Gainesville Fla Aug 17 2011 A private security company is expected to make a pitch Tuesday night to the Hawthorne City Commission to provide uniformed patrols within the city.
Sloan’s Security Services already has a contract to provide evening patrols in the Majestic Oaks apartment complex west of Gainesvillle’s city limits on Southwest 20th Avenue. The company now is seeking to contract with Hawthorne to patrol the city in marked vehicles with two security officers.
The company is scheduled to make a presentation at tonight’s City Commission meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m.
Currently, the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office patrols the city of Hawthorne. A short-lived police department was disbanded in 2009 because it was a financial drain on the city.
Phillip Cathlino, an administrator with Sloan’s, said the company’s uniformed security patrols would augment law enforcement patrols, and not replace them. He said most security officers with Sloan are former law enforcement officers or military personnel. They are licensed to carry weapons and Tasers and may detain people but not arrest them.
While Sloan has contracts to provide uniformed patrols in multiple apartment complexes, Cathlino said Hawthorne “would be our first city to cover.” The patrols would target high-crime areas, he said.
It remains to be seen what interest Hawthorne officials will have. The city entered the current fiscal year with financial woes and without a balanced budget, so any associated cost could be a complication.
“We’re in no position to be able to hire anyone for anything like that,” Mayor Matthew Surrency said Monday.
He added that he was satisfied with the job the Sheriff’s Office was doing in the city.
Cathlino said Sloan’s officials are looking into the possibility of whether Department of Homeland Security grant funding could be available to pay for the patrols.