Plan would turn Keystone Heights fire station into Clay County Sheriff’s Office stop station

The Keystone Heights City Council is continuing to explore bringing a Clay County Sheriff’s Office stop station to the town.

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS, Fla. – The Keystone Heights City Council is continuing to explore bringing a Clay County Sheriff’s Office stop station to the town.

City Manager Scott Kornegay presented a possible option at a meeting Monday night that would put the new Sheriff’s Office stop station at an old vacant volunteer fire station on Flamingo Street downtown. The complex would also house a community center and a volunteer fire department memorial, under the plan presented by Kornegay.

“It will serve several purposes -- one being the increased police presence and the other purpose would be to engage our youth and get them off the streets and give them something to do that’s constructive," Kornegay said.

Kornegay said the stop station would allow a place for deputies to store emergency equipment.

“Any opportunity that we can engage with community members, we want to jump on that," said Sheriff’s Office Chief of Patrol Steven Barreira.

Clay County Sheriff's Office deputy speaking at Keystone Heights City Hall. (News4Jax)

The proposal comes after recent issues with violence in the small town of around 1,500.

In late November, a man was beaten to death with baseball bats at a home down a dirt road. Along another dirt road across town, there was a triple shooting on New Year’s Eve that left two people dead. In mid-January, News4Jax learned that the Sheriff’s Office was looking into a suspected teenage fight club after videos posted on social media attracted attention.

When News4Jax was in Keystone Heights in January, residents said that they had noticed a lot of law enforcement. A representative from the Sheriff’s Office who spoke Monday said it had increased staffing levels in the area and supported bringing a stop station to the area.

The Keystone Heights City Council had considered looking at starting its own police department but determined it would be too costly.

No action was taken Monday, but city officials will continue to explore the proposed plan and figure out how to fund the project.