Of those voting, the majority of St. Pete Beach Police Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) members endorse the city dissolving its police department and contracting police services with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
14 members voted to endorse the outsourcing while nine voted against. St. Pete Beach voters will have the final say in November, when the entire city votes on whether or not to allow the city to remove a clause in its charter that it must maintain its own police department. If most voters vote yes, the city will remove the clause and could contract with the Sheriff for all police services.
“The men and women of the St. Pete Beach Police Department have enjoyed serving you, our citizens, for the past 55 years. You have entrusted us to serve and protect you, so now we ask that you support the contracting of police services with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. We know that the service you have come to expect from us will be matched, if not exceeded, by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Gualtieri has assured us that each employee of the St. Pete Beach Police Department, officers and civilians, will be given employment with his agency,” the police said in a press release Friday morning.
“None of the men and women of the St Pete Beach Police Department want to see the end of the department however after much research and investigating, we recognize that this opportunity is mutually beneficial for the city, the citizens and the employees alike. We ask that you please show your support and vote to change the charter which will allow this transition to take place,” the release continues.
The contract with the Sheriff would offer St. Pete Beach residents, citizens and property owners the following:
- $1 million in savings annually
- Equipment and training the FOP deems “better” than what the police currently have
- Equal response times in calls for service
- Continuous officers present on the beach
Please send any questions you have about the potential outsourcing to News@theGabber.com and we will find the answer before the November vote.