St. Pete Beach votes to dissolve police department - FOX 13 News

St. Pete Beach votes to dissolve police department

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ST. PETE BEACH (FOX 13) -

St. Pete Beach residents voted Tuesday to dissolve the city's police force and turn over law enforcement services to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

The measure passed with 58 percent of the vote.

Residents faced a big tax hike if they voted to keep the police force. Having the sheriff's office take over is estimated to save them $1.3 million.

"It's a tremendous savings financially, removes a lot of liability from the city, having the operation," Mayor Steve McFarlin explained in an interview in September.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, who was re-elected Tuesday night, has said he would hire the 25 employees of the department. Last month, he met with residents to reassure them that they would still have quick emergency service.

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