Newly installed Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson was asked by Santa Rosa County Commission Chairman Rob Williamson to tell county commissioners what is needed to keep and retain sworn law enforcement officers.
During Johnson’s respective presentation to the Board of County Commissioners on Monday, he told the commission that a 10-percent increase in pay for deputies would be a step in the right direction.
Mark Miller, president of the Navarre Area Board of Realtors®, a trade association representing more than 450 Realtor members and affiliated industry professionals that live, work and invest in the Navarre community, also addressed the board, asking commissioners to support the measure.
“The Navarre Area Board of Realtors® greatly values the commitment to excellence of Sheriff Johnson and his officers. A direct correlation can be drawn between the county’s low crime rate, the high caliber of our law enforcement professionals and the appeal of our communities. A successful, supportive relationship between police and the community is essential if our quality of residential and commercial life is to be protected. As the county continues to grow at a rapid pace, it is vital that we not only expand the number of our law enforcement professionals, but that we incentivize those we have, to stay. The Santa Rosa force has remained steadfast despite neighboring counties offering higher pay and inducements, and it is now time to recognize and reward that loyalty. In the interests of all law abiding citizens, the Navarre Area Board of Realtors® asks that you please consider approving Sheriff Johnson’s request for funding and prepare our communities for future growth and an almost inevitable increase in crime. It is vital that Santa Rosa’s finest be the best trained, the best equipped and with the highest morale, not a stepping stone on a career ladder,” Miller told the board.