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Chief Ellerbe con­firmed that the de­part­ment has been in pos­ses­sion of 12 new am­bu­lances since Novem­ber that have not been put into ser­vice.

“When th­ese state­ments are made a lot of times they are made with in­com­plete in­for­ma­tion,” Chief Ellerbe said in re­sponse to Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee Chair­man Phil Men­del­son’s ques­tions. “The units are there but un­til we pay for them we can’t legally put them on our ros­ter and put them on the street.”

Ad­di­tion­ally, Chief Ellerbe’s staff tes­ti­fied that em­ploy­ees still need to be trained to drive the new, larger am­bu­lances and to use new tech­nol­ogy on the units.

Af­ter the hear­ing, Chief Ellerbe spoke briefly on the sex­ual ha­rass­ment com­plaint lodged in Sara­sota, say­ing that pub­lic lead­ers of­ten have to deal with un­fa­vor­able al­le­ga­tions.

“I never meant to or in­tended to ha­rass any­one,” he said.

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