In an effort to conserve taxpayers’ money and offer officers a salary increase, South Palm Beach Police Department will merge with PBSO. Sheriff Ric Bradshaw of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office promised the full resources of the office to South Palm Beach, Florida, a barrier island town with a population of approximately 1,400 people.
“My pledge to you, my pledge to everybody in this organization from the day I walked in that door, you will have the best equipment, the best training, the best education you can possibly have,” Bradshaw told newly sworn deputies. On October 1, Sheriff Bradshaw swore in six former police officers and one former South Palm Beach Police Chief to join the sheriff’s office.
This merger follows concerns about town officers’ salaries. A survey that came out in early 2019 showed South Palm Beach ranking last among 23 agencies, for a starting police salary. Rather than just accepting this reality, Town leaders began to think of solutions. Due to this successful collaboration and partnership, starting officers will now receive a $10,000 increase in their starting salary.
This effort to conserve funds will also save South Palm Beach taxpayers an estimated $1 million over the next five years.
With 49 years in law enforcement, Sheriff Bradshaw is not afraid to address the community’s concern head-on. Known as a leader who maintains a balance between assertiveness and diplomacy, Sheriff Bradshaw understands how to “get things done.”
The top priority for the sheriff, though, is ensuring citizens are always kept safe. Sheriff Bradshaw is a former Chief of Police of the West Palm Beach Police Department, a history that will aid a smooth transition.
Mayor Bernice Fisher remarked that Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office provided policing services in its earliest years.
The sheriff’s office successfully merged with the Greenacres Police Department in February 2016 and plans to absorb the town of Palm Beach Shores Police Department this November.
Overall, this process solves the salary problem of the officers, as well as saving the municipalities’ citizens money. By working to support and enable this process, Sheriff Bradshaw has proved, yet again, that he is willing to always put the citizens and those who serve first.