TDC continues to weigh fifth cent

Published: Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 10:17 AM.

Gulf County Sheriff Mike Harrison told county commissioners last week had did not have the resources to bolster patrols or add deputies at this time.

Harrison told commissioners there are three deputies patrolling the entire county at most times. In the city of Port St. Joe, Police Chief David Barnes last week told city commissioners he has two officers on patrol at most times.

County commissioners and the TDC board shared concerns about the impact of declining budgets on law enforcement patrols, with the BOCC voicing support for the additional penny as a potential solution.

Harrison noted last week that crime in the county had increased 30 percent each of the past two years and there have been reports this year of a high rate of burglaries, to homes and vehicles, in the tourist corridor.

“That is due to a lack of exposure and officers in the community,” Harrison said.

Last week included a drive-by shooting in St. Joe Beach; all involved lived locally.

The key, for the TDC and executive director Jennifer Jenkins is protecting the gains of the past year to build for the future.

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