By Tao Woolfe

Boynton Beach has broken off negotiations with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office to take over city policing, according to a statement issued Aug. 15, by Sheriff Ric L. Bradshaw.

The Palm Beach County sheriff said the city cited “a substantial pension fund liability” as its reason for pulling away from the merger talks.

Boynton Beach officials declined to comment on Monday, but said in an email that Mayor Ty Penserga is expected to make a statement about the merger proposal at the Aug. 16  City Commission meeting.

In his statement, Bradshaw made it clear that Boynton Beach had  approached the PBSO about a possible merger — not the other way around.

“At no time did we ask for or initiate the discussions,” the sheriff said.

Bradshaw presented a $42.5 million proposal last month to provide Boynton Beach with “greatly enhanced security and depth of law enforcement,” if hired to provide police services to the city.

Specifically, the sheriff said, the city will benefit from gaining the “experience of advanced, cutting-edge training, equipment, and technology.”

The possibility of bringing PBSO in to replace the Boynton Beach Police Department was raised in April following months of tumult and anger — especially from the Black community — after a 13-year-old boy was killed during a December 26 high-speed police chase.

The Boynton Beach Police Department is still conducting its own investigation into the incident. Residents continue to ask City Commission members why the investigation is taking so long.

Nevertheless, many residents — Black and white — have said repeatedly at commission meetings that they did not want PBSO to replace the city’s Police Department. Instead, residents have said, the local force should be winnowed of bad officers and more enlightened policies enacted.

In a statement released on July 28, Mayor Penserga said no decision would be made about merging with PBSO until there is “significant community input, staff and commission reviews, and robust public discussion, including public hearings with citizen input.”

The sheriff said there are no hard feelings about the city’s change of heart.

“The Sheriff’s Office wishes the City all the best, and will assist them in any way if asked to do so,” Bradshaw said.

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of The Coastal Star to add comments!

Join The Coastal Star

Activity Feed

Mary Kate Leming posted a blog post
10 hours ago
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in BEACH WATCH
14 hours ago
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in BEACH WATCH
14 hours ago
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in BRINY BREEZES
14 hours ago
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in BEACH WATCH
14 hours ago
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in BOCA RATON
14 hours ago
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in BOCA RATON
14 hours ago
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in DELRAY BEACH
14 hours ago
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in DELRAY BEACH
14 hours ago
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in DELRAY BEACH
14 hours ago
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in HIGHLAND BEACH
14 hours ago
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in ACROSS THE BRIDGE
14 hours ago
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in HIGHLAND BEACH
14 hours ago
Mary Kate Leming posted a blog post
15 hours ago
Mary Kate Leming posted a blog post
15 hours ago
Mary Kate Leming posted a blog post
15 hours ago
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
yesterday
Mary Kate Leming posted a blog post
yesterday
Mary Kate Leming posted a blog post
yesterday
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
yesterday
More…