Here are my personal predictions relating to the Town of Davie’s plans to dump our Police and Fire Departments in favor of hiring the Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) to do the work:
- Short term projected savings will be substantial. Probably in the millions of dollars.
- Actual short term savings will be much smaller or non-existent.
- In the long term, there will be little or no savings.
- In the short term, service levels and responsiveness will be the same or slightly better.
- In the long term, service levels and responsiveness will be worse. A large organization like the BSO is less responsive to citizen concerns because it is larger. Currently, individual citizens with reasonable points of view can speak to the Town’s Police Chief or someone in the Town’s Police Administration who has authority to address issues. In a much larger organization, like BSO, this is necessarily much harder to do. This comment is no reflection on our current Broward Sheriff, Al Lamberti. The residents of Broward County are fortunate to have him as our Sheriff. He is one of the best Sheriff’s that Broward County has had in recent years. I foresee Davie’s situation as being less favorable than mentioned above, when Sheriff Lamberti leaves office.
- How will the Police and Fire-Rescue Unions react? Follow the money. I’m assuming the Unions will take a position. If you know and trust an individual Police Officer or Firefighter, ask them privately what they think of this money saving scheme. From a citizen’s point of view, the official union positions will tell you more about how a change to BSO would affect benefits and pay (especially for union leadership) than they will about the impact on public safety.
— Tom Truex
The following is the text of the Town of Davie’s official press release.
Davie Town Council to Discuss BSO Services
Davie, Florida, July 16, 2010: At the request of the Davie Town Council, the Broward Sheriff’s Office has made the Town of Davie a proposal to provide police and fire rescue services. The request was made by the Town Council at the October 7, 2009, Town Council meeting. The request was made in an effort to consider all practical options that could save taxpayers’ dollars while maintaining or improving services. The process to review, evaluate, and to consider the proposal will be a transparent one. To educate the community about the process and to dispel rumors, the following section lays out the steps and the process.
Now that the Town is in receipt of the proposal, the Town Council will discuss the matter at the August 4, 2010, Town Council meeting. At the meeting, Mayor Judy Paul will move to establish a community task force to evaluate the proposal, which is a working document, fluid and changeable. Once established, the task force will be charged with reviewing the proposal, and then providing a report with its recommendations to the Town Council. In addition, the Town’s Budget and Finance Advisory Committee will also review the proposal and will provide its recommendations to the Town Council. After the recommendations are reviewed and discussed by the Town Council, then the Town Council will decide whether the proposal deserves further consideration. If this is the case, the Town Council will hold two public hearings. At the public hearings, residents will be able to provide the Town Council with input relative to the proposal. Further, the Town Council will also have to vote twice, once at each public hearing, to pass an ordinance that would move the question (the proposal) to the voters. If this occurs, there will be a special election held to decide the question. Davie residents would decide via the ballot as to whether they would want the Sheriff to provide public safety services for the Town. A vote by the people is required according to the Town of Davie’s Charter and would be presented as two separate ballot questions: one for police and one for fire rescue.
For more information, contact Braulio Rosa at 954-797-1027.