PBSO to take over Greenacres PD in one week

Posted at 7:06 PM, Jan 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-25 19:18:07-05

GREENACRES, Fla-- Big change is coming one week from Monday to the City of Greenacres. The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office will be taking over the city's police services.
Many of the residents are hoping the changes will make the community safer.

"It's gotten worse over the last few years," said Jason Douglass. Douglass is a property manger in Greeacres. He says he and the residents there are frustrated with the on-going crime issues in their community.

"Just a couple of weeks ago, someone had their car stolen," said Douglass.

That's why he says he's looking forward to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office taking over police services for the city starting next week.

"I believe PBSO has a lot more resources than Greenacres does."

According to Councilwoman Judy Dugo, he's right. She says the merger will provide more crime-fighting resources that Greenacres doesn’t currently have and the city couldn't afford to fund. This includes not only manpower, but things like a K-9 unit and traffic control.

"I think this is the best thing for our city as far as public safety, giving our citizens much more since we've grown," said Dugo.
The city isn’t sure how much the changes will cost overall. The mayor tells us bringing in the sheriffs department could cost the city upwards of $500 thousand dollars more in the first year, and some additional costs in the following years.
Though, some residents have questioned the timing of all this, as well as the cost, Councilwoman Dugo says she knows her constituents are looking forward to it.
"The remarks that I've gotten from my citizens is, 'I'm going to have more response time. I'm going to have better service. I can use the parks. There will be people patrolling them.'"

One of the known incurred costs will be paying the salary of a fire chief since before the police and fire services were under one director.
The mayor says the agreement doesn't necessarily provide for more patrolling officers, he says there will be more officers to pull from and over all resources.

The city manager says all but about two Greenacres positions were rehired by PBSO. Changes like uniforms and patrol cars will be noticeable starting February 1.

The officers have already gone through PBSO's training. The only things left to do, according to the city manager, is to finish up with the sign changes and telephone and computer system switchover.