PORT ORANGE, Fla. -- One Central Florida city will discuss a plan on Wednesday to do away with its police force.They have 104 employees in the police department costing $11.4 million, which is $109,615 per employee. I say do it, do it, do it. The county that re-hires these officers will most likely have them patrolling the same turf they know, so I doubt there will be much lost on patrol expertise within the community.
Port Orange leaders will consider a proposal that would save the city nearly $3 million.
Under the plan, deputies with the Volusia County Sheriff's Office would patrol the city.
Neighbors said they believe the Port Orange officers know their city and how to best protect them.
"Going to an extreme like this, it hurts," said Port Orange Sgt. John Jakobenko.
He said he has invested 16 years with the police department.
"I will be a new hire in the sheriff's office, and there's a lot of us in that situation," he said.
Sheriff Ben Johnson said he would try to keep most of the Port Orange officers on his payroll, but "the officer would start at scratch."
So would pay. Base salary starts at $30,000.
"Most of these men and women would be our deputies, the people who live here and work here, who know the area, they would be in a green uniform instead of a blue one," Johnson said.
As of now, the city is paying $11.4 million for 80 sworn officers and 24 civilians. Johnson said he can come close to matching that with 77 sworn officers, two civilians and ancillary positions at $8.8 million, saving more than $2.5 million.
The Port Orange mayor said it could take months to make the decision.
A few will lose their jobs but most will keep their job but start at the bottom pay scale of $30,000. All they have to do is take a collective haircut on salary and benefits and it doesn't need to happen.
This is the very wage deflation issue I've been talking about in the rank and file of municipal workers. Regardless of being laid off or being force onto lower pay, lower pay is coming across American for municipal workers, and that is wage deflation a significant part of the coming deflationary cycle.
To the Port Orange Mayor: Do it and get it over with, it's the right financial decision, the numbers prove it so. The savings is too big, and I love this strategy.
Hope all is well.
J.D. Rosendahl, Rosey