A city and county are incoporated entities for purposes of registration with the state of CA (taxes, etc) and as a corporation that is winding down, the city has the right to use the name and other items associated with the former police department for a reasonable time period after the merger until all city police items are used up (such as letterhead or tickets) and all former police items are changed over (such as a traffic light program). There is no specific set period of time in CA statutes that the department must be wound down by -- it is a "reasonable" amount of time and reasonable can vary from entity to entity but can typically go out several years after a merger or buy out, etc. If the city is still using this designation 10 years later then you may have a valid argument if fighting a ticket in court because that police department has not existed for a long time and any left over police dept materials should have been used up in a quicker manner than 10 years later in order to be considered a "reasonable" time period. I hope this helps you to understand how and why they can continue to do this -- please let me know if you have more questions.
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