What a year it has been for the Broward Sheriff's Office. When I took command of this organization, I pledged to put public safety first. I am proud of the improvements we have made and the initiatives we have implemented toward our mission of providing high quality services to Broward County. Here are some highlights:
SCHOOL SAFETY: We have worked diligently to improve the safety of our schools.
We have launched the Real Time Crime Center, which gives us the ability to monitor surveillance cameras across all Broward County Public Schools. We have expanded the Guardian Program and developed an active shooter training curriculum and video. We have provided Bleeding Control Kits to all road patrol deputies as well as public schools.
TRAINING AND PREPAREDNESS: Our training division and course curriculums reflect today's public safety priorities.
We have reallocated one million dollars to increase the manpower of our training division. We are the first agency in the state of Florida to have a nationally-certified active shooter training unit, and in collaboration with our federal partners, we have certified instructors in Active Shooter and Basic Tactical Medical Response, FBI ALERRT Program and Incident Command Structure. We have invested $500,000 toward enhanced Racial Equity and Cultural Diversity Training and increased the number of deputies trained in crisis intervention. For the first time in BSO history, construction for a state-of-the-art Regional Training Center is underway which will provide for more intensive, frequent training to address today's public safety challenges.
PROMOTIONS: Our agency's leaders are experienced and are a better reflection of the communities we serve.
I understand firsthand the importance of diversity in public safety. We have the most diverse command staff in the agency's 104-year history. I believe experience is a priceless resource, and I have promoted more than 200 employees from within the organization.
COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS: We have implemented progressive community policing initiatives and are listening to your needs.
Our countywide Neighborhood Support Team is designed to make law enforcement more visible and reduce fear in our communities. We are focusing on collaboration and engagement from all community stakeholders to unify efforts to meet community needs.
LAW ENFORCEMENT TRUST FUND (LETF): Accountability and distribution of funds will be more fair and equitable.
We have increased the opportunity and expansion of funds provided to support nonprofit organizations through the LETF.
INVESTING IN OUR FUTURE: We have expanded youth programs and opportunities to further develop the ambition of our young people.
We have established the Bureau of Recruiting to ensure we are hiring the most diverse, qualified personnel. We have developed the BSO Legacy Program, which provides scholarships, sponsorships and internship opportunities. The program's objective focuses on helping minority students reach their goal of a career in public safety.
I am proud of the work we have accomplished thus far and am excited about what's to come. The men and women of this organization are committed to their duties and embrace their responsibilities as public safety professionals.
As your sheriff, I am humbled at the outpouring of support from all of Broward's communities. As we move forward, we will continue to listen to your needs, demonstrate transparency and maintain accountability while never losing sight of our public safety mission.
If you'd like to learn more about our new initiatives, visit us online at www.sheriff.org/SheriffTony.
From our BSO family to yours, have a happy, healthy and safe holiday season.
Service Equals Reward
Sheriff Gregory Tony