Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Hold the line on crime budget

Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk submitted his proposed budget for fiscal year 2013 to the Collier County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday in accordance with Florida statute.

Over the past four budget cycles the Collier County Sheriff’s Office has decreased its budget by $20.6 million, with an accumulative offset of over $48 million. Along with these deep budget reductions, CCSO has held the line on crime in our community and increased services and programs. Sheriff Rambosk said “We have maintained safety in our community with one of the lowest crime rates throughout the entire state. We are committed to continuing all this and more with the same resources as last fiscal year.”

The $131,973,300 budget amount for fiscal year 2013 is the same as CCSO’s current budget. It is the amount needed in order to maintain the agency’s level of service to the community, Sheriff Rambosk said.

Despite four consecutive years of substantial budget decreases, CCSO has partnered with businesses, organizations and the community to attain many accomplishments at no additional cost to taxpayers.

“Thanks to our community partners and the dedicated men and women of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office we have actually been able to increase our level of service to the community despite multiple rounds of budget cuts,” Sheriff Rambosk said.

These initiatives include:

• Summerfest – The Sheriff’s Office’s most ambitious youth program is made possible with the help of more than 200 community partners. During Summerfest deputies oversee an array of free, fun and safe activities for thousands of Collier County students on summer break.

• Collier County Organized Retail Theft Association – This program is a network of retailers and law enforcement representatives who share intelligence information and retail crime trends. Deputies members meet monthly to share intelligence information such as pictures of incidents and alerts and discuss trends they are seeing.

• Community Safety Teams – Citizens are partnering with deputies to help address code enforcement and other problems at the neighborhood level.

• Community Cleanups – Deputies partner with the community to clean debris from neighborhoods and canals to address blight and make neighborhoods safer.

• Community Safety Plan – While most strategic plans are created by law enforcement for law enforcement, CCSO takes the groundbreaking approach of drawing the community into the process. Working with the community, CCSO identified five areas of focus – youth programming, traffic safety, crime prevention, community outreach and communication. This process earned the agency the prestigious Innovation Award from the Economic Development Council of Collier County in 2010.

• Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety – A program that integrates location-based crime and traffic data to establish the most effective and efficient methods for deploying law enforcement and other resources.

• Second Chance Cell Dog Program – This partnership between CCSO, the Humane Society of Naples and the Southwest Florida Professional Dog Trainers Alliance teaches inmates how to obedience-train dogs to make them more adoptable. The program teaches inmates life and career skills along the way.

• Online Crime Reporting And Online Crime Mapping – Citizens wishing to report certain crimes in Collier County can now do so from home without meeting with a deputy, thanks to CCSO’s online crime reporting. Online crime maps help keep the community informed of what’s going on in their neighborhood. Both are available atwww.colliersheriff.org.

• Social Media Platform – A free iPhone app, CCSO2go, is the newest addition to the agency’s social media platform, which includes Facebook, Twitter, the Collier Star e-newsletter and ccso.tv.

• AED-Equipped Patrol Cars – Thanks to a partnership between CCSO and the American Heart Association, all agency patrol cars are equipped with a life-saving automated external defibrillator.

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