Residents should hear from law enforcement officials more often in 2013.
This comes in response to a December request from city leaders asking the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office for more face time at public meetings.
A verbal agreement was made with the Sheriff's Office to have a someone attend Dunedin commission meetings on a quarterly basis (on the second meeting of the month), at no additional charge to the city, the City Clerk's Office reported Thursday.
Sheriff's spokeswoman Cecilia Barreda explained that the Sheriff's Office is committed to addressing the needs and concerns of the cities it patrols. Barreda said the Sheriff received the city's request on Dec. 19, the same day a Dunedin Patch story about Mayor Dave Eggers request for oversight was published.
Some city governments, like Indian Rocks Beach, have the Sheriff's Office give verbal reports at public meetings as frequently as twice a month.
"Every city is different," Barreda explained.
The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office was never asked to regularly attend public meetings for the purpose of giving verbal reports or addressing residential concerns.
Nancy Duggan, city liaison to the Sheriff's Office, told Dunedin Patch last summer that she believed the city's crime issues were adequately being addressed by staff, the Sheriff's Office and the Public Safety Committee, thus officials had never considered asking deputies to attend public meetings.
The Sheriff's Office already provides a written monthly traffic and crime analysis to city officials.
But recent rumblings from disgruntled southside residents concerned about neighborhood crime got Eggers thinking about the city's relationship with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. He asked for more transparency during the commission comment section of the Dec. 6 public meeting at City Hall.
"That's the largest contract in the city," he said. " ... And nobody really has any interaction here with them," he said.
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