The Brooksville City Council voted Monday evening to disband the local police department. The Hernando County Sheriff's Office will take over the city's law enforcement duties June 1.
Brooksville City Manager Mark Kutney says it wasn't an easy decision for the council to make, but that it ultimately came down to money.
He says contracting with the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office will end up saving the city over $1.7 million.
“Which will help us take care of a number of other financial issues including our reserves, capital improvements, addressing personnel issues – things like that,” he said. “So from that standpoint it's a very good fiscal decision for the city.”
There were concerns during negotiations that turning over law enforcement to the county could make emergency response times longer.
Kutney says the agreement involves having two full-time sheriff's deputies within the city limits 24 hours a day. The sheriff's office also plans to rent Brooksville's police headquarters and turn it into their District 1 site.
“So anytime there’s a shift change, we may have anywhere from upwards to like 60 deputies leaving that facility,” Kutney said. “Even if they may be going to other parts of the county there's going to be a lot of sheriff's vehicles driving through the city, so there's going to be a good police presence.”
As for those who remain at Brooksville PD, some will be hired by the Sheriff’s Office and others have lined up jobs elsewhere.