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O.C. sheriff's office falls short of averages

Tony Saavedra, Monica Rhor and Aldrin Brown of The Orange County Register analyzed eight statistical categories for Orange County's police agencies and found wide disparities in way police prevent and solve crime. The categories analyzed included response times on emergency calls, the success rates for solving homicides and other violent crimes, officer-to-resident ratios and the overall direction of crime rates for each of the county's 34 cities. A main finding: The 12 cities patrolled on a contract basis by the Orange County Sheriff's Department have fewer officers and much slower response times than the county average. Those cities pay a total of $76.7 million for the department's services, representing 13 percent of the department's total budget. The project includes a map of response times and an explanation of how the criteria were weighted.

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