Is Florida Sheriff’s Media Operation Too Costly?


Orange County, Fl., Sheriff Kevin Beary, called “Central Florida’s best-known politician” by the Orlando Sentinel, pitched a $16 million budget increase to stunned county commissioners as a way to boost the starting pay of deputies. A debate today will scrutinize Beary’s $500,000 media operation, which is bigger than that of Walt Disney World and twice as large as Gov. Jeb Bush’s. “He’s going to have to explain why public-information officers are more important than deputies on the street,” Commissioner Linda Stewart said.

Each of Beary’s six public-information officers earned an average of $70,000 a year in salary and benefits. Beary wants each to get a 3 percent raise and a $3,000 bonus — along with the rest of the sheriff’s 2,281 employees. The much larger Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office handles 15,000 more crimes a year with just two employees to tell the public what their boss and his deputies do.


Comments are closed.


You have Free articles left this month.

Want access to all our reporting? Subscribe for unlimited access or login.