Gun Violence, Homeless And Keeping Our City Clean
By Hallandale Beach Mayor, Joy Cooper
September 14, 2023
It is such an honor to serve as Mayor of Hallandale Beach. I have always served with the commitment and belief that I am here to help every resident and stakeholder which means being available every day no matter what. My Dad was a Public Servant. He served as the Chief Chemist for the State of New Jersey. He taught me a very important life lesson. No matter what, return every phone call. Even if it is just to confirm to the caller you received it. Let the person know you value them and receive the message. Let them know you will follow up the next day.
With today’s instant technology it still holds true. Part of being successful is showing up and making sure you are listening. More importantly follow up. Over the past months there have been three issues that have been reoccurring in online chats, news and emails. Gun violence, Homeless and Right of Way maintenance. I have heard, as I am sure my colleagues have too, we are listening.
These issues are not readily solved by the simple action of the City. As a matter of fact, they do take multiple individual agencies and yes community involvement, This does not mean they do not need to be addressed. All are important to the quality of life of our community.
Over the past year and a half there have been far too many shootings in our City and the surrounding area. Our City has installed Shotspotter Technology within our borders. This Technology tells us that within seconds a gun was shot off. Our Police Department can respond.
What is alarming is that if we correlate this with calls to Police, only a small percentage, less than 10% get reported. That means people are not reporting crime. PD is showing up and sadly there are no residents willing to stand up and report. This hinders our ability to find criminals and solve crime. More importantly, prevent the further loss of life.
This fear factor is real. We get it. As a victim of an armed robbery, I personally get it. That is why we have an anonymous tip line. I requested it over 15 years ago. It is not tied to 911 nor Non-Emergency Numbers. It is a direct line to leave tips at: (954) 457-1404. As a matter of fact, I named it “1 one call 4 for 0 our 4 miles.” WE need your help! Not just to fight crime but to prevent crime. Call it and leave a message!
As a City we cannot change Gun Laws. As a City we can only advocate for Common Sense Laws. Residents, parents and even children need to know if we all work together we can help save lives. The school board is also working on this issue. We are not just fighting gangs, we are fighting bullying and threats on Social Media. This new Technology has made violence even worse.
They are promoting a safe way to report Cyber Bullying. Parents need to get involved with following their children’s tech activities. There is a great amount of information on the BCPS website. They have multiple ways to report safety issues. They also are having meetings to gather input on school issues. As Mayor, on behalf of the Commission I have spoken up at the Board Meetings on safety including Gun Detectors. Parents need to attend meetings or at least follow the meeting and share comments on agenda items. The meeting for our area is at Sheridan Technical School at 5400 Sheridan Street, Hollywood, Florida 33021 on Wednesday, September 27th, 2023 at 6:00 p.m.
The Homeless issue is extremely complex. Our department now has a community officer working on this issue. I just had the chance to attend the US Conference of Mayors Leadership Meeting as Trustee where there was one day committed to addressing this Humanitarian Crisis. Every city large and small has reached a turning point with this issue.
I do not want to oversimplify but it comes down to three silos; homeless that have had hard times and are looking for help and can handle rehousing. Drug Addicts that need treatment before they can even deal with being in housing and the extremely Mentally Ill that need Mental Hospitals then continue Treatment or Permanent Mental Hospitalization rather than being put in jails.
I want to let our residents know that we will continue to work with all our county and state partners on the issue. The one message I did take away was that leaving individuals on the street is definitely more inhuman than forcing them to get help. This was not for elected officials but from individual testimony. Survivors on the streets and those helping get individuals out of camps.
Our rights of way, the property between the road and private property owners, are to be maintained by the property owners. I believe that many people simply do not understand these rules. As a City, we make sure properties are clean through the Code Enforcement Process. Not all property is maintained by the City. Our roadways are City, County and State.
This is where residents can help. If you see trash, report it on our City's App MyHB. The App provides us with real time complaints. Our City will continue to address the cleanup of our areas of responsibility, but this is a shared effort.
The Final Budget Hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, September 26th, 2023 at 5:05 p.m. at City Hall located at 400 South Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, Florida 33009. Every resident is encouraged to come out to participate or watch the meeting live.
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 at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or at: email@example.com. On my Office Number at: (954) 457-1318. On my Cell/Text at: (954) 632-5700. You can always visit my Facebook and follow me at: Mayor Joy Cooper.