FLPD expands community outreach
The recent Neighborhood Action Walk in Middle River Terrace Park was a crime walk on a truly grand scale. Members of four neighborhood associations in the city’s northeast section began gathering in the park an hour before noon, about the time the Fort Lauderdale Police Department set up what they call their “community outreach.”
The roughly 100 residents in attendance, driving in from South Middle River, Lake Ridge and Poinsettia Heights, were showing up for an event organized by Mary Pat Rhodes, head of The Community for a Better Lake Ridge.
“I started work on this in December,” Rhodes said. She had organized about 10 monthly crime walks in her neighborhood, and this time sought something on a grander scale: a solidarity march.
The neighborhoods involved border each other and, with a population of nearly 20,000, make up a big chunk of the city.
“There’s strength in numbers. Instead of just fighting our own battles, why not get everybody involved?”
The four neighborhood effort started on Northeast 13th Street, went all the way to Northwest Third Avenue and wound through the neighborhood before returning on Dixie Highway. An officer on horseback and a squad car, roof lights flashing, led the way.
Capt. Robert Dietrich, District One evening shift captain in the FLPD, introduced six officers as the Neighborhood Action Team.
“This is a new unit,” Dietrich said. “We are going to be assigned to address concerns individual homeowners associations have. We’re updating our schedule now to include the meeting dates of all the different associations. We’re going to be attending.”
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