Pay to Protect: Sheriff Cutting Services to City Over Late Payment - NBC 6 South Florida

Pay to Protect: Sheriff Cutting Services to City Over Late Payment

Lauderdale lakes owes $6 million to Sheriff

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    Pay to Protect: Sheriff Cutting Services to City Over Late Payment
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    FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - NOVEMBER 13: Broward Sheriff's Deputies and other law enforcement officers lineup as they pay their respects at a funeral for Broward Sheriff's Deputy Paul Rein who was killed in the line of duty last week November 13, 2007 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. At least 63 officers had been fatally shot nationwide this year, compared with 48 shootings in 2006, according to the FBI statistics. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

    You get what you pay for, and that applies even in the world of public safety.

    The Broward Sheriff's Office has decided to drastically cut services to Lauderdale Lakes because the city has fallen behind in its monthly payments, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

    "Let me be clear, we are not abandoning the residents of Lauderdale Lakes, but during these strained economic times, I have an obligation to the taxpayers of Broward County to ensure that services are provided based on allocated funding," Sheriff Al Lamberti wrote in a Nov. 5 e-mail notifying city leaders of the pending change.

    The city owes about $6 million, which in these economic times isn't pocket change for a small city. Just last week, the City Commission approved another one-year deal with BSO.

    But Lamberti's stance is the city has to pay to play, or be protected. He's made similar threats to the County Commission after complaining about an extra thin BSO budget.

    While Lamberti isn't abandoning the city, it certainly appears BSO is taking a leave of absence.

    Nine sergeants and deputies will be transferred from Lauderdale Lakes to other BSO-served cities and the city will also lose the use of a ladder fire truck and 12 firefighters.

    That could leave residents in a pinch when they call 911 when something goes up in flames, fire union officials said.

    "We have no choice but to scale back services to the residents of Lauderdale Lakes," Lamberti said.