At Monday night’s regular city commission meeting, during the reading of the “consent agenda” when deals negotiated by City Manager John Regan and his cohorts get commission approval without public scrutiny or discussion, a new agreement between the City of St. Augustine and Flagler College will likely be approved for the provision of law enforcement services on Flagler College properties.
In addition to their own campus security officers, the City has provided police officers to the college for several years by agreement. Flagler says that they desire “high profile law enforcement patrol” to promote more protection for its students, faculty, properties, residents and users of its properties and services. This Fiscal Year will cost them 2.5% more because of police salary increases.
This year’s agreement provides for payment of 10% of the actual cost (as calculated by the City) of salaries and overtime, payroll taxes, city retirement, insurance, uniforms as well as the cost of uniform cleaning, to cover the City’s cost of administration of the contract agreement.
The City is responsible for planning, organizing, scheduling and assignment of police personnel to patrol the Flagler College campus in one (1) continuous twelve (12) hour shift, per day, from 3:00 p.m. until 3:00 a.m., seven (7) days per week during the normal college school year of approximately eight (8) months.
Even though there is only one shift, the City must bill for two officers to account for days off, vacation and sick days. During the six (6) weeks of summer school, Flagler College may request an officer for five (5) nights a week with specific hours of duty to be coordinated through the designated police supervisor.
Historic City News has noted that the agreement between the college and the uniformed officers has not been without controversy. One issue that is not addressed by contract is whether the City can dispatch the Flagler-paid officer to the scene of other calls that are off-campus.
Another concern has been the assignment or use of a marked city police patrol car to the Flagler-paid officer. No vehicle cost is included in the reimbursement schedule.
Also, the City says in the agreement that the patrolmen are employees of the City and “independent contractors” of the college — even though their assignments shall be coordinated with a Flagler College employee, the Director of Security and Safety, and Flagler College will provide the facility (post) on campus where the designated services are to be coordinated.
Although the agreement says that the City shall indemnify and hold harmless Flagler College for any claim, demand suit, loss, cost, expenses or damage which may be asserted, claimed or recovered against or from personal injury or death arising out of negligent or intentional act of the City’s officers, agents or employees; you cannot waive negligent liability so the college may still incur some risk.
Monday night’s agreement, if approved, shall be in effect for a period of twelve (12) months, beginning October 1, 2018, and ending on September 30, 2019.