Two letters on funding additional law enforcement in Flagler County

Here's what your neighbors are talking about this week.

  • By
  • | 6:20 a.m. June 4, 2024
Letters to the editor
Letters to the editor
  • Palm Coast Observer
  • Opinion
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Tax won't solve deputy shortage

Dear Editor:

Flagler County is going to need many more deputies than being proposed right now.

The University of North Florida study, “A Mixed Methods Analysis of Immediate & Near Future Staffing Needs of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office,” gets it wrong in a couple of ways. On pages 16 and 17 the researchers dismiss the per-capita model citing two prestigious international organizations, but they eventually return to a population-based ratio in their final conclusions on page 35.

While their conclusions support an increase of (rounded up) between 75 and 79 additional deputies over the next five years, based on either a 5% or 10% population growth model, their estimate is about 20% low. The other missing factor is the most significant challenge on the horizon, generational shift.

Generation Z are not responsible for the current recruiting and retention crisis, though they get blamed for it too often, but how are public safety agencies, including fire-rescue, corrections and law enforcement, working to accommodate them? They are a generation that values enhanced training and earning specializations but have little attachment to a job that mandates overtime and cancels days off. Without the additional staff, training gets treated like a reward and minimum manning will extend shifts.

If we can’t keep them past three years, who are going to be the future leaders? They’ll leave and take their agency’s investment with them. A sales tax doesn’t sound like a permanent solution considering that it is likely that we will have this same conversation a decade from now. Smart growth should pay for itself and sustain itself.

Roland Clee

Flagler Beach

Establish a Palm Coast police department

Dear Editor:

Leave it to the local politicians to overlook a simple solution to a problem. Sheriff Staly says we will become Chicago south if he doesn't get a half-cent sales tax increase. We just got a half-cent sales tax for the schools that they no longer need. The schools were bleeding; make that hemorrhaging money. They no longer have that problem because they shut down the gym at the Belle Terra Swim and Racquet Club.

Instead of giving it to the sheriff let us do something we should have done years ago: Palm Coast Police Department. Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? As to what I want, I want to hire a hatchet man, a person employed to carry out disagreeable (but necessary) tasks such as dismissal (firing) of a number of slackers from employment.

The first school I went to in 1939 had about 300 students, six teachers, one principal and his secretary and a janitor; we had no psychologist or librarian or administrators or any kind of support or aides but we managed to learn how to do math, read and write and they didn't feed us and it was in the great depression. Have your teacher look it up!

Douglas R. Glover

Palm Coast


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