The San Diego County Sheriff's Department (SDSO) may soon be out of the City of Del Mar as the community seeks to create it own police department.
"They're doing a great job," said City Manager Scott Huth, referring to SDSO. "We're just looking at a model of law enforcement and the options we have."
The Del Mar City Council discussed a proposal to create Del Mar's own police department during a Monday night meeting.
Currently, Del Mar pays SDSO $2.7 million per year for law enforcement services.
But, according to a study released during the meeting, the city could save up to $365,000 per year if they were to have their own police department.
The study also found that SDSO response times to calls were, on average, nine to 11 minutes.
"We do have a crime problem in Del Mar," said Mayor Terry Sinnott. "Special types of issues: burglaries -- residential, commercial -- theft and larceny."
The study also noted that since Del Mar shares deputies with other areas, there is not a constant law enforcement presence in the area.
"Our Police Chief isn't here, he's in Encinitas. Our patrol guy isn't here, he's in Solana Beach or Encinitas 25 percent of the time," said Del Mar resident Jim Benedict, who's in favor of a Del Mar Police Department.
But not all council members or residents agree that a police department is needed there.
"I think Del Mar is safe because of people who live in Del Mar and Sheriff support now," said Ira Sharp. "I don't believe we need greater police presence."
In regard to Del Mar's proposal, the SDSO issued this statement:
The Sheriff's Department is able and willing to provide additional staffing to the City of Del Mar in the form of deputy sheriffs or non-sworn community service officers who could handle lower priority calls freeing up valuable time for deputies to respond to crimes in progress and do proactive patrol. There is a cost to provide high quality public safety services. The Sheriff's Department endeavors to maximize its economy of scale by deploying dedicated staff to the contract cities supplemented by highly trained and specialized personnel which are a pooled resource shared by the contract cities and the unincorporated areas of the county.
Council members decided to have a planning meeting at a later date so that residents can hear the pros and cons of having their own police department in Del Mar.