PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Rob Raymond, the owner of Dr’s Toy Store in Pembroke Park, said he called 911 to report a burglary and no one showed up for 40 minutes.
After an hour, Raymond said he decided to call the mayor who took it upon himself to drive to his business to investigate. Pembroke Park officials said Raymon is not alone.
“Unfortunately, we can’t depend on them,” Raymond said about the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
The Town of Pembroke Park has depended on BSO for law enforcement since the 1980s. Town officials said they are looking forward to firing BSO because taxpayers are not getting their money’s worth.
“The crime rate in the town is the third highest crime rate for small towns in the state of Florida,” said Interim Chief David Howard.
Pembroke Mayor Geoffrey Jacobs said the town pays BSO about $3.4 million annually to have BSO deputies patrol the town of about 6,260.
“Currently, our response time with BSO is 17 minutes where the national average is 6 minutes,” Jacobs said adding, “What the town is paying for is for them to actually patrol the community, to be here in the town, not just respond to calls, but to actually be here.”
The town commissioned an independent study to review the service. It showed BSO deputies assigned to Pembroke Park responded to nearly 60% of the calls and about 20% were from deputies assigned to West Park. More concerning, Jacobs said, are the other 21% of calls that went unanswered.
Howard is working on assembling Pembroke Park’s new police department. He wants to double the number of officers on duty without increasing the cost to taxpayers.
“Right now we’re looking at 21 officers total with an additional 10 in reserve and part-time roles,” Howard said.
Jacob hopes it will be in place by February, but Howard is dealing with delays.
“There are many things that have to be changed in all of these computer systems,” Howard said.
The town’s officials plan to continue the contract with Broward Sheriff’s Fire Rescue.
More data from the town’s study:
- Percentage of 911 calls in Pembroke Park responded to by deputies based in Pembroke Park: 57%
- Percentage of 911 calls in Pembroke Park responded to by deputies based in West Park: 22%
- Response time was 16 minutes during the winter
- Response time was 20 minutes during the summer