As a result, the story goes, the burden of dealing with people arrested for misdemeanors falls on county Sherrifs who have limited spaces in their county jails. The net effect, we are told by local police, is the "Catch and Release" process Chief Franz referred to in an article by Debra J Saunders published online in a San Francisco publication today.
So effectively - or perhaps that should be "ineffectively" - the police anticipate that they can do little to have an impact on criminal vagrancy, theft of property less than $950, low-level drug crime and so on as such are treated as misdemeanors and even if arrested and processed the criminal vagrant is back on the street in a short time.
Yet when local residents ask for the police to extend their bicycle patrols from Downtown, to which they are currently assigned, to include South Palm Springs, Chief Franz tells us that he won't as he doesn't have "the resources" to do so? Really? Well, yes, the PSPD say that they are down by about twelve or eleven officers on the level they had in 2007, before the recession.
Actually the City's budgets state the following:
In FY 2007-08 the PSPD had 108 full-time equivalent authorized positions on the force.
In FY 2014-15 that number is 101, about 6% fewer.
In 2007-08 the City allocated $17.5m to the PSPD.
In 2014-15 the City allocated $23.5m to the PSPD.
2007-08: $162,037 per authorized position.
2014-15: $232,673 per authorized position.
That is an increase of 43.5% per authorized position.
How is it that the City of Palm Springs is spending much more money on its police force and getting much less policing for it?