MEXICO BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Two weeks ago, Mexico Beach officials approved a contract with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office to take over their police department. On Friday, that contact officially began.
“The sheriff’s office is one of the highest accredited departments in the state of Florida,” said Mexico Beach Mayor. “We will be run strictly through the Bay County Sheriff’s Office.”
There are six members of the sheriff’s office transitioning over to Mexico Beach, which includes five deputies and a supervisor.
“Lieutenant Marty Williams who will be running our unit down there grew up there as well, so we’re both very familiar with the community and we are excited to be a part of that community,” said Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford.
These deputies will be working in various shifts to make sure there is 24/7 around the clock coverage. During this transition, they have evaluated what they would like to keep from the Mexico Beach Police Department.
“There is a couple of vehicles that they had that were in decent condition that we will be assuming and putting them into service,” Ford said. “But, for the most part it will be sheriff’s office vehicles and equipment.”
In terms of officers, each Mexico Beach policeman had the chance to apply to work for the sheriff’s office.
“We accepted applications from all of them and we were able to hire three of the officers from Mexico Beach on with the sheriff’s office,” Ford said.
Cathey says they are looking forward to a great relationship with the sheriff’s office moving forward.
“I think that this move to the sheriff’s department is a better situation for our citizens in terms of policing services,” Cathey said.