Law Enforcement in Alamo – Who You Gonna Call?
By Steve Mick;
Security and law enforcement are increasingly important to Alamo residents so it is appropriate to examine how law enforcement is organized in the Alamo community.
Since Alamo is not incorporated, our law enforcement and police protection is provided by the county. However to be more accurate, it is provided because we pay for it. And to be even more specific, we pay for it through our property taxes that are allocated at different rates depending on where you live in Alamo. This article will examine the structure of police service in Alamo.
As a means to provide a variety of services to unincorporated areas, the county board of supervisors can (with a vote of the residents) create a County Service Area (CSA) that has specific boundaries. The activities of a CSA are funded by property taxes specific to the CSA. A CSA can be created to serve many functions such as parks or libraries. Alamo has two CSAs that provide police services and are part of the county sheriff's office. They are the P-2B and P-5 CSAs.
County Service Area P-2B
P-2B's name was recently changed and is now known as the Alamo Police Services Advisory Committee (APSAC) which is a citizens committee appointed by the Board of Supervisors. APSAC provides advice to the BOS and the Sheriff's Office on the needs for enhanced police services in Alamo.
APSAC collects a portion of the 1% property tax from properties within the CSA. This amount is approximately 0.5%. As an example, a property with an assessed value of $900,000 would pay $9,000 In taxes. The amount allocated to APSAC would be about $450 (0.5 percent of $9,000). Total revenues for the CSA are just over $200,000. APSAC consists of about 55% of Alamo.
These funds provide enhanced police services and a resident deputy. In addition, the sheriff's office rents space at the Alamo Plaza Shopping Center which is used by the APSAC CSA and the P-5 CSA. APSAC meets the first Monday of the month and meetings are open to the public. For more information on meetings, visit www.alamore.org.
County Service Area P-5
This CSA was organized in 1972 to provide enhanced police services for the Round Hill area. P-5 has an advisory committee that provides advice to the BOS and the sheriff's office. P-5 is funded by a portion of the 1% property tax (currently at a rate of 3.2%). Added funding is provided by parcel tax of $330 per residence for a total revenue of about $450,000 per year.
Steve Mick is a long-time Alamo resident and is active in a number of community organizations. Among them are the Community Foundation of Alamo, the Exchange Club and the Alamo Municipal Advisory Council. You can reach Steve at [email protected].