As it turns out, last week’s testy confrontation before the Pasco School Board between Superintendent of Schools Kurt Browning and United School Employees of Pasco President Lynn Webb over teachers’ training time is not the only example of strained relations in the local education sector. The longtime relationship between Pasco- Hernando Community College and the Pasco Sheriff’s Office is broken, according to Sheriff Chris Nocco, and headed toward a breakup. Nocco offered that assessment last week, after PHCC announced that Nancy Bunch, the college’s director of public services, retired a month or so sooner than planned. Bunch’s exit came two days after she was placed on probation for, according to a PHCC spokeswoman, Bunch’s “inaction” regarding “complaints that she became aware of.” An instructor in the law enforcement academy at PHCC, which Bunch supervised, was dismissed after a complaint was filed alleging the instructor had harassed a woman. A security consultant was dismissed for failing to cooperate with an investigation of the complaint. Nocco says he had concerns about PHCC’s hiring practices before last week’s personnel actions. The PHCC spokeswoman, Lucy Miller, said college officials “value our partnership” with the sheriff’s office. The sheriff, however, says that partnership is broken and the sheriff’s office might have to look to the Pasco School District for law enforcement training.
Our main concern with this, as suggested by the testy Browning-Webb confrontation, is the school district seems to have its hands full dealing with its current mission. Everyone needs to be sure it can handle adding police training to the mix.