The revitalization of C. O. P. in South Beach was well established by the end of 2015. District 9 started the year with seven people on the roster, only three of whom were active. Four were dropped for inactivity and five were recruited and completed the sixteen hour classroom and three hour field training so we ended the year with eight active members, five of whom are seasonal. One additional new member has completed classroom training since January 1 and will be active soon. One member completed the Sheriff’s Citizen Academy and one is awaiting the start of the FPPD Citizen Academy as of the end of the year. An active recruiting effort has begun in anticipation of a training class in early April.
District 9 also field trained six members of the newly formed District 10 covering the south end of South Hutchinson Island, at which time the island was divided to move the District 9 boundary south to the power plant.
The eight active members contributed 1124 volunteer hours, kept the car on the road 290 days, including all holidays, and drove 9963 miles. This compares with less than 50 hours in 2013 and 436 hours in 2014, 413 of which were in the second half of the year after the revitalization began. The car was also in the MLK Day parade and the Holiday Parade. The First National Night Out Against Crime in many years was held successfully with about 40 South Beach attendees plus city and FPPD officials.
We had our first formal vacation or seasonal house watch requests in several years and reported one suspicious unauthorized vehicle on site and one discovery of evidence of suspected attempt at unauthorized entry. Informal close patrols were maintained on seven locations on request of individual owners. These are services offered free of charge and maintain a frequent inspection of your property. I urge you to take advantage of them.
Over 30 formal Crime Opportunity Notices were left with unattended valuables easily subject to theft. Several at risk situations were reported to Ocean Village Security or HOA Board members at other communities. The group located owners and reported car lights left on, open car running with nobody in attendance, turn and brake lights inoperative, license plate falling off, flooding on properties, etc.
The group made 78 911 calls that resulted in officer response, 15 by Deputy Sheriffs and 63 by FPPD, including multiple responding officers in several instances in accordance with protocols. There were more than a dozen instances in which direct contact was made with an officer in the immediate area to report suspicious activity, two with S. O. and the remainder with FPPD. There were two calls for Animal Control assistance and three calls directly to FPUA to report alarms on lift pumps or transformers and pole and guy wire damage.
The group dealt with 243 flag downs for information, directions, or assistance.
There were three medical issues dealt with, two involving beach injuries and one a subject down in a roadway, all of whom were assisted and given directions to walk in treatment centers when they refused EMS response.
C. O. P. members, acting as individuals, not as a part of C. O. P., in response to citizen contact worked to successfully obtain state installed pedestrian crossing signs in the street center at two busy and dangerous crosswalks in South Beach. They were supporters of the ATV fund drive. They also volunteer with other organizations including SBA Beach and Parks Committee Chair, SBA Code Enforcement Chair, Keep Fort Pierce Beautiful Committee membership, Sunrise Theatre, U. S. Coast Guard, U. S. Forest Service, Manatee Center, Treasure Coast Food Bank, Keep Fort Pierce Beautiful Committee, City of Fort Pierce Departments, and they serve on HOA Boards and other committees in the community.
I continue to believe that C. O. P. District 9, covering the area from the east end of the South Bridge to the power plant on South Hutchinson Island, and its individual members, are a valuable community asset and should continue to be supported.
Bruce A. Murray
Leader, District 9 C. O. P.