Hollywood Police Chief Chris O’Brien spoke at a recent civic association meeting as part of an initiative to enhance community involvement with the police.
“We want to be involved in the community and establish strong relationships,” he said. “Our success depends on you.”
O’Brien said that the department has created an initiative to deal with violent crime over the past year, crime has been reduced.
Members of the department have found that often the worst domestic violent offenders are involved in other crimes. He also wants to enhance youth programs. “We need to keep kids engaged and to invest in our youth because they are our future.”
O’Brien said it is important to develop the department’s officers and to help them develop careers and be successful. The department is also looking to enhance technology including CCTVs and license plate readers.
The department understands the need to provide armed officers or guardians at each school and efforts are being made to work with the school system to make this a reality. The school district has approved the creation armed guardian positions so that every school can have an armed person to protect campus. State law requires that every school have an armed person on campus.
A major challenge is that there are about 250 to 300 law enforcement vacancies in Broward County and Hollywood is competing with other agencies for highly qualified personnel.