I have recently become aware that for quite some time there has been a “contract” between our Pacific County Sheriff's Office and the Surfside Homeowners Association for an officer assigned to do patrols in their area. It is my understanding that the Surfside HOA pays this officer’s salary as per this said contract. Yet this officer drives a sheriff department vehicle, wears a sheriff department uniform, and responds to various sheriff department calls.

A private contract between our sheriff’s office and a private organization for better patrols? I find this very disturbing. I have no problem with organizations hiring their own security officer, however I object when an organization is given better protection then the rest of our county residents by a private contract with our sheriff’s office.

Are we going to only have good patrols in our county areas if we can afford to have a separate contract with our sheriff's office? Are we only going to have sufficient patrols in our areas if we can afford to have a separate contract with the sheriff's office? Could this lead to wealthy areas and wealthy people getting better service from our sheriff’s office with a private contract? I thought that we paid taxes for the protection of all our county citizens.

I think our county residents deserve an explanation, so that we might better understand the reasoning for the protection of these “special patrols” by a contract with our sheriff’s office.

JUDY COLEMAN

Ocean Park

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