happy-new-year-2014-from-mdspdAs we start to wrap up 2013, and gather together with our families and friends, we are thankful for everything we have and our accomplishments over these past months. The year 2012 ended in the wake of the terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut; a tragedy that brought our local community, under the leadership of Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho, to unite forces and establish a Roundtable Initiative against Youth Violence as we ushered in the new year. During the Roundtable, there were several discussions about the need for a more in-depth School Resource Officers’ course for law enforcement personnel. As a result, we were able to organize the Department’s first School Resource Officer training class that was hosted by our partners at the Miami Training Center. The course was very well received by all who attended. Through our partnership, Region 14 dollars were saved for other priorities by utilizing instructors from Miami-Dade Schools and the City of Miami. This collaborative effort assisted in the overall success of the Roundtable against Youth Violence. Due to the tireless efforts of the entire Department, the task was completed within the established timeframe.

The efforts of this department, as a whole, have contributed tremendously to our day-to-day success. We have been able to effectively manage the everyday tasks of the agency while adding the coordination of much needed training to ensure compliance with Florida Department of Law Enforcement mandates, and managing the 2012-13 Byrne Grant, the Field Training Officer Program, extra duty details, police vehicles, SOPs, and contracts.

Thanks to Superintendent Carvalho’s commitment, we have been able to obtain funding for new police vehicles for our School Resource Officers. We were also able to launch the Response Network Training, which provides a cost effective means of online training for our employees.

This past year, we identified and hired 21 new officers and 9 civilian employees. These new hires are in line with our policy of developing a highly educated workforce, with an added emphasis on candidates pursuing advanced degrees. Some of them have been previously employed by the District; many have worked as police officers, a few of which have command level experience. We also added the first two part-time police officers in the history of the Department. In conjunction with the extensive hiring process, we also facilitated two Preliminary Officer Standards and Training courses conducted for the new officers.

We are extremely proud of all these accomplishments, which have been carried out in support of our students and staff. This hard work is a great example to everyone and will enable us to accomplish all objectives, despite the limited resources across the District. Every member of this Department has demonstrated their professionalism and commitment to the overall success of the MDSPD. We take this time of reflection to thank each of you, and remind you that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. During our holiday hiatus, many of our employees joined forces to help needy members of our community by assuring they had a meal and some basic necessities to spend these days with their families and friends. Our officers visited several families in our area and provided gifts and toys.

As we begin 2014, we are continuing our drive to do the routine things well by ramping up our accreditation process. We will continue working together for the benefit of the students in our community. Your superb performance – and your cooperative spirit – is an incredible testament to your “Commitment to Excellence through Service.” Thank you for the ongoing support and keep up the good work.

We hope you were able to spend some days resting and enjoying family and friends, and we look forward to continuing our worthy effort.