(BOYNTON BEACH, FL)- Boynton Beach officials have withdrawn from talks with Palm Beach Sheriff Ric Bradshaw to have his agency provide police services for the city.
Merger talks have been in the works since April and formally opened earlier this summer.
In July, the city sent Bradshaw a budget and received a merger proposal from PBSO.
On Friday, Boynton Beach revealed they were subject to a “substantial pension fund liability that affects the merger,” according to a letter about the merger published by Bradshaw’s office.
Based on this, Boynton officials opted to end the discussions.
In its current form, PBSO would have provided nearly 100 deputies to patrol the city of 78,000 along with over 150 civilian employees.
The annual cost to the city would have been $42.4 million according to our partners at WPTV.
Currently, PBSO provides law enforcement services to a dozen communities in Palm Beach County including the cities of Wellington and Lake Worth Beach.
Here is the text of Sheriff Bradshaw’s letter about ending the merger talks:
August 15, 2022
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office has been notified that the City of Boynton Beach no longer wishes to go forward with discussions about a merger of their Police Department with the Sheriff’s Office. It is important to understand the sequence of events that lead to these discussions. First and foremost, the City contacted the Sheriff’s Office about the merger, at no time did we ask for or initiate the discussions. During these meetings the parameters of the merger were laid out as to each Agencies responsibilities so no surprises would be discovered. Budget information of the Police Department’s budget was requested, subsequent to these discussions the Sheriff’s Office submitted a proposal for the merger.
The proposed budget submitted was within the budget requested for next year for the Police Department. On August 12th the City informed the Sheriff’s Office they had a substantial pension fund liability that affects the merger. At all times and in each meeting it was made very clear that at any time the City was not satisfied with the process they were free to terminate the discussions. The Sheriff’s Office wishes the City all the best, and will assist them in anyway if asked to do so. Please contact the Mayor for any additional information on their decision.
Ric L. Bradshaw