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"Celebrating Hallandale Beach First Responders" Mayor Joy Cooper Recognizes Dedication and Community Support

By Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper

August 17, 2023

This past Wednesday morning Commissioner Michele Lazarow, Commissioner Joy Adams and I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a breakfast meeting to recognize our first responders. This new quarterly event is being organized by the Hallandale Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and was cosponsored by Memorial Hospital and Oasis. Oasis is the brand-new State-Of-The-Art Mixed-Use Development located at 1100 Hallandale Beach Boulevard. It was such an honor to join in and recognize our Police Department Sergeant Jennifer Higgins and from Broward County BSO Battalion Chief Brian Powell.

It has been quite some time since the Hallandale Beach Chamber Of Commerce has done this type of event and we are just so happy they have taken the initiative to celebrate the fine men and women of our departments that protect and serve our community 24/7/365.

As Elected Officials, we get to know many of these individuals and truly understand that they not only respond to calls. They go over and above. They ensure that they take the utmost care in addressing critical incidents and the victims that have been involved.

It's not news to anyone that over the past five plus years there has been unrest around our nation involving Police Departments. I must say that the incidences that spark devastating riots are not without merit. Departments all have life and death incidents and challenges. It is up to the cities how they are addressed, evaluated and used to improve operations. Our Department for time due to Elected Officials pandering to the national movement to defund police had taken our department and City through very dark times. Luckily we are no longer that city.

For years Vice Mayor Annabelle Taub, whose husband is a police officer, continued to ring the bell about Crime and the regretful path our City had gone down placating or manipulating the defund movement. It is a new day in our City and our Commission is the most civil unified Commission our City has seen in over 10 years. We are fully united and support our Police Department 110%.

Over the past five years we have made a firm commitment to ensure we continue to invest in technology and continued training efforts for all our Police Officers. Under the leadership of new Chief Michel Michel and his Command Staff that is truly committed to old school community policing our Police Department is fully accredited. We are also on our way to fulfilling the goal of having zero vacancies.

This combined with the leadership of City Manager Dr. Earle, we have continued these efforts and I can say through the history of our City we have just gone through the best and most civil union negotiations. We have ensured our officers continue to receive everything they need to know to do their job successfully and receive the just compensation they deserve. This mandate is not simply about salaries, it is about parity and Police Retention.

Please don't get these comments wrong. Like every city we do have Crime. We have adopted a Zero Tolerance for Lawlessness. Every resident still has to be vigilant and partner with the City. We all need to do our part in reporting Crime and making sure that we are aware of our surroundings and secure our properties. Sadly, just like in the news there has been gang violence taking place. I assure our residents that the departments are working with Inter-Agency Task Forces to address these Crimes, make arrests, get Illegal Guns off of our street and bring these people to justice.

Sergeant Jennifer Higgins has been involved through the Detective Unit to solve some of these Crimes. According to department records she's made over 50 plus arrests and as recently 3 arrests that included seizing Illegal Firearms. Sergeant Higgins is an exceptional Law Enforcement officer and more importantly she is a community policing officer. She goes over and beyond serving our community. It's not unusual for her to have toys and gift items in her car to help people that are in need and victims. We commend her continued service to our community.

BSO Chief Master in charge of Hallandale Beach Fire Services was on hand to receive an Award for Battalion Chief Brian Powell. As our residents know we contracted this service out to BSO. We have many new officers and some old officers that are excellent public servants. These FireFighters and EMT’s or like I say “the boots on the ground,” serve our residents during the most traumatic circumstances. They help countless victims and save lives.

It's a bit ironic but I had a unique circumstance meeting with Chief Brian Powell for the first time a week ago. I had a freak accident in my home and my Husband was all the way up in Pompano for a meeting. I try to keep my personal life to myself as these articles aren't about me and actually this comment is not about me but the service the EMT's and Chief performed.

You see, their service didn't stop after I was taken to the ER. They continued to ensure that the nurse caring for my 93-year-old mom was reassured I was OK. Many residents are unaware but if needed we will do well checks. They went back to my home to make sure they were ok, and the house was made safe.

As I said many of our first responders go over and above their call to duty and we salute them. I also want to go on record and repeat what I've said in the past. While Commissioner Butler and I have vocally opposed the merger this opposition was never against any of these officers that put their lives on the line. It has always been about open and transparent evaluation and utilization of our taxpayer dollars. Currently there is a full audit and assessment being performed about Fire Services here in our City, so that discussion will be for another day.

As always please feel free to contact me anytime with your questions, concerns, and ideas to make our City a better place! I am available by Email at: Or: At my Office: (954) 457-1318. Or Cell/Text at: 954-632-5700. You can always visit my Facebook and follow me at Mayor Joy Cooper.

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