Half Moon Bay Eliminates Police Force

By Erika Okano
|  Monday, Apr 4, 2011  |  Updated 7:31 AM PDT
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Half Moon Bay's city council has voted to eliminate police force; talking to San Mateo County Sheriff's Office about taking over.

Half Moon Bay's city council has voted to eliminate police force; talking to San Mateo County Sheriff's Office about taking over.

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Half Moon Bay's city council voted over the weekend to get rid of the police force. The city says it will save more than a half million dollars by eliminating the 12-member department.

City leaders are negotiating with the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office to take over policing the city. NBC Bay Area is told the deal will ensure that no Half Moon Bay officers lose their jobs.

While the city may be happy with the deal, people who live in Half Moon Bay are not. They say the move will cost them by causing property values to drop and by sending a message to criminals that they can get away with more.

"I don't think it's good for anybody," said Hester Schell, who lives in Half Moon Bay. "I think the crime rate's going to go up. We already have methamphetamine labs up and down the coast."

Half Moon Bay has had money troubles since 2009. Some of that has to do with a costly lawsuit settlement in which the city agreed to pay $18 million to settle a dispute over development rights on a property known as Beachwood. The city has also seen a drop in revenue from tourism and sales tax.

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