South Beach COP Expanded Services

ST. LUCIE COUNTY SHERIFF CITIZENS ON PATROL – SOUTH BEACH C.O.P. “REVITALIZED” AND NEW SERVICES AVAILABLE

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS CAR DRIVING SLOWLY THROUGH YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD OR SITTING AND WATCHING ACTIVITY IN ONE OF OUR PARKS AND WONDERED WHAT IT WAS?

cop-carThis is the patrol car of the South Beach Zone of District 9 of the Citizens Observation Patrol (C.O.P.), driven by trained volunteers from our community sponsored by the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office to help safeguard our neighborhoods through active citizen involvement.

Earlier this year, Shelley Beringhaus, who had led the District 9 Citizens On Patrol group in South Beach for several years passed leadership to Bruce Murray who has been working to revitalize the group, increase membership and participation, and restore some services that had to be discontinued because of low participation. Much progress has been made. Between May 1 and October 31, 310 volunteer hours have been contributed, 22officer response (FPPD and SLCSO) situations were encountered, 3 traffic safety issues involving stop signs were corrected, over 35 calls or flag downs by citizens or businesses for information, directions, or assistance were responded to, 3issues related to lift pumps or generators were dealt with directly with FPUA, close patrols were and are being maintained at several addresses at owner request. Several incidents of budding disputes over parking or animals in parks on busy weekends were quelled by simply telling participants that we could not resolve the matter but could have law enforcement on site in 6 – 8 minutes, if necessary, and then parking a little ways away and waiting while participants resolved the matter themselves. A previous member who had gone inactive was retrained and is again participating. One new member completed training in September. Four approved applicants are awaiting training in January.

We are pleased to report that our COP group is now trained and staffed to be able to support the following St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office services in South Beach. We hope you will take advantage of these opportunities. For more information on any of these programs, follow the on line instructions below or contact our South Beach COP leader, Bruce Murray, by phone at 772-285-1755 or by email at mailmurray@aol.com.

FirstCall Emergency Notification System – www.stluciesheriff.com
→ community →emergency notification system → alert registration form

The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office utilizes the FirstCall Emergency Notification System to deliver emergency and non-emergency pre-recorded phone messages to citizens. Messages may include information regarding neighborhood criminal activity, missing children, and other police, fire, or health or weather disaster warning information.

Cell phones, out of area phones, unpublished and unlisted telephone numbers are not in the FirstCall Emergency Notification System database. St. Lucie County citizens who want to be added to the database should fill out a registration form on line that will be automatically added to the Sheriff’s Office communication system. Citizens can have their phone numbers removed from the system by contacting the Crime Prevention Unit at (772) 871-5303. Information provided will be kept confidential and will not be released or used for any reason other than its intended purpose.

CLOSE PATROL AND HOUSE WATCH PROGRAM – www.stluciesheriff.com
→community → house watch request → house watch request form

If you are a resident of St. Lucie County and are concerned about leaving your home unattended for an extended period of time, you may enroll your home in the House Watch Program. During your absence members of the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office will watch your home so you can enjoy your time away. To get started complete the House Watch form on line. Please allow 48 hours to process your information. If your travel plans change during the course of your travels, please notify the Crime Prevention Office by calling 871-5398.

Although this program may help to prevent criminal activity the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office cannot totally guarantee the safety of your residence or be responsible for any damage incurred as such. Keeping your home safe requires a partnership

SAFEGUARD OUR SENIORS – www.stluciesheriff.com
→ community → safeguard our seniors (S.O.S) → S.O.S Questionnaire

Deputies often are dispatched to conduct welfare checks of individuals only to find, when they arrive on the scene, that the homes are secure and there is no response. If no other information is available, a decision must be made whether or not to forcibly enter the home to ascertain if the person is inside and in need of help. If the person were a participant in the Safeguard Our Seniors (S.O.S.) program, a telephone call to a key holder would provide quick entry into the home. A telephone call to a relative listed on the questionnaire may help to provide information on the participant’s whereabouts or if the person is likely to be in the home.

Vehicle information provided can be used to help locate the participant if he or she fails to return home. Participants who indicate that they have permanent disabilities may be contacted in the event of a hurricane or natural disaster to ascertain if they need assistance in evacuating. S.O.S. is available at no charge to any St. Lucie County resident wishing to join. However, persons with special needs may benefit the most.

St. Lucie County citizens interested in participating in the S.O.S. program must complete a questionnaire that can be obtained by downloading it on line or calling (772) 871-5303. Upon completing the questionnaire, it is to be mailed to the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, Attention: Crime Prevention Unit, 4700 West Midway Road, Fort Pierce, Florida 34981. Upon receipt of the questionnaire, a Sheriff’s Office volunteer will deliver and affix a decal to the front door of the participant’s home alerting emergency responders to the fact that information is available on file in dispatch.

ELDERLY AND INFIRM CHECK
Law enforcement officers are often dispatched for welfare checks on elderly or infirm individuals who have not maintained normal contact with friends or relatives, especially when the concerned parties are outside the immediate area. One time welfare checks can be arranged by calling the St Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, Crime Prevention Unit, at 772-871-5303, the non-emergency dispatch system at 772-465-5770, or the emergency response system at 911 if you are calling from the same local area. A 911 call made outside St. Lucie County may not be properly routed for an emergency response in the County and delays may result. A personal contact will be made with the subject and either the subject or law enforcement will contact the individual making the welfare check request.

Sometimes, relatives or friends may want a regular periodic check on the welfare of an elderly or infirm individual while there are no other appropriate guardians available for an extended time. Periodic welfare checks on the elderly or infirm can be arranged by calling the St Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, Crime Prevention Unit, at 772-871-5303. A personal contact will be made with the subject periodically and either the subject or law enforcement will contact the individual making the welfare check request.

VOLUNTEER FOR CITIZENS ON PATROL
We need more trained volunteers in our South Beach COP group to keep our patrol car on the road in the community as a deterrent to crime by being a visible presence warning someone is watching, to prevent crimes by noting and reporting unusual or suspicious activity, to report possible crimes in progress, to find and report road and traffic or other safety hazards, and to assist citizens in the legal enjoyment of all we have to offer in our community. We are looking for those able to donate 8 – 10 hours per month on a flexible, but regular, basis that meets your other activity needs. Seasonal residents are very welcome to apply. A four night, 16 hour classroom and two hour field training class for all applicants in St. Lucie County is planned for January. Space is limited to 25 attendees.

To find out requirements for participation, obtain an application, or for more information about volunteering or any of the programs described above, contact our South Beach COP leader, Bruce Murray, by phone at 772-285-1755 or by email at mailmurray@aol.com or call the Crime Prevention Unit at 772-871-5303 and mention you are interested in District 9 COP.