The meeting was called to order at 11:00 a.m. by President Bob Rozema.
Board Members present: Rozema, Ieraci, Berkowitz, Glickfield, Guttman, Alfano, Casier, Drews, Ellis, Freismuth, Gilligan, Hamaker, Leeds, Lodwick, Mayer, McBride, Rossi, Songer, Vanek and Zolubos.
Approval of Minutes - The minutes of January 19, 2006 were approved.
Old & New Business - President Rozema introduced and welcomed Fort Lauderdale Assistant Police Chief Steve Robitaille (Assistant Chief of Operations-Uniform Patrol Force) and Fort Lauderdale Police Major Mary Negrey (in charge of District I)
Chief Robitaille shared the following:
- The Department has gone through many changes, relating to both crime and staffing issues.
- During the first six months of 2005, FLPD resources were monopolized by preparations & planning for the meeting of The Organization of American States General Assembly followed by three hurricanes and the tragic death of a police officer.
- Robitaille discussed hiring. Staffing/recruiting is a universal problem. We are recruiting throughout the nation. FLPD has almost met goal of recruiting 70 officers per year to offset attrition. Despite having 30 trainees, they currently still have 20 vacancies. The Assistant Chief explained the Department’s hiring requirements, training, recruiting, salaries, etc. By spring, 30% of officers will have had less than 2 years experience. This presents an opportunity to mold the future work force. The Department has 515 sworn positions, plus 200-300 civilian positions (support staff).
- Spoke to Part I crime issues – major crimes. The flexible Tactical Impact Unit targets violent crime and burglary. COMPSTAT meetings are currently held each week. This has proved to be a successful strategy and opens up dialogue and promotes accountability. The result of these new organizational strategies has exceeded expectations. As compared to 2005, the crime rate has been reduced by 5%. The January COMPSTAT meeting confirmed that this trend is expected to continue.
- While the Homeless issue is complicated, Major Negrey said that the affidavits received from each Association have been successfully utilized to help reclaim some of the Galt Mile’s benches. Two additional officers were added to Fort Lauderdale’s Homeless Outreach Program, considered to be one of the nation’s finest and most successful programs for assisting the homeless.
- Although mostly preventable, vehicular invasions and thefts have been one of the Galt Mile’s most prevalent problems.
- When asked if FLPD officers are available to give crime prevention presentations at individual Association meetings, Chief Robitaille said “yes.”
- The Assistant Chief is proud of the response by the department and the city to the hurricanes. Also, they received excellent support from neighboring departments.
- Major Negrey discussed the progress of the Department’s traffic and noise initiatives. To reduce noise pollution from vehicles and motorcycles racing along A1A, officers have issued 1382 citations to date. They also issue equipment violations for Bikes with no pipes or straight pipes. Some of the current after-market pipes on motorcycles, etc. are almost indistinguishable from legal mufflers. Inadequate ordinances make it difficult to enforce noise problems/equipment violations. Major Negrey has suggested the passage of a “revving” ordinance to combat traffic noise.
Click Here for full report about Assistant Police Chief Steve Robitaille’s address to the Advisory Board. [Editor]
Since our issues are different than single family homes, is there a program for condos in place for heightened police visibility? Major Negrey referred to the effectiveness of the trespass affidavits that were accomplished as a result of a previous meeting.
Pio explained participation problems in the extra security program we are considering, despite its costing only $20 per unit per year. Four buildings have not as yet agreed to participate, two in strategic locations. Pio asked Major Negrey if she would be willing to speak to those holding up the process. Chief Robitaille responded that while he is in favor of anything that puts more officers on the street, endorsing additional payments to officers might look like a conflict. However, if the police could remain neutral and simply offer factual support, a meeting was possible.
Pio also discussed the planned 2006 CA Day (Community Association Day) event in Tallahassee, scheduled for March 15th.
Opus South - Still on the table, trying to work out a deal with readjustments on original plans – twin towers at intracoastal will remain.
Il Lugano - Ralph Hamaker - The project is finally above ground level – they are still pouring concrete. City has given approval to work from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, if necessary.
Denny’s - Bob Rozema - Developer may build a “boutique hotel” with 155 rooms on this site.
Beach Renourishment - We are currently in the mandated monitoring period.
Galt Mile Web Site – Eric Berkowitz - December Hits: 623,557 – 25,010 first timers
New articles include: 1) Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff’s summary of the December Special Legislative Session and her commitment to helping address the growing insurance threat. 2) Vice Mayor Teel’s response to her recent unopposed re-election victory. 3) A summary of Assistant City Manager Kathleen Gunn’s address to the Advisory Board in January. 4) The progress of Police Chief Robert’s promised Galt A1A traffic Initiative. 5) The inaugural Fort Lauderdale A1A Marathon.
Correspondence - Reviewed
Galt Merchants - Marilyn Leed’s gave report, such as needing community support to possibly paint buildings in pastel colors.
Treasurer’s Report - Leah Glickfield reported $16,171.37 in our Treasury.
Next Board Meeting - THE NEXT REGULAR BOARD MEETING WILL BE HELD ON THURSDAY, MARCH 16, 2006.
Meeting adjourned at 12:40 P.M.
Fern McBride, Assistant Secretary