Longboat Key Town Manager Bruce St. Denis says the town will not see a decrease in the level of police service, even though a vacant police-officer position will not be filled for the second year in a row.
In the last two years, the department has been reduced from 16 police officers to 14 officers. In 2008, Police Capt. Judd Jensen and officer George “Bob” Brown retired, saving the town approximately $175,000 because the department reorganized without filling the positions. And this year, the town did not fill the position vacated by retired police officer Willie Jackson.
However, the vacant police captain position left open when Capt. Steve Roehl retired Oct. 1 will be filled.
Department changes mean that two of the department’s four patrol units now have three officers instead of four. But because of minimum manning requirements, none of the four shifts can fall below two officers at any given time.
The department’s staffing levels are further stressed by the absence of two officers who are on administrative leave.
Police Chief Al Hogle said his department uses a combination of the three ratios to come up with police-courage ratios island-wide.
To view a comparisson of area police departments, please click here.
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