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City Outsources Jail Operations

The move is designed to free up resources so the Arcadia Police Department can run more efficiently.

The city has outsourced its jail operations to a private company, a move officials say will allow for a more effective allocation of resources within the Arcadia Police Department.

Los Angeles-based G4S Secure Solutions will now handle the day-to-day operations of the 20-bed facility, which holds inmates awaiting arraignment for a maximum of 96 hours. 

The $488,163 contract with G4S ends June 30, 2014. Formerly, the police department assigned five community service officers to run the jail. 

"The goal is to make the department more efficient," Police Chief Robert Guthrie said.

Of the five civilian officers who ran the jail, one has retired and will not be replaced, while another has become a sworn Arcadia police officer. The department has reassigned the three remaining officers to administrative support tasks typically handled by sergeants or police officers.

The reassigned officers are also charged with reviving the city's Neighborhood and Business watch programs, as well as running community outreach programs such as the Explorers.

By not filling the two vacant CSO positions, the city will save $271,687, bringing the net cost of the G4S contract to $216,477, analysts say.

And while there has been much debate surrounding whether outsourcing detention facilities leaves taxpayers vulnerable to inmate abuse lawsuits, city officials say they have several safeguards in place to prevent such litigation.

For starters, the police department has placed one of its own, Lt. Colleen Flores, in charge of jail supervision and management.

"We take pride in our facility. Keeping the safety of our inmates and our staff is our top priority," Flores said via e-mail, adding that a 2011 Civil Grand Jury report found Arcadia's jail "exceptional, based on combinations of physical facilities, maintenance, inmate treatment and staff knowledge and background." 

G4S Solutions could not be reached for comment.

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