Sheriff’s budget has ballooned in 10 years – up 57.6%


The Escambia County Sheriff’s budget has increased $26.6 million this past decade – 57.6%.  The budget is about $3 million  shy of what was when the ECSO managed the county jail,

Sheriff Chip Simmons is asking for the largest single-year increase – 10.7%  – over the past 15 years, maybe even longer.


Total Detention Sheriff’s Increase %
2012  $ 75,839,521  $ 29,687,734  $ 46,151,787
2013  $ 75,839,521  $ 28,477,205  $ 47,362,316  $   1,210,529 2.6%
2014  $ 47,884,936  $                –  $ 47,884,936  $      522,620 1.1%
2015  $ 50,797,407  $                –  $ 50,797,407  $   2,912,471 6.1%
2016  $ 53,774,834  $                –  $ 53,774,834  $   2,977,427 5.9%
2017  $ 55,438,635  $                –  $ 55,438,635  $   1,663,801 3.1%
2018  $ 58,784,478  $                –  $ 58,784,478  $   3,345,843 6.0%
2019  $ 60,239,868  $                –  $ 60,239,868  $   1,455,390 2.5%
2020  $ 62,839,867  $                –  $ 62,839,867  $   2,599,999 4.3%
2021  $ 65,739,867  $                –  $ 65,739,867  $   2,900,000 4.6%
2022  $ 72,753,713  $                –  $ 72,753,713  $   7,013,846 10.7%
Total increase  $ 26,601,926 57.6%

4 thoughts on “Sheriff’s budget has ballooned in 10 years – up 57.6%

  1. Steve, accountability is knowing what you are paying for. Providing a blank check with no oversight except by 1 person is not accountability.

  2. Bob, we elect the sheriff, hence accountability.

    CJ, the town of Century did away with their police department years ago, that’s why the sheriff’s office covers that area, and they do patrol/respond in the Pensacola city limits. Also, I find it amusing that you think tax payers should pay for a new state of the art sheriff’s facility less than a mile from where it’s currently located.

  3. Seems like this is the norm. Other Sheriff’s just give Commissioners a number with very little explanation at to what it is being used for. Of course it would be inappropriate now to withhold money because of the “defund police” stuff. IMO giving any department money without accountability is Taxation Without Representation.

  4. A question I have several times heard the BOCC ask and someone from the Sheriff’s Office decline to answer is exactly how many Deputies are needed for patrol duty. The county’s online budget tells you little to nothing but in the Sheriff’s section you can see that the biggest increase is in “Personal Services.” Is that another way of saying personnel? Is it for pay raises or more people or both? Performance should matter. During Sheriff McNesby’s eight years in office, the Sheriff’s Office crime rate was always below the state crime rate. During Sheriff Morgan’s 12 years in office, it was always far above the state average. The only thing that changed was the Sheriff. In 2020, Sheriff Morgan’s crime rate (3,126.6) was 3.5 times higher than Santa Rosa County Sheriff Johnson’s crime rate (894.0). A good first question for the BOCC to ask Sheriff Simmons is why Escambia County is so much more dangerous than Santa Rosa County? Is it “us” or is it how the Sheriff’s Office operates? It has to be one or the other. Other than the much higher percentage of Blacks in Escambia County (23%) than in Santa Rosa County(4.3%), and Commissioner Bergosh is probably correct that dysfunctional single-parent Black homes are a negative factor in Escambia County, a point that Sheriff Morgan also often made, what might explain the humongous difference in the county’s crime rates? Is it the weather in Escambia County? I would also like to know why the Sheriff patrols the Town of Century. When I asked Mayor Freddie McCall in 2009, he told that me he did not know. According to county staff, when I asked in 2014, more than $10 million then in county property taxes paid by Pensacola city property owners was and still is used to fund the Sheriff’s Office, so why doesn’t the Sheriff patrol inside the city limit too? Are there opportunities for the Sheriff and PPD to reduce costs by combining certain functions such as crime lab, training, dispatch, records, etc. State law requires the Sheriff’s Office to be in the county seat the City of Pensacola. Why is it not? Should the city and county get together and build a new state-of-the-art Sheriff’s facility as part of the make-over of the Baptist Hospital site? State law also requires that the Sheriff or Chief Deputy live in the City of Pensacola or within two miles. Does one of them? These are not new issues or questions. I have asked them to county and city officials. Answer: Crickets. Could taxpayers save money if the Sheriff contracted with the City of Pensacola to provide its law enforcement services? I bet that more Deputies already live in the City of Pensacola than do PPD Officers. On a recent Saturday night, I saw PPD Chief Randall over near Saufley Field. Does he live “in the county” too? I heard that up north he didn’t live in Newport News. Right now, the way BOCC funds for the Sheriff is helter-skelter and ridiculous. Would it be better if the Sheriff was allowed to expand the existing Sheriff’s MSTU rate with the county franchise fees eliminated and the general county property tax millage rate dramatically reduced? Next to EMS and Fire/Rescue, the Sheriff is the most important function in the county. The BOCC needs to spend some time on this budget.

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