Recent rumblings from southside residents concerned about neighborhood crime got Mayor Dave Eggers thinking about the city's relationship with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
"That's the largest contract in the city," he said to commissioners during a Dec. 6 public meeting at City Hall. " ... And nobody really has any interaction here with them," he said, referring to public discourse on the dais.
Eggers consulted the commission about having Nancy Duggan, the city's Pinellas County Sheriff's Office liaison, ensure law enforcement reports regularly at Dunedin's city meetings — whether it be every other month or every third month.
"It gives the Sheriff (Office) an opportunity to show his face to the residents of the city," Eggers said. "If they have an issue that they'd like to bring to the commission, if we — the commissioners — have a question, we can try to agendize that item under their corner ... ."
Commissioner Julie Scales said the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office was doing a good job and that she was concerned for their time and staffing resources.
"Maybe we can start with a written report from them," she said.
The mayor said he would prefer in-person appearances, but was open to alternatives.
The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office gives regular verbal reports at public meetings for other cities it oversees, such as Indian Rocks Beach, where a deputy begins each of the city's bi-monthly commission meetings with a rundown of the latest reports.
Duggan told Dunedin Patch in August that she receives incident reports from North District Station daily. Dunedin's crime analysis reports are shared with the Public Safety Committee each month, and crime is reviewed by the commission each year during the budget process, Duggan said in August.
When asked in August why the city of Dunedin did not follow a similar procedure, Duggan said:
"The commission has decided that between staff, PCSO and the Public Safety Committee that issues are being addressed. ... If anything on a day-to-day basis rises to a heightened level, the city manager and city commission are immediately given the information."
All the commissioners agreed on Dec. 6 for Duggan to explore how the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office could more regularly report to residents during commission meetings.
Although the city is welcoming Capt. Glenn Luben to North District Station during the presentation portion of the commission meeting Thursday at City Hall, law enforcement concerns are not on the agenda for Dec. 20.
Luben's move to Dunedin is the result of 27 recent promotions inside the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. Luben is replacing longtime Capt. William Hagans, who is moving to the Sheriff's Investigative Operations Bureau.
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office has not yet responded to Dunedin Patch's email request for comment on the city's Dec. 6 inquiry.
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