WEST PALM BEACH — The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies who work private security after hours are about to price themselves out of the market.
According to an internal PBSO memo obtained only by Gossip Extra, the costs to businesses and homeowners associations for hiring off-duty deputies for private security work is set to nearly double May 1.
The memo, which cites an agreement obtained by the Police Benevolent Association on Valentine’s Day, sets the new prices to $80 an hour for a deputy, $86 an hour for a sergeant, $93 an hour for a lieutenant and $99 an hour for a captain.
The fees currently charged by PBSO were $46 an hour for a deputy, $64 an hour for supervisors and $72 an hour for captains and higher ranking officials.
While Sheriff Ric Bradshaw has yet to announce the raise and explain its reasons to the public, homeowners associations that use deputies for extra protection have started looking for alternatives.
“We’ve contacted FHP,” said Gary Brown, president of the Trends at Boca HOA in West Boca. “They’re still doing it for $50 an hour, which won’t increase our total security budget.”
Brown says he’s had deputies patrolling Trends after hours for years. The association’s total budget for the patrols hover around $25,000 a year.
“There’ve been burglaries in cars all over the area except for here,” he said. “You never see on-duty deputies around her unless something happens. So we decided to get guys on extra details and pay for it.”
But when he found out there’d be a steep increase of the hourly fees, Brown said, he started making calls. The Florida Highway Patrol will show up in uniform and in a squad car for $30 an hour less than PBSO’s new price structure.
“Troopers are just as good, and they’re doing it for $50 an hour,” Brown said. “I’ve been talking about this with other associations and you’re going to see a huge shift.”
PBA Prez John Kazanjian didn’t return a call for comment.