Translate this page

Supervisors reluctant to support hiring guards for IT department


Tuesday, April 1st, 2014
Issue 14, Volume 18.
You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video.


RIVERSIDE - Plans to hire security guards to patrol and monitor facilities managed by the Riverside County Department of Information Technology came under fire during today's meeting of the Board of Supervisors, with even the county CEO distancing himself from the $250,000-a-year proposal.

"I was gone last week and only just saw this on the agenda," CEO Jay Orr told the board. "I have serious questions, very serious concerns, about whether this is needed."

Chief Information Officer Kevin Crawford submitted the proposed contract with Riverside-based An Extreme Security Inc., citing the need for unarmed security personnel to "reduce the potential of unauthorized entry, vandalism and theft" at the Innovation Center in downtown Riverside, the Collaboration Center in the Riverside Technology Park and the Alternate Emergency Operations Center in Indio.

"Security services will help protect important county communication and enterprise systems and create a safe and secure environment for staff, visitors, clients and business partners," Crawford said in documents posted to the board's policy agenda.

The proposed agreement with An Extreme Security, which was selected from among 25 firms that submitted bids for the work, calls for guards at each location, 24 hours a day. The annual fiscal year cost would be $254,000, with the option to extending the contract out over four years, Crawford said.

County government watchdog Paul Jacobs of Temecula pounced on the proposal as an example of a wayward "spending scheme."

"One astonishing aspect of this is that the IT department did not consider cameras," Jacobs told the board. "Use technology to save money. This proposal should be denied, and IT should put out bids for security systems instead."

Jacobs has been a frequent critic of IT-related expenditures, about which he has regularly expressed concerns since Crawford was appointed CIO in December 2011. During Crawford's watch, the county spent $30 million to purchase the downtown Riverside building that formerly served as headquarters for the Press-Enterprise newspaper.

The complex was originally intended as a data hub, where IT services would be centralized. But after Crawford and other county officials determined reconfiguring the 150,000-square-foot space would be impractical, the centralization idea was abandoned for the PE building.

Instead, the county signed a 10-year, $14 million lease to anchor data storage operations at a building on Chicago Avenue previously occupied by Acorn Technology Corp.

Crawford last year proposed establishing a full-service media production facility at the P-E building, but the board declined to consider the idea while the Department of Information Technology continues to undergo a major consolidation intended to put disparate IT operations under one roof.

Supervisor Kevin Jeffries said spending general fund dollars on security guards was hard to justify when "there's no money to water the lawns" in parks within his district.

"We're fighting for every dime," Jeffries said. "Let's dive a little deeper into this to see if it's really needed."

On Orr's recommendation, the board temporarily tabled the proposed contract with An Extreme Security, which the CEO said his staff would vet more closely.


 

2 comments

Comment Profile ImageJohn G.
Comment #1 | Tuesday, Apr 1, 2014 at 9:10 pm
What a wonderful example of "citizen involvement" in local government decision making. Using good old common sense to control government spending is an idea whose time has come.

Glad to hear that Supervisor Kevin Jeffries supported holding off on such an unnecessary expenditure.
Comment Profile ImagePaul Jacobs
Comment #2 | Wednesday, Apr 2, 2014 at 7:56 pm
We the people have the power to hold government accountable. Anybody can do it. We need a pack of government watchdogs. Thank you Valley News and City News Service for covering the story and describing a citizen participating in government as a watchdog rather than a gadfly. The Press-Enterprise didn't cover this story. I suppose you don't bite the hand that paid you $30 million for a building.

Article Comments are contributed by our readers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Valley News staff. The name listed as the author for comments cannot be verified; Comment authors are not guaranteed to be who they claim they are.

 

Add your Comment


Name

Images, Formatting, or HTML is not allowed : plain text only. You may post up to 5 website addresses within your comment.




Disclaimer

The Valley News has tightened its' policy regarding comments.
While we invite you to contribute your opinions and thoughts, we request that you refrain from using vulgar or obscene words and post only comments that directly pertain to the specific topic of the story or article.
Comments that are derogatory in nature have a high likelihood for editing or non-approval if they carry the possibility of being libelous.
The comment system is not intended as a forum for individuals or groups to air personal grievances against other individuals or groups.
Please, no advertising or trolling.
In posting a comment for consideration, users understand that their posts may be edited as necessary to meet system parameters, or the post may not be approved at all. By submitting a comment, you agree to all the rules and guidelines described here.
Most comments are approved or disregarded within one business day.

RSS FeedFacebookTwitter



Advertisement for Temecula Dining





Subscribe


Most Commented


Reach Local Customers



The Valley News The Valley News
760-723-7319 - 1588 S. Mission Rd. Suite 200, Fallbrook CA 92028
All contents copyright ©2014
About Us
Earthquake Information
Business Listings
Contact Us
Letter to the Editor
Report a website error
Sitemap
Online Digital Edition
RSS Feeds
Login