Budget conference: Palatka scores police car funding

police car lights
The city is poised to get half what it wanted from the state.

A Putnam County city is poised to get a quarter-million dollars for the much-needed replacement of police cars after budget conferencing in the Legislature.

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice accepted the offer of the House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee.

While the $250,000 is just half what Sen. Travis Hutson and Rep. Bobby Payne sought, the money should do some good for the cash-strapped town of Palatka, which says it will match the request with $125,000.

“Palatka Police Department’s fleet of 40 police cruisers is at the end of its useful life as the cruisers must be replaced every five years. This ($500,000) funding would purchase 10 (or 25%) of the necessary vehicles needed along with all the necessary equipment required in the cruiser. The entire fleet is paced to need replacement over the next four years at 10 cars per year. The city is respectfully requesting funding for the first year of replacement,” reads the request from Hutson.

Presumably, state funds will help the city replace five cars, leaving local policymakers to find a way to get the other quarter million dollars needed. It’s not totally clear why 40 vehicles are required, given that the Palatka Police Force has just 32 sworn officers.

Locals demonstrated “support for the requested project” in “multiple City Commission meetings in a public forum as well as the City Commission discussion of 24-25 Appropriation Request Priorities.” Target populations to be served include “economically disadvantaged persons” and “victims of crime.”

Despite the city’s population of roughly 10,000 people, it has a formidable crime problem.

As WUFT noted when covering a local forum dealing with the violent crime epidemic just last year, the city’s violent crime rate was 577.8 per 100,000 residents as of September, putting it behind only Jacksonville and Miami in that grim metric.

Yolanda Cash Jackson of Becker & Poliakoff is the lobbyist of record for this request.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


3 comments

  • Harold Finch

    February 28, 2024 at 9:08 pm

    I think the world of Youlanda, but she didn’t do anything to secure this appropriation, it was all Travis Hutson and Bobby Payne!
    The City of Palatka also has more public housing than cities two and three times their population.

    • Dont Say FLA

      February 29, 2024 at 7:54 am

      Harold, Harold, Harold. When do GOP (TBT) politicians do anything they were not rewarded by a lobbyist or Told By Trump to do?

      If Travis and Bobby did it, and they were not Told By Trump to do it, it got done because Youlanda made that happen.

  • Ron Forrest Ron

    February 29, 2024 at 8:45 am

    I do hope these are the Duck mobiles that can drive on both land and water seeing as how Palatka’s officers will probably still be driving them when Palatka is under the sea.

Comments are closed.


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