Church pays those it reviled - 2001-03-11
Every day, off-duty Clearwater police officers provide security for the Church of Scientology, which was investigated by police for 18 years but now is putting thousands of dollars in officers' pockets.
The church pays $25-an-hour for two uniformed officers to pull an 8 1/2-hour shift seven days a week, 365 days a year. All told, the church has paid nearly $150,000 to 110 officers since January 2000.
The arrangement is a remarkable turnaround for a department that long has mistrusted Scientology and rejected church attempts to ingratiate itself, saying no to offers of Scientology's anti-drug and criminal rehabilitation programs.