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CONTINUING A RICH TRADITION OF ASSISTING OTHERS IN TIMES OF NEED

When disaster strikes, the Broward Sheriff's Office is ready, willing and able to lend a helping hand to those in need at a moment's notice—no matter where or when it occurs. From the heart of Broward to the people in need in the Carolinas and the Florida Panhandle, BSO was there to assist in whatever manner was needed during this deadly and catastrophic 2018 hurricane season.

Line of BSO vehicles Following the monster one-two punch of Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael, dozens of our brave men and women in the Department of Law Enforcement and Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue (BSFR) answered the call for help from our neighbors and friends who were in desperate need of assistance. They put their comforts aside and put their lives on the line to help people in far-off locations they knew little to nothing about.

These selfless actions are a continuation of BSO's long and rich history of sending assistance to other counties, states and even countries who have been impacted by disaster. While ensuring the safety and security of Broward residents and visitors is always BSO's top priority, we promote the ideals of public safety by helping any way and anywhere we can. Public safety is about helping out those in need, even if disaster doesn't touch us personally. As this devastating hurricane season showed, there were many who required the kindness and assistance of outside help.

Following Hurricane Florence's fury in September, a team of BSFR personnel sprang into action at a moment's notice to assist in the rescue efforts in South Carolina in the aftermath of the hurricane. The team was deployed as part of the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Florida Task Force 2 and was tasked with locating and helping people stranded due to the rising waters of the hurricane. While on the ground, these brave men and women assisted in multiple rescues and no doubt helped save lives. Just weeks later, the team was sent into action once again when Hurricane Michael tore through the Florida Panhandle.

They were joined by BSO's Quick Response Force—a unit of 24 law enforcement personnel from all around the county who packed into a caravan and headed up to Bay County in the Florida Panhandle to assist in providing law enforcement services to the ravaged region. Working 12-hour shifts, the 23 deputies and one community service aide performed vital law enforcement functions, including responding to calls for service, patrolling for anti-looting, assisting with traffic and search and rescue.

So we would not be a burden on local resources, which were greatly diminished by the hurricane, this unit was self-contained, meaning they arrived with everything they needed, including water, food and clothing to last for their eight-day deployment.

These deployments came just a year after BSO personnel travelled to the Florida Keys and Puerto Rico to help in the relief efforts and assist the storm-weary residents following the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.

I am so incredibly proud of the men and women of this agency who drop everything and give their all to help any way they can. If disaster strikes again, they are ready to roll.

Sheriff Scott Israel