co. for land west of Interstate 5 for a future courthouse and “regional” sheriff’s station. Included was a plan to sell off the current sheriff station property at Magic Mountain and McBean parkways.
City officials knew the county intended to move the courthouse from Magic and McBean to Castaic Junction, but the idea of moving the sheriff’s station came as a shock.
City officials want to see a main sheriff’s station in the middle of the SCV and smaller substations where they’re needed, along with a comprehensive plan to cover future law enforcement needs across the SCV.
If approved by the City Council, the city’s letter to Baca and the supervisors would call for a regional sheriff’s station “at a central location within the City of Santa Clarita, with smaller fully functioning stations strategically placed within the incorporated and unincorporated areas of the Santa Clarita Sheriff Station service area, to ensure rapid call response times and provision of effective law enforcement services within the communities served.”
It would also call for “a comprehensive needs assessment and funding plan to determine the appropriate size, type, and location of Sheriff Station(s) within the incorporated and other areas served by the Santa Clarita Sheriff Station,” together with the deployment of additional deputies in the unincorporated SCV and a modernization of the existing station.