Law enforcement accreditation by the legislatively-created state organization is both a sign of distinction among law enforcement agencies and of reassurance to the public:, while Sheriff Rick Staly’s election as its chairman “speaks very clearly about how trusted and respected Sheriff Staly is here and across the State of Florida,” in a former agency director’s words.
Flagler County Sheriff
The project’s “substantial completion date” of the 51,615 square-foot, two-story, $23 million building is now slated for Oct. 10, 2022, almost a year later than projected last December. But there have been no further delays since June.
The Flagler Sheriff’s Employee Assistance Trust (F.S.E.A.T.) established a GoFundMe account to support DFC Luciano’s family in his line-of-duty death from complications of COVID-19 and the community graciously donated $7,655.
The Palm Coast City Council Thursday evening ended weeks of wrangling over its budget and tax rate and voted 3-2 to approve awarding the sheriff all 10 requested additional deputies and reduce the tax rate enough to save the average homesteaded homeowner about $11, while using $530,000 from city reserves to make the numbers work.
“This is a tough day for all of us. And, we begin this service doing the same thing we have been doing for the last 7 days, wondering why Paul lost his life serving and protecting our community. We may never know that answer,” Sheriff Rick Staly said today in his eulogy of Corrections Deputy Paul Luciano, the jail’s first line-of-duty death in the department’s history.
On Aug. 25, the News-Journal’s Frank Fernandez reported on the resignation of Theresa Pontieri, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office’s recently hired general counsel, after the News-Journal had inquired about inflammatory videos she had posted on a conservative social media platform.
The Palm Coast City Council is in a 3-2 split that would approve lowering the property tax rate symbolically and increase the number of deputies the sheriff is requesting to police the city by more than the six the administration had been prepared to award.
Tina Luciano, the 30-year-old daughter of Paul Luciano, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Corrections Deputy who died on Thursday of covid complications, had written of witnessing her father’s struggle three weeks ago, and wrote again after losing him on Thursday, both times voicing her grief–and both times urging people to get vaccinated.
The Flagler County Commission this afternoon agreed to lower the county’s property tax by a symbolic decimal point next year, though county revenue will still grow by nearly $6 million and the sheriff will get an additional $2.2 million, ensuring the addition of 10 new deputies and a $400,000 mobile command center.
Policing in Flagler has never been at risk of “defunding,” nor have relations between police and the community lacked for cohesion and respect. But Sheriff Staly’s request for 25 additional deputies from Palm Coast and the county overplay a hand, while both governments are teetering on going along with what would be overfunding police, at the expense of other needs.