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‘CARPing’ program saves county millions

Posted: February 20, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 20, 2012 1:55 a.m.
 

Local sheriff’s deputies responding to incidents in and around Santa Clarita Valley Sunday heard a familiar voice in their cruisers.

It was that of their former Capt. Anthony LaBerge, of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

“I’m carping,” LaBerge explained.

Two years ago, Los Angeles County Supervisors approved a plan to prevent layoffs and salary reductions inside the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The program is called the Cadre of Administrative Resource Personnel, or “CARP.”

Administrative officers — including high-ranking officers such as Commander LaBerge — help save the county millions of dollars by periodically returning to regular sheriff’s duties in the field.

Sunday was that day for LaBerge.

“It’s been a nice quiet Sunday, so far,” LaBerge said mid-day in his shift.

“Two years ago, because of budget concerns the sheriff ordered all administrative personnel take part in CARP, so today I’m doing my part,” he said.

The sheriff and county supervisors decided CARP was a way to save $126 million needed to avoid layoffs or salary reductions.

“CARPing” is when administrative and investigative personnel in the sheriff’s department continue to work mandatory patrol, jail and court positions in an effort to prevent the need to hire overtime caused by personnel vacancies, thus saving millions of dollars every month.

The program proved successful within just two months of its operation in early 2010.

It grew to cover 5,600 8-hour shift vacancies per month, and has held steadily at that level for the first year, according to reports published by the sheriff’s department.

LaBerge served as the chief of police for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station since 2007.

In 2010, he was promoted to sheriff’s commander.

Captain Paul Becker replaced LaBerge in March of that year.

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