Chief Deputy Eric Haines has challenged in a letter to Escambia County Administrator Jack Brown Commissioner Gene Valentino’s concept of replacing the county jail and central booking center with a jail campus that could double as a training facility for law enforcement. Valentino saw the training component as a possible profit center for the county.
Haines disputed the notion. “Law enforcement training is mostly done by the individual agencies and occasionally by outside experts or by-product vendors,” he said. “The latter two will normally give tuition-free spaces in the training class to the host agency. Law enforcement agencies don’t make a profit off of each other.”
He said the intent is to keep the cost down for the taxpayers. Haines also pointed out that a Regional Criminal Justice Training Council handles all training needs and priorities. “To our knowledgge, that council has not even been considered, let alone consulted, as to the need for such a facility.”
Haines challenged the commissioner’s assertion that ESCO training was an embarrassment. “ESCO meets or exceeds all training requirements set forth by the state of Florida.”
He said, “Let me state in no certain terms, so the taxpayers, and the BOCC understand,” he said. “The ECSO does not want, nor does it need a new training facility. It would be a waste of taxpayer dollars.”