November 15, 2012
Beginning Dec. 1, the Pacific Grove Police Department will be closed for business from 11pm-7am.
At least, partially closed: Officers will remain on patrol and dispatch will remain active 24/7, according to PGPD Commander John Nyunt. But the business and records department, which includes the folks who process arrests, will lose its night shift.
The change is part of a long-term effort to reduce department costs, Nyunt says, and also a part the county's "own recognizance" release program. The program allows people under arrest to be booked and released from city police stations rather than the county jail in Salinas, saving police hours and keeping more patrol officers on the streets.
"We’re going to try to not have to go to Salinas," Nyunt says. "We’re going to do that here at the station.”
PGPD's 11pm-7am closures will allow the department to forego the staff person dedicated to booking during the night hours. Instead, suspects will be taken to the Seaside Police Department for processing. Nyunt adds that a nighttime arrest is made in P.G. only once every three days, on average.
Twenty-four-hour dispatch and patrol will not be affected, he adds. “People can still walk up to the station and pick up a phone and contact an officer,” he says.
The scaling back of PGPD's hours put it on par with Marina Police Department, which also closes its business office at night, Nyunt adds.
In July, the Seaside and Pacific Grove police departments combines administrative services, eliminating PGPD's chief position. Seaside Police Chief Vicki Myers now heads both departments.