Each week, we're asking each of the Pinellas County sheriff candidates a question that's important to you, the voter, so you can be informed come ballot time.
This week, we asked:
If budget were not an issue, how would you improve the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office?
Bob Gualtieri answers:
"With the currently projected Pinellas County General Fund budget deficit of $19 million for next year, and an overall deficit projection of $35 million between now and 2022, the budget challenges are real and the most significant issue facing the Sheriff.
"I cannot answer this hypothetical question because it is unrealistic, and is misleading in my view to create a 'wish list' that has no chance of coming to fruition. We can 'wish' all we want but if the money is not there then we have to live and effectively deliver services within our means.
"I have been responsible for the Sheriff’s Office budget for the past four years and we have cut our General Fund budget by $108 million, while at the same time reducing crime by 12 percent over the last three years. Fiscally sound and effective law enforcement is my focus for the future."