In an age of citywide budget cuts, public safety officials say, the additional fees should help departments bolster their budgets as demand for services remains high. That has meant going after every penny.
Other city departments have made similar moves in recent months.
During the budgeting process, several fees were increased to be more in line with the city’s actual costs. Most notably, the City Council approved a Planning Department proposal that doubled all fees incurred during the legalization process for illegal structures — a process that planners said took significant extra staff time.
The Fire Department is required to provide inspections for businesses and multifamily resident units, but has not previously charged for the inspections.
Recently, the department learned most local cities charge inspection fees, officials said.
Under the new system, the Fire Department would charge $30 per every half hour.
Fire companies perform an estimated 2,500 inspections each year. If that number holds, the new fee could generate an additional $75,000 or more, officials said.
For the Police Department, anyone convicted of a crime within the city will be billed for the booking fee under the new system approved by the council Tuesday. The City Jail conducts more than 8,000 bookings per year, officials said.
But the department expects a low percentage of the fees to be recovered due to the typically poor financial situation of inmates, according to a city report.
The few cities in Los Angeles County that administer similar fees indicate that they recover fees from less than 5% of the arrestees.
Still, officials say recovering even some fees would be worthwhile.
The City Council on Tuesday voted to join a coalition of cities nationwide to pressure the Federal Communications Commission to maintain local jurisdictional control of micro-cellular towers.