City Council Agrees to $4.8M for Additional Security and Police

The Beverly Hills City Council agreed to $4.8 million for supplemental police and security services in anticipation of the potential civil unrest around the Nov. 3 General Election and beyond. The sum, voted on at its Oct. 13 Regular Meeting, includes overtime for Beverly Hills Police Department (BHPD) officers, additional support from the Santa Paula Police Department (SPPD), services by two private armed security firms, and five new “overhires” for the BHPD.

“I think it’s unfortunate that we find ourselves needing to do this, but we are fortunate in the fact that we can afford to do this,” said Councilmember Dr. Julian Gold during the Oct. 13 Study Session. “We have no choice but to do this.”

Interim Chief of Police Dominick Rivetti presented the proposal to the City Council in the Study Session, explaining that the upcoming Presidential Election had the potential to exacerbate existing civil tensions and unrest. Beginning Oct. 31, the BHPD will go into full tactical alert, with the department split into two alternate 12-hour shifts.

“That means 12 hours on, 12 hours off, no days off, starting on Halloween, and continuing for as long as we need to continue it,” he said.

Assistant Chief of Police Marc Coopwood explained the proposal for supplemental law enforcement. “We’re proposing to go into a contract with the Santa Paula Police Department, which is going to be two sergeants and 10 officers for 12 hours a day,” he told the Council.

In addition to the boost from SPPD, the City will also hire two armed private security companies under the plan, Nastec International, Inc. and Covered 6. The cost cited in the proposal covers 80 security personnel, 40 from each firm, though Coopwood said he only expects the City to need 60 total. The two firms would provide security around election week and additional security in the Business Triangle through November and December.

Lastly, the proposal calls for hiring five officers to the BHPD. These would be considered overhires, as they exceed the department’s 145 authorized full-time sworn positions.

“As you know, the challenges facing the City and this department over the last year have greatly increased,” said Chief Rivetti, justifying the overhires. “As we look forward, we don’t see any end to that.”

On top of the additional security provided by the $4.8 million, Rivetti pointed out other existing and in-the-works measures. Beverly Hills has mutual aid agreements with Santa Monica, Culver City, West Hollywood, UCLA, and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, which the City has called on multiple times already in the last several months.

  “We’re also working out the arrangements with the LA County District Attorney’s Office for their Bureau of Investigation to come in and assist us,” Rivetti said. “And also with the State Department of Justice, the BNE, or the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement…And then we’re also talking to some of our federal partners to do the same thing, such as the US Marshals Fugitive Task Force.”

“Hopefully it will be a peaceful number of months ahead, but we’re ready,” said Councilmember Lili Bosse.

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