Youth & Neighborhood Services
The Youth & Neighborhood Services division serves under the direction of Captain Scott Russell. It is comprised of the Youth & Special Needs Services and Neighborhood Services sections.
The Youth & Special Needs Services Section encompasses several different programs targeting the County's youth and special needs population. These programs include the Juvenile Justice Team, Homeless Outreach Team, Crisis Intervention Team, Explorers, Explorer Cadets, and the Police Athletic League. For more information on these programs, please contact Sergeant Edward Rafailovitc at 954.321.4167.
The Neighborhood Services Section is comprised of various units, which provide services directly related to local neighborhoods. These programs include the Citizens on Patrol (COP) Unit, Crime Prevention Unit, Sheriff's Posse, and Parking Enforcement. For more information on these programs, please contact Sergeant Michael Natiello at 954.321.4102.
Want to get involved?
BSO's COP Program is a volunteer group sponsored by the Sheriff's Office that uses a simple approach to safeguarding neighborhoods through residents' involvement. COP volunteers are local residents who help BSO fight crime by patrolling their community, looking out for suspicious activity or potential hazards and offering assistance to local residents.
The Broward Citizens Academy is a 13-week orientation course in the field of law enforcement. It's conducted in a classroom and "out-in-the-field" with certified agency instructors from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. As part of the class, students complete a four-hour ride-along assignment with a BSO deputy. It's an excellent way to learn more about law enforcement through firsthand experience and from those who have law enforcement background.
BSO's Posse is a volunteer organization that provides assistance resources to BSO staff and Broward County residents. The Posse assists deputies with DUI enforcement checkpoints, special event traffic, pedestrian management and other assignments.
Senior Citizens are the fastest growing segment of our population and that growth can also mean an increased likelihood of crime. BSO's Senior Citizens Academy helps Broward's senior population reduce the possibility of crime and improves quality of life.
TRIAD is a partnership between the Broward Sheriff's Office, the Broward County Chiefs of Police and the Association for the Advancement of Retired Persons (AARP) and older/retired leadership in the area. This partnership works together to reduce the criminal victimization of senior citizens and enhances the delivery of law enforcement services to Broward County's elderly population. TRIAD provides the opportunity for the exchange of information between law enforcement and senior citizens.
The Police Athletic League (PAL) provides youth an opportunity to stay out of trouble by participating in sports and other activities after school or during the summer. The activities are structured to attract all youth regardless of their previous athletic abilities. PAL's goal is to provide them with activities that build character and self-esteem, foster positive relationships, enhance self-awareness and promote good citizenship.
Parents, teachers and law enforcement professionals are constantly seeking ways to expose teenagers to positive values and role models. The Law Enforcement Explorers Program at the Broward Sheriff's Office is a successful example of how adult intervention can instill responsibility, leadership, teamwork and self-reliance.
For young men and women considering a career in fire rescue and emergency services, the Cadet Program at BSO affords practical training and experience through education, community involvement and public service. Primarily geared to high school students, fire rescue cadets are introduced to fire fighting and rescue techniques through a regimented course-of-instruction based on teamwork and responsibility.
Broward County's Juvenile Firesetter Prevention and Intervention Programs provide specialized fire safety education for children ages 2-17 and target at-risk children and teens with an interest in or a history of starting fires, initiating bomb threats, creating destructive incendiary devices or pulling fire alarms. By offering fire safety education instruction and community outreach presentations, the program helps reduce incidents of injury, property loss and death.
Juvenile Justice Team
The Juvenile Justice Team is involved in many collaborative projects within the community, including partnerships with the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board, Broward County School Board, United Way of Broward, Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, Children's Services Council, Broward County Health Department and Memorial Healthcare Systems. These partnerships focus on youth-related programs for prevention and diversion applications, both within our jurisdictions and countywide.
The Team also focuses on anti-violence, social media awareness, bullying and even experimental learning environments that encourage community collaboration. Among these initiatives is the Youth Empowerment for Success (YES), FL Attorney General's Region 7 Gang Prevention Task Force, Choose Peace Stop Violence, and Junior Achievement's "JA World/BizTown" program that all Broward County middle school students participate in.
Crisis Intervention Team
The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program is a community-based program that partners with mental health consumers, their families, and the mental health social services community. BSO/CIT is designed to improve the way deputies respond to people experiencing mental health crises. Highly trained deputies are certified as Crisis Intervention Team members after they have completed comprehensive specialized training, based on the proven Memphis Model, on how to respond to and deescalate a mental health crisis.
CIT deputies utilize their training and experience to provide effective crisis intervention and reduce violent physical confrontations. The goal is to provide mental health consumers effective care through intervention and to provide diversion opportunities from the criminal justice system to appropriate mental health treatment centers.
Homeless Outreach Team
The Homeless Outreach Team is designed to promote ending the cycle of homelessness by helping individuals who are experiencing homelessness recapture and regain their lives. By design, the Homeless Outreach Team, with at least one specialist located in every BSO district, educates deputies to conduct a needs assessment of individuals who are experiencing homelessness.
Through this assessment, deputies identify the social services needed and assist these individuals with accessing our County's social services continuum of care.
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