Published on December 01, 2021
December is a busy time for most of us as we prepare for the holiday season. There is always so much going on that it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. I hope that we can slow down enough to enjoy these special times.
I have always loved this time of year because of the special holidays we celebrate during this month. It seems to me that no matter what is going on in the world, people are always a little kinder to each other. I hope we all make an extra effort to show some kindness to a stranger and enjoy our friends and family. So many people have endured so much this year, the smallest act of kindness will go a long way.
At the Police Department, we are getting ready for several yearly events that we participate in. Much of what we do helps families in need within our community. These events put the holidays in perspective for us and truly show the magic of goodwill and kindness. On December 7, we will participate in our Heroes and Helpers event at the Target located at 9600 Westview Drive. Our Shop with a Cop event will be on December 8, at the Walmart located at 3801 Turtle Creek Drive. Our Fill the Truck (with toys for needy children) event will be held at the Walmart located at 6001 Coral Ridge on December 11, from 9:00 am -12:00 pm. If you would like to donate a new toy for a child in need, please stop by. These are great events! We really appreciate these stores for partnering with us to help make some child’s holiday special.
Many in our department feel truly blessed to serve our community. Sworn officers, civilian employees and many of our citizens help us help those in need. We do this through our Toy Drives and our Angel Tree Program. Families in need are identified by our SROs and gifts are purchased for them. On December 14 and 16, we will be delivering those gifts. This is a special event and I can assure you that all involved get more from the smiles they receive than the gifts they provide.
On December 17, our department will participate in one of my favorite events, which is when we deliver gifts to Lion Star Academy, formerly known as “Abi’s Place.” Lion Star Academy is a nonprofit organization, dedicated to helping children with autism and other complex disabilities. Seeing the smiles on the children’s faces is truly heartwarming and something we are honored to participate in.
In addition to our community outreach programs, our officers will be working longer hours and special details, dedicated to keeping our citizens safe. We will be in our high-volume shopping plazas looking for vehicle burglars who prey upon shoppers who run from one store to the next to finish their holiday shopping. You can help us by never storing packages in plain sight and always remembering to lock your doors. We will also be in our neighborhoods looking for “porch pirates” who steal items left on your doorstep by delivery services. You can help us combat these thefts by reporting any suspicious activity or individuals in your neighborhoods. Remember you can “Make a Call and Make a Difference” by calling 911 for an emergency or (954) 344-1800 for non-emergency calls.
Before I close this message, I want to take the opportunity to discuss an incident that received a good deal of publicity. Our officers were called to a residence where a man armed himself with a gun and fired several shots inside the residence. Our Dispatch Center received the call and sent our officers who quickly established a perimeter and attempted to contact the subject. Our SWAT team and trained negotiators were also deployed. The situation was tense and could have turned deadly at any moment, especially after the subject exited the residence and fired the gun two more times.
The suspect threatened to kill our officers during the stand-off that lasted approximately eight hours. The preservation of life is paramount to our mission. Our officers exhibited true professionalism, courage, restraint, and patience. Our trained negotiators worked tirelessly to de-escalate the situation while attempting to resolve the incident without the loss of life.
I am happy to report that the situation ended peacefully. We are truly blessed to have dedicated and professional employees who work hard to resolve incidents like these without incident. That is always our goal.
Over the last couple of years, we have heard a lot about the need for police to de-escalate. I agree with de-escalation tactics and support them completely. We train often on de-escalation techniques. However, we need to understand that de-escalation is a two-way street. If this subject had shot at our officers, the outcome may have been different.
None of our officers want to take a life. I believe that all decent people feel that way. But our officers have a duty to protect our citizens and our community. They also have the right to protect themselves from people who mean to do them harm. I am very happy that we brought this dangerous situation to a successful conclusion, and I couldn’t be prouder of our officers.
In closing, I wish you all a very happy and safe holiday season. I hope you spend time with those who matter to you most and take some time to be kind to a stranger. If you haven’t already, please connect with me on Facebook @ChiefParry.
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