BUILDING A STRONGER COMMUNITY

The Broward Sheriff's Office is committed to public safety and enhancing the quality of life for all residents of Broward County. For the most part, people interact with law enforcement when they are in need of immediate help. While emergency response is an important part of the job, community involvement, partnerships and collaboration efforts are important as well.

Broward County is diverse - with people from many races, religions and cultures - and all those voices deserve to be heard. One of the main focuses of my administration is building a stronger partnership with all of our communities, and I feel this can only be accomplished by recognizing, valuing and respecting our differences and shared concerns. With that in mind, I have assembled a Community Outreach team to help bridge the gap between our enforcement perspective to public safety and the needs of the community. I know Broward County residents have concerns and suggestions to help improve the quality of their neighborhoods, and I want to hear them.

The Community Outreach team is a crucial part of the two-way street of communication that can enhance public safety. The unit is comprised of sworn law enforcement deputies and civilians who are diverse in backgrounds and skills and provide valuable crime prevention information to our residents in their native language. Serving as a liaison between the Broward Sheriff's Office and the community, one of their main goals is to acquire valuable feedback and suggestions that can strengthen our relationships with the community and enhance the public's trust in law enforcement. Utilizing a proactive approach, this group is connecting with residents one-on-one by providing the attention deputies sometimes cannot offer because they are responding to their next call.

Every day, members of the team attend various events - from homeowners' association meetings to annual celebrations - to discuss important educational and crime prevention information offered by the Broward Sheriff's Office. They also provide information about free services and community involvement opportunities available to all Broward County residents - such as the Citizens Academy, child car seat inspections, the vacation home watch program, Operation Medicine Cabinet and Shred-A-Thon programs.

Public safety requires involvement from the community, and the efforts of the Community Outreach team are ensuring that we are keeping the lines of communication open. Public awareness of BSO's initiatives can help build a foundation of trust and support; likewise, BSO's awareness of community concerns will help strengthen relationships and build a culture of positive growth. I want every member of our community to know that they have my attention, my ear and my respect.

For more information about the Department of Community Outreach or services offered by the Broward Sheriff's Office, please visit www.sheriff.org. To stay up-to-date about BSO events, crime trends and safety tips, sign up for Sheriff Israel's e-Alerts at www.sheriff.org/e-alerts or join our Facebook fan page at Broward Sheriff's Office (official) or follow us on Twitter @browardsheriff.

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