By Jill Fox
The City of Parkland has decided to keep the Broward Sheriff’s Office in place for the time being.
After a year-long independent review by the Center for Public Safety Management (CPSM), BSO will remain as Parkland’s police provider for two years past the expiration of their current contract on September 30.
CPSM was hired by the city in June of 2018 to conduct an analysis of Parkland’s options for police services. They chose CPSM for their experience in similar projects, having conducted more than 300 similar studies in 42 states.
“We are following their recommendation because they are the experts on this matter,” said Mayor Christine Hunschofsky in a news conference on Friday.
The study looked at contracting with another agency, creating a separate Parkland police department or retaining BSO. Their decision to keep BSO in place was based on factors such as an unfavorable national landscape for officer recruitment and retention, limited opportunities for promotion, a low call volume due to Parkland’s size and safe city ranking, as well as higher costs associated with equipment and offering higher salaries than BSO.
Their recommendation also included the addition of a City Public Safety Coordinator to be the primary point of contact for the city’s emergency response agencies. The new city position will focus on both the Coral Springs Parkland Fire Department and BSO to ensure they are living up to the city’s expectations.
“You can have one agency doing everything, but if there isn’t proper communication, that doesn’t work,” Hunschofsky said.
She said Captain Mulligan and Chief Babinec take public safety very seriously.
“These two work very well together, coordinating with one another and their communication is excellent.”
According to Captain Mulligan, when he gets out into the community, the response is always positive. He said BSO has done a lot to increase their presence in the community, like instituting educational programs and putting together an explorer program for young adults.
“It’s been about getting back out into the community and getting in touch with residents,” he said. “The feedback that I’m getting is that we’re on the right track.”
Chief Frank Babinec said, “At the end of the day, we’re just trying to provide the residents with good service, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”
- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She is currently a Senior Account Director at Lon Haber & Co., a leading full-service public relations firm. Fox worked at NBC Miami for eight years after graduating from the University of Miami. She lives in Parkland with her husband, Brian and two children.