Commentary

Hernando County, FL Explores Privatizing Courthouse Security, Libraries

Hernando Today (a publication of the Tampa Tribune) offers a thoughtful and balanced editorial on the prospect of privatizing county courthouse security and library functions. An excerpt:

We like the idea of privatizing courthouse security because it doesn’t take a well-trained deputy to do such a job. It’s far too costly and a waste of manpower. Security companies often hire retired law enforcement personnel, and they are better suited – and less costly – to serve that role. It’s an opportunity for government to save money and for private enterprise to fill a niche and make money.

Privatizing libraries is a dicier issue. We’re not sure exactly how that would work to fulfill the community’s needs, but we’re interested to learn more. We’re glad to see county officials exploring the idea, even though we’re not convinced it would serve the public’s needs as well as government can.

We’re watching and we’re interested, especially when government can be made smaller and private enterprise can successfully fill the niche. That’s a true win-win for the taxpayer and businesses that pay taxes.

Now, what about the county’s fleet department?

For more details on these Hernando County initiatives, see here and here.

Reason’s Privatization Research and Commentary

Leonard Gilroy is vice president of government reform at Reason Foundation and senior managing director of Reason's Pension Integrity Project.