Information Repository

(Note: For links that are broken, contact Tim Woods at or 703-838-5317 to request a faxed or hard copy of the document.)

Nelligan, Peter J. and Bourns, William. (March 2011). "Municipal Contracting With County Sheriffs for Police Services in California: Comparison of Cost and Effectiveness." In Police Quarterly, Vol. 14, Iss. 1, pp. 70 - 95. [This article is accessible at for $25.00, or contact the authors at for a free copy.] Submitted by Professor Nelligan, Ph.D., Department of Criminal Justice, California State University Stanislaus.

Abstract: "This study uses 5 years (2001 - 2005) of financial and crime data from California…to address the following four questions: (1) How do cities that contract for police services (hereafter 'contract cities') compare with cities that operate their own police departments (hereafter 'department cities') on characteristics that may affect the cost and effectiveness of policing? (2) What do current statewide police expenditure data show about the relative cost of small to moderate sized cities (population < 170,000) operating their own police departments or contracting with their sheriff? (3) Are there differences in comparative costs between or within regions of the state or within or among counties where contracting is common? and (4) If contract cities are paying less for police services, is it because they are receiving less effective policing as measured by cleared classes?"


Carver County Sheriff's Office/Sheriff's Contract Committee (March 2004; Modified June 2010). Vision 2005: Contract Policing in Carver County, Project Recommendations. Submitted by Sheriff Byron "Bud" Olsen, Carver County, Minnesota, Sheriff's Office.

Abstract: This project reviewed the current contracting model of the Carver County, MN, Sheriff's Office, to evaluate its effectiveness in meeting local concerns of the contract communities, and to make recommendations for improving and/or enhancing the contract police model. The project answers the difficult questions: What are countywide/base level police services? And, What are contract level police services? The project's recommendations outline the process and create a vision for contract law enforcement services in the year 2005 and beyond.

Also, to see intergovernmental contract law enforcement Contracts, Police Plans, Work Plans, Quarterly Reports, etc., of the Carver County Sheriff's Office, go to, click on the tab for Police Contracting and look to the left under Community Information (last visited September 28, 2010). Submitted by Commander of Operations Jeff Enevold, Carver County Sheriff's Office.


Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington (MRSC). Interlocal Contracting for Law Enforcement Services. (last visited July 12, 2010). Submitted by Tim Woods, National Sheriffs' Association.

Abstract: Table of Contents: Interlocal Contracting Authority; Agreements for Law Enforcement Services; Consolidations and Mergers; Mutual Aid Agreements; Agreements for Other Services; and Regional Cooperation. The MRSC is a private, non-profit organization based in Seattle, WA. Its mission is to promote excellence in Washington local government through professional consultation, research, and information services. All information and services are free of charge to elected officials and staff of Washington city and county governments. MRSC serves Washington local governments by providing: (1) Dependable advice from a multidisciplinary team of professional consultants; (2) A comprehensive Web site; (3) Access to thousands of sample documents; (4) Timely and informative print and electronic publications; and (5) Access to the largest local government library collection in the Northwest.


King County, Washington, Sheriff's Office (KCSO). Sheriff's Office Contracts Program. (last visited November 15, 2010). Submitted by Captain Michael Pendrak, KCSO.

Abstract: The KCSO serves 12 cities and town with contract police services. In addition, KCSO provides services to almost 20 other organizations, including the King County International Airport, Metro Transit, the Muckleshoot Tribe, and many school districts. KCSO maintains a full cost recovery contract model.


Scanlan, Martha. 2005. A Four County Study of Police Services in Small Towns, A 28E [interlocal agreement] Management Report prepared for the Department of Administrative Services, State of Iowa. Ames, IA: Iowa State University. (last visited July 16, 2010). Submitted by Tim Woods, National Sheriffs' Association.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to discover why and how interlocal agreements for police services at the county and local levels are effective and what steps could be taken to improve the collaborative process. A literature review provides detailed information on managing interlocal agreements, the use of networking, helpful principles for regional collaboration, and specific law enforcement information on the use of community policing in sheriff's office services. The author's research question asks what effect community policing has on the success or failure of an interlocal agreement; and she hypothesizes that the type of service performed by the sheriff's office is a very key ingredient to the success of an interlocal agreement.


Los Angeles County, California, Sheriff's Department (LASD). Welcome to Contract Law Enforcement. (last visited December 22, 2009). Submitted by Tim Woods, National Sheriffs' Association.

Abstract: The LASD is one of the largest providers of contract law enforcement services in the world. Intergovernmental contract services in Los Angeles County date back to 1954 when the City of Lakewood and the Sheriff's Department entered into the very first agreement for one government entity to provide services to another independent government entity. Forty of the 88 cities in Los Angeles County contract with the Sheriff's Department for their complete municipal law enforcement services. These cities range in population from 700 to 175,000, and in size from 1 to 100 square miles. Moreover, since 1954, all but one of the cities incorporated in Los Angeles County have adopted the Lakewood Plan, and 80% of all new cities incorporating in California now adopt the Plan. The LASD's Contract Law Enforcement Bureau also conducts studies and prepares reports for government agencies requesting information regarding contract law enforcement services.  

Los Angeles County, California, Sheriff's Department (revised January 2009). Contract Law Enforcement Services. Submitted by Lt. Russell Hill, Contract Law Enforcement Bureau, LASD.

Abstract: Table of Contents: Introduction; Core Values and Mission Statement; History of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department; Birth of Contract Law Enforcement; Municipal Police Services; Municipal Police Services – Cities; Transit Policing Services; Community College Policing Services; Court Services; Custody Services; Other Contract Police Services; For Further Information.

Los Angeles County, California, Sheriff's Department (2004). The ABC of Contract Law Enforcement: Unit Commander's Guide. Submitted by Lt. Russell Hill, Contract Law Enforcement Bureau, LASD.

Abstract: This guide is intended to provide Unit Commanders with a greater awareness and understanding of technical requirements, practical advice regarding their role and responsibilities in contract law enforcement, and a greater sensitivity to community and client issues as well. Table of Contents: A. The Contract Law Enforcement Program. This section provides information regarding the Department's Contract Law Enforcement Program, County government, contract rate information, and information relating to the Unit Commander's role in the Contract Law Enforcement Program. B. Municipal Government. This section provides an overview of municipal government operations, funding, and relationships. C. This section provides practical and specific "how to" information regarding various contract law enforcement policies and procedures.

Also, Municipal Law Enforcement Services Agreement By And Between County Of Los Angeles And City Of XXXXXXXXXX. Submitted by Lt. Russell Hill, Contract Law Enforcement Bureau, LASD.

Abstract: Model Agreement Form. Table of Contents: Recitals; Scope of Services; Administration of Personnel; Deployment of Personnel; Performance of Agreement: Indemnification; Term of Agreement; Billing Rates; Payment Procedures; Notices; Amendments: Authorization Warranty; Entire Agreement; Signatures.

Faturechi, Robert, "Taking over a police department is no easy task," Los Angeles Times, August 1, 2010,0,6537659,print.story (last visited August 10, 2010). Submitted by Tim Woods, National Sheriffs' Association.

Abstract: In June 2010, the city of Maywood, CA, decided to disband its police department in favor of Los Angeles County sheriff's patrols, after learning that the city was losing its insurance. This article discusses some of the challenges faced by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department upon suddenly and unexpectedly assuming law enforcement responsibilities and taking over unfinished police work.


University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Master of Public Administration Program. (December 2008). Indian Trail Police Services: Crossing Paths with Citizen Needs. (last visited August 25, 2009). Submitted by Tim Woods, National Sheriffs' Association.  

Abstract: In August 2008, the Town of Indian Trail asked students in the University of North Carolina at Charlotte's Master of Public Administration Program (MPA) to conduct research on its police services. The students were to assess whether the Town should continue to contract for police services with the Union County Sheriff's Department (UCSD) or establish its own independent police force. This report provides the results of the cost-benefit analysis carried out by the MPA evaluation team. The report begins with a brief description of the current contract arrangement between the Town of Indian Trail and the UCSD. This is followed by a literature review of previous studies examining the issue of contracting police services. Next, ten benchmark cities are assessed regarding their experiences providing police services. A cost estimate for a mock Indian Trail police department is then provided. Next, results from a citizen survey are discussed. The report concludes with recommendations from the evaluation team.


Willdan Homeland Solutions. (2009). City of Pompano Beach: Feasibility Study for Police Services. (last visited March 26, 2010). Submitted by Tim Woods, National Sheriffs' Association.  

Abstract: Willdan Homeland Solutions (WHS) was retained by the City of Pompano Beach to provide an organizational assessment, audit review and analysis of the policing services provided by the Broward County Sheriff's Office (BCSO). WHS examined the current police contract with BCSO, the present structure, existing deployment, staffing methods and, to a more limited extent, community expectations. WHS also identified industry best practices for the implementation of a transition from a contracted service to establishing an independent municipal police department. A key component of the study was a financial and comparative analysis/environmental scan process to assist in determining future police service delivery. This analysis included the compatibility of policing strategies with the community as well as an examination and assessment of comparable services within the law enforcement community. In addition, interviews, inspections and research were conducted to identify five benchmark cities with which to conduct a limited comparison analysis regarding delivery of public safety services. This report provides a series of recommendations that include maintaining the current contract with the Broward County Sheriff's Office and making recommendations and modifications to the existing contract to establish a higher level of accountability to the City. The final recommendation was to establish (re-establish) the Pompano Beach Police Department.  


Hagerty, Joe. (2007). Contracting Law Enforcement Services under the Office of Sheriff.  Presentation at Stretching Public Safety Services session. 2007 League of Minnesota Cities Annual Conference, Duluth, Minnesota. (last visited August 25, 2009).

From Chief Deputy Joe Hagerty, Wright County, MN, Sheriff's Office.

Abstract: Presentation slides on: Role of the Sheriff in Township and Municipal Policing; History of Contract Policing in Wright County; The Law Enforcement Contract; Rate Determination Process for Contract Policing; Determining Number of Officers and Coverage; Advantages of Police Departments; and Advantages of Contracting.    


Gauthier, Richard B. (2007). There's Never a Cop When You Need One: The Problems of Providing Law Enforcement to Rural Vermont Communities. A paper submitted to the faculty of Norwich University in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master's of Justice Administration. (last visited March 8, 2010). Submitted by Tim Woods, National Sheriffs' Association.    

Abstract: Rural communities in Vermont face significant issues when trying to solve the problem of providing increased levels of law enforcement coverage and other services to their communities. The issues include lack of funding, quality of enforcement, local control, and competing interests among available law enforcement agencies. Affected communities have adopted a number of techniques to provide more services, most commonly, contracting for increased coverage and services with another agency, or using a constable. This paper concerns itself with reviewing previous examination of this issue and also with surveying law enforcement officers as well as community leaders. The survey results indicated that a majority of law enforcement officers and community leaders believed the current level of coverage and services was unsatisfactory and regionalization would be the best way to improve them. Interviews clarified what respondents had in mind whey they specified regionalization as the best option: one respondent believed that regionalization through contracting with sheriffs' departments would work best, while another believed that intermunicipal police agreements would be most desirable. Another respondent believed that circumstance would dictate how best to regionalize —for example, contiguous communities at points where county lines merged might find municipal police agreements more effective than contracting through a county-based agency.  


Orange County, California, Sheriff's Department. Benefits of Contract Law Enforcement. (last visited July 5, 2010). Submitted by Tim Woods, National Sheriffs' Association.

Abstract: The Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) began providing contract law enforcement services in 1961. Each year, an evaluation is conducted by the OCSD to measure those items that concern community leaders and residents most—the rate of crime and cost effectiveness of law enforcement service. In 2006, the study went beyond studying crime and costs in Sheriff patrolled areas and also compared the crime rate and cost effectiveness of services provided by other cities in the county. Included in this study was a review of each contract city, as well as analysis of their respective budgets and the cost per capita. These costs were compared to the per capita costs of police services of seven selected Orange County cities. The study shows that areas patrolled by the Sheriff's Department experienced nearly half the crime rate as other areas of the county and that the average costs for a Sheriff's contract was half the cost for operating a city police department—on average, lower crime at a lower cost.


Citrus County, Florida, Sheriff's Office (2004). Proposal to the Inverness City Council to Combine the Inverness Police Department with the Citrus County Sheriff's Office. Submitted by Commander Robert L. Blume, Citrus County Sheriff's Office.

Abstract: Presentation slides on: (1) Combined Law Enforcement Agencies, i.e., what factors are driving consolidation, what are the (potential) negatives, and what are the advantages of  consolidation; (2) Transition Steps to Combined Services; (3) Costs/Budgetary Scenarios;

(4) Staffing/Service Level, and; (5) Additional Services Provided by the Sheriff's Office.   

Also, Interlocal Agreement for Law Enforcement Services (2004) between the City of Inverness, the  Sheriff of Citrus County, and Citrus County.


Office of the Attorney General, State of South Carolina (August 25, 2006). Opinion Letter [on whether, in assuming municipal police duties, a Sheriff may receive additional compensation], (last visited October 5, 2010). Submitted by Tim Woods, National Sheriffs' Association.

Abstract: An Opinion of the South Carolina Attorney General's Office declares that "a county council would be authorized to increase the compensation to a sheriff for any increased duties brought about by his providing law enforcement services to a municipality during his term of office."


Johnson, Robin A. (2000). Small Town Policing in the New Millennium: Strategies, Options, and Alternate Methods. Macomb, IL: Law Enforcement Executive Institute/Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board. (last visited August 25, 2009). Submitted by Tim Woods, National Sheriffs' Association.  

Abstract: This paper discusses crime trends which are causing small town managerial and law enforcement officials to consider changing the structure of their police service delivery, as well as the alternate strategies that have been implemented in some Illinois communities and their implications. The alternate policing strategies examined include: (1) contracting for patrol services with county sheriffs' offices or nearby municipal police departments; (2) consolidation or merger of small police departments in close proximity to each other, and; (3) contracting directly with certified police officers – a form of privatization. The paper includes case studies,  best practices, and examples of intergovernmental contract law enforcement agreements.


Unknown Title and Author (circa  1981-1989). (last visited March 11, 2010). Submitted by Tim Woods, National Sheriffs' Association.

Abstract: This research effort is an attempt to provide an overview of a variety of forms of cooperative efforts utilized in law enforcement. Specific areas of shared services, contract services, and consolidation and their legal and informal processes have been examined. These approaches have been studied to learn the impetus for the efforts and to evaluate the successes or failures and/or symptomatic problems that arise in cooperative ventures. This study combines the authors' personal experience with police consolidation and interviews with other people involved in similar efforts, as well as examinations of numerous articles related to combined police activities. The authors personally disagree with the consolidation of police services between county and city agencies where an elected official (sheriff) commands the new single entity.


Wikipedia. List of contract law enforcement cities (US). (last visited July 19, 2010). Submitted by Tim Woods, National Sheriffs' Association.

Abstract: This is a listing of law enforcement agencies or cities that contract with other government agencies to provide law enforcement services.