A West Boca neighborhood that hired Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies for extra patrol says they’re ending that relationship, after the sheriff’s office and union agreed to nearly double the deputies' price. Regular emergency service will not be impacted.
Regularly, HOA president Gary Brown says the Trends neighborhood would hire extra deputies to increase law enforcement’s presence.
He says crime was never a problem and they want to keep it that way.
“This is here to deter crime,” Brown says. “Also, to protect the community.”
In a memo, signed off by Sheriff Ric Bradshaw and union leader, John Kazanjian, the negotiated standard hourly rate for an extra deputy would go from $46 to $80.
“You have a $20,000 to $25,000 budget for security, it becomes $40,000 to $50,000,” he said. “We’re not the Polo Club, we’re not Saint Andrews, we cannot afford to double the budget.”
Brown says the 360 home neighborhood, with HOA fees around $70 a month, could afford a raise for the deputies. However, they could not afford a raise nearly double what it used to be but something around what the Florida Highway Patrol charges of $50 an hour.
“Just by coincidence, we contract with them four to five months ago, not to have all our eggs in one basket and as it turns out, we had to say goodbye to the deputies,” Brown says. “I feel bad for the deputies because they’re doing a disservice to the deputies. This is where they get extra money.”
WPTV reached out to the union multiple times for comment, but we still haven’t heard back.