Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dade City Police Department seeks federal stimulus funds to buy cars to retain, recruit officers

DADE CITY — In an effort to retain quality staff, the Dade City Police Department is exploring a take-home squad car policy that it hopes will keep more sworn officers on the job.

On Tuesday evening, the City Commission unanimously approved police Chief Ray Velboom's request to apply for a $100,000 federal stimulus grant.

Between those funds, another grant and existing revenue, the department will be able to buy six additional vehicles, more than enough to grant each officer a personal squad car.

It's a perk offered by other local agencies. Velboom said it will give Dade City an attractive edge in recruiting and retaining officers.

In the past four months, the department has lost two officers to other agencies.

"Both of them have left for money," Velboom said.

One went to the Tampa Police Department, which offers a starting salary more than $10,000 higher than Dade City's $35,500 wage for beginning officers. The Tampa Police department also assigns take-home cars after a year on the job.

Velboom said the other officer left for the Pasco Sheriff's Office, which he said paid almost a dollar more per hour and also gave out take-home squad cars.

Currently, 14 of the Dade City Police department's 24 officers, including the administrative staff, K9 units and patrol sergeants, are assigned vehicles.

The idea of outfitting the entire staff was greeted positively by the commission.

"Anything we can do to retain officers," said City Commissioner Steve Van Gorden.

Velboom was confident the grant application would be approved and said he expects to see the grant funds by September.

Helen Anne Travis can be reached at htravis@sptimes.com or (813) 435-7312.

Dade City Police Department seeks federal stimulus funds to buy cars to retain, recruit officers 05/26/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 8:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Yale dean on leave over offensive Yelp reviews leaves post

    Bizarre News

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Yale University dean who was placed on leave over offensive reviews she posted on Yelp has left her position at the Ivy League institution, school officials said Tuesday.

  2. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park

    Tourism

    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  3. The people you meet along O.J. Howard Lane

    Bucs

    AUTAUGAVILLE, Ala. —The screen door hangs open to Laura's Country Kitchen but the dining room is empty with no one to feed.

    OJ Howard (far right) is seen in a photo from his adolescent years at Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church in Prattville, Ala., on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. Howard served as an usher in addition to attending regular services at this church.
  4. St. Pete Pride schedule and live blog

    Special Topics

    St. Pete Pride Block Party and Night Parade: St. Pete Pride's popular parade moves to downtown St. Petersburg's scenic waterfront. The block party brings DJs, food and drinks starting at 2 p.m. The parade steps off at Fifth Ave NE and Bayshore at 7 p.m. with fireworks at 9:45 p.m. 2 p.m., North Straub Park, Fifth Avenue …

    A local business rings in Pride 2017 with some window decorations.