Sheriff meets with residents over proposed police cuts - FOX 13 News

Sheriff meets with residents over proposed police cuts

Posted: Updated:
ST. PETE BEACH (FOX 13) -

People who live along St. Pete Beach are getting a better idea of how Pinellas County deputies would protect them if the city disbands its police department.

The move would save them about $1.3 million. The issue is on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri met with residents to explain how sheriff patrols would work, and he reassured residents they would still have a quick emergency service.

He also said he would hire  the 25 current police officers in the department.

"What we want is what they want," he said. "We want them to have a safe community. We want them to have good law enforcement protection. If they decide it's in their best interest to keep their own police department, that's up to them, and that's great. It's their decision."

If voters reject the referendum to contract with the sheriff's office, city leaders say they might face a 15 percent tax hike.

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