It's great that everyone is in support of our local police. Pomona PD does do more with less than any other police department east of the 605 freeway (El Monte PD, which laid off officers in 2009 following the decimation of their auto center, may be the closest situation to Pomona).
But, let's look at what is actually being proposed in Monday's staff report.
I've never seen so many people oppose to basic information necessary for making sound decisions in my experience with government. Sure, there are vested interests for contracting, but there are interests everywhere. When reviewing the comparable numbers from other contract cities (page 10) it does appear that there could be savings achieved through contracting. What I would look for is something to bind the Sheriff's Department into an accurate Phase I estimate, such that the Phase II estimate doesn't incur additional costs on the city. In other words, the Phase I estimate should be as conservative.
Of course there are cons to contracting - loss of local control, liability without accountability, reduction in community identity. But the Sheriff's Department is a professional organization, and provides a wealth of resources. The recent merger of the Los Angeles County Safety Police has increased the Sheriff's headcount. Mutual aid is provided based on agreements which can be cancelled at any time, while the Sheriff's Department can draw upon their resources internally, without going through other agency's chain of commands. It is the responsibility of the City Council to evaluate the options available for public safety - contracting with LASD, creating a Joint Powers Authority with surrounding cities (like Tri-Cities Mental Health), or continuing with the existing police department structure. While it is the responsibility of all of us to make sure that the study and report is as fair and accurate as possible, it does not mean that all options shouldn't be on the table.
In any event, as it is a charter provision, voters will be asked to vote on it anyway in November 2010. If you are strongly in support of the Pomona PD, make sure you save some energy for that fight.