Beach Voters Choose Sheriff

Cathy Salustri

Beach Voters Choose Sheriff

St. Pete Beach residents voted to disband its police force and contract with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement services. A provision of the city charter stipulated that the city maintain its own police department; Tuesday night’s vote was whether or not voters would allow the city to remove said provision.

Each commissioner made it clear at a public meeting that if the referendum passed, they would take it as voter approval to disband the city’s police department and contract with the county Sheriff.

Early and absentee voters voted in favor of removing the charter provision (2,039, or 61.07%, voted in favor of removing the provision while 1,300, or 38.93%, voted no.)

The earliest the commission expects to make the change is January 1, 2013. Sheriff Gualtieri assured St. Pete Beach residents, businesses, and commissioners that his administration would offer every St. Pete Beach employee a position at their current pay.

Here’s the breakdown on how different precincts voted:

South St. Pete Beach
 Precinct 402: 664 in favor; 546 dissenting (1,210 voting)
 Precinct 403: 867 in favor; 621 dissenting (1,488 voting)
North St. Pete Beach
 Precinct 404: 818 in favor, 520 dissenting (1,338 voting)
 Precinct 405: 763 in favor, 571 dissenting (1,334 voting)