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Manager to oversee policing change

A program manager will oversee how the Sheriff's Office performs in the city and listen to residents' feedback.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office is slated to take over law enforcement in the city Oct. 1. The program manager is expected to be be appointed by early August, said City Manager John Lawrence.

"We want a top-notch person just because of the (critical nature) of this issue," Lawrence said.

City commissioners supported the idea Thursday during a planning session, from which Commissioner Mary Bonner was absent.

Mayor Tom Anderson said residents will likely have a lot of comments about the sheriff's performance during the first six months of the transition.

Lawrence said the city won't limit its search but will give top consideration to a city employee who has worked on the issue.