BCSO’s 200-Strong Volunteers Are ‘Priceless’
By Wayne Ivey, Brevard County Sheriff // April 29, 2013
SHERIFF WAYNE IVEY'S MONTHY REPORT
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – As Sheriff, I’m asked daily about the amazing resources of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and how efficiently and effectively they are managed to accomplish our important mission. Of all the questions asked, this is the easiest to answer.
Most believe our important and impacting resources are the equipment, such as helicopters, vehicles, boats and specialized computer software.
Actually, the most amazing resource we have is the almost 1,400 men and women that proudly support our agency. Their abilities, innovation, dedication and commitment to protecting our community have made the Sheriff’s Office one of the most respected law enforcement agencies in the country.
Even more impressive is the fact that almost 200 are volunteers that collectively work thousands of hours each year to help further the mission.
Our volunteers bring valued life experience and expertise, serving in various assignments throughout the agency. They work countless hours serving the citizens of Brevard County without any compensation other than the pride in accomplishment of a job well done. In fact, some of our volunteers contribute as many as 1,000 hours annually in various roles of support.
Currently the Sheriff’s Office utilizes volunteers to facilitate our Reserve Deputy, Citizens On Patrol (C.O.P.), Chaplains and Faith Based Programs. It is almost impossible to detail the number of valued services our volunteers provide for our agency and community on a daily basis to help keep our communities safe.
RESERVE DEPUTIES ‘HAVE THE HEART’
One of the most visible volunteer programs that make this agency so successful is our Reserve Deputies. Reserve deputies are certified law enforcement officers that have attended either a law enforcement academy or a reserve academy that allows them to assist our agency as a deputy sheriff in law enforcement service roles.
The members of this unit are utilized in various capacities such as assisting with special events, Traffic, DUI enforcement, Aviation Unit assignments, Agriculture and Marine operations, Investigative assistance, Sex Offender verifications and Patrol assignments.
The Reserve Deputies are comprised of doctors, attorneys, dentists, county employees, business owners, retired military and retired law enforcement officers who enjoy serving and protecting our community.
In fact, the members of this unit not only work the various details for free, but have paid for their own training and background clearances. I once heard that volunteers do not necessarily have the time – they just have the heart.
Currently the unit has approximately 80 members, but is always seeking new applicants that are eager to assist with the core mission of the agency. Within the next month we will formerly introduce you to our new Mounted Patrol Volunteer Unit. This group of volunteers and their horses will assist at various events and activities to include searching for missing persons.
Another amazing volunteer program is our Citizens On Patrol (C.O.P.). These volunteers serve in many capacities such as Crime Prevention and provide significant operational assistance.
These important members routinely patrol your neighborhoods and attend Homeowners Associations to ensure our citizens are safe. They provide valuable Crime Prevention information and support our precincts through various assignments, and are always willing to take on any task.
Our C.O.P. Unit is a tremendous asset to our agency that creates a personal relationship and partnership between our citizens and agency. Their desire to assist is one of the driving forces behind the success of our volunteer efforts.
VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS FOR STUDENTS
A pilot volunteer program for students was recently implemented to assist in the attainment of community service hours required for Bright Futures Scholarship consideration.
This provides students an opportunity to volunteer hours needed to meet the scholarship criteria while gaining a unique perspective of the inner-workings of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.
These programs remind me of a famous quote, “Volunteers are not paid…not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless.” I am so proud of the tremendous cast of employees and volunteers that make your Sheriff’s Office so special. I truly can’t thank each enough for their service and commitment to our agency and the citizens of Brevard County.
If you would like to participate as a volunteer or need additional information regarding our volunteer programs please contact our Human Resources office at 321-264-5212.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey has been a law enforcement officer for over three decades. Sheriff Ivey is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has a Bachelor’s Degree from Daytona State College in Management and Supervision. Sheriff Ivey’s background in law enforcement is inclusive of Management, Criminal Investigations, Narcotics, Patrol Services, Public Integrity Investigations, and Corrections.
Prior to being elected in 2012, Sheriff Ivey served the citizens of the State of Florida as a Resident Agent in Charge for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. As a member of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Sheriff Ivey developed and created the country’s first ever statewide Task Force on Identity Theft. That same year the Task Force was named one of the top five most innovative programs in the country by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and investigated approximately 44 million dollars in fraud cases. Additionally, as a member of FDLE, Sheriff Ivey created the Child Abduction Response Team (C.A.R.T) that re-defined the way Child Abduction cases are conducted throughout the country today. The program was later selected as the most innovative program in the country by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and is now used as a nationwide model in the response and investigation of child abductions.
Sheriff Ivey has testified before the United States Congress on law enforcement related matters and has extensive experience in the area of Public Integrity Investigations. Sheriff Ivey was honored as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Special Agent of the Year (1996) and was also recognized by the Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for his Outstanding Contributions to Criminal Justice. In August of 2011 Sheriff Ivey was honored by the National Organization of Victims Advocacy for his work at the national level as an advocate of victim’s rights and protection.
Sheriff Ivey speaks regularly on topics such as Identity Theft, Crime in America, Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence, and Self Defense through Mental Preparedness. Sheriff Ivey firmly believes that Crime Prevention and Education are vital to reduce our crime rate and protect our community.