Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas sheriff revises savings for Clearwater to $10.8 million

CLEARWATER — Sheriff Jim Coats recently said he could save Clearwater $8.2 million a year by taking over law enforcement in the city.

Now he has an update.

Make that $10.8 million, he says. That's how much he says Clearwater would save next year if it disbands its Police Department and contracts with the Sheriff's Office instead.

Meanwhile, Clearwater officials, who are facing a $7.6 million budget shortfall next year because of declining property values, have a lot of questions about the sheriff's offer. They're asking for more details before the City Council tackles the issue.

This new wrinkle raises the stakes on what was already shaping up to be a big decision.

At the city's request, the sheriff has given Clearwater a breakdown of what it would cost for his agency to replace the Police Department, keeping the same number of patrol officers and detectives on duty in the city.

Coats previously said this would cost about $29.2 million a year compared to the Clearwater Police Department's $37.4 million budget. But now he says it would only cost $26.6 million.

Why the cheaper rate?

The sheriff says his earlier offer was based on conservative estimates of his expenses, and that his updated proposal uses new data for his employees' health insurance and pension costs.

To save the city money, Coats would eliminate some police supervisors and other staffers whose jobs he says are duplicated at the Sheriff's Office.

However, Clearwater police officials have questions about this scenario.

Police Chief Tony Holloway, who took over the department in February, sent the sheriff a number of questions. They include things like:

• Would the Clearwater officers and detectives be assigned solely to work cases in Clearwater, or would they be used to supplement the sheriff's work force throughout the county?

• How much would the sheriff charge for extra officers for special events like Jazz Holiday, Ironman and Turkey Trot?

• How would the sheriff handle the cost of maintaining police headquarters as well as insurance, computers and phones, among other expenses?

Once they know more, Clearwater staffers plan to bring this issue to the City Council at its May 17 work session and its May 20 public meeting.

However, city officials have started to get e-mails and phone calls from Clearwater residents asking them to keep the Police Department.

Mike Brassfield can be reached at brassfield@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4160.

Pinellas sheriff revises savings for Clearwater to $10.8 million 04/29/10 [Last modified: Thursday, April 29, 2010 7:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  2. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]
  3. Man injured when small helicopter crashes into Odessa home

    Accidents

    ODESSA — A small manned helicopter crashed into the roof of a house in northwest Hillsborough County on Monday, injuring a pilot, officials said.

    Rescuers respond to a crash of a small helicopter on the roof of a home in the Odessa area on Monday. [Hillsborough County Fire Rescue]
  4. State investigation cites multiple failures in death of Largo child

    News

    LARGO — It was sweltering in the bedroom of the Largo mobile home the day a child welfare case manager visited in July.

    Liz Rutenbeck, 24, poses with her son William in a Facebook photo. Baby William Hendrickson IV died while his mother was in jail after police said his father left ihim in a sweltering room.  A state investigation into the boy's death found multiple failures on the part of the child welfare system.
  5. 'Siesta Key' star punched in face, not sure who did it

    News

    TAMPA —Alex Kompothecras, cast member on MTV's reality show "Siesta Key," tells police he was punched in the face outside a bar in Tampa's SoHo district.

    Alex Kompothecras, Juliette Porter, Pauly Apostolides, Madisson Hausburg, Chloe Trautman, Garrett Miller, Kelsey Owens and Brandon Gomes pose for a photo in Siesta Key in June before the debut of the MTV reality series Siesta Key. [
EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]