BSO RECEIVES HELP IN GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY

The Broward Sheriff's Office is deeply involved in supporting our community, especially during the holiday season. What many people don't know is that much of our generosity would not be possible without two volunteer organizations.

The Broward Sheriff's Advisory Council, Inc. and the Sheriff's Foundation of Broward County, Inc. are two local non-profit organizations that not only provide year-round support to public safety in Broward County, but also to our community. The generosity of these outstanding organizations is demonstrated through fundraising efforts to non-profit groups as well as the less fortunate to improve the quality of life for all Broward residents.

The primary mission of both the Broward Sheriff's Advisory Council and the Sheriff's Foundation of Broward County is to provide needed and compassionate support to the families of law enforcement officers and firefighters who are killed or become permanently disabled in the line of duty. This includes all law enforcement officers and firefighters from any local agency in Broward County, not just from BSO. However, their support does not stop there.

The Broward Sheriff's Advisory Council was established in 1985 and has since provided community support to a myriad of causes. Among a number of initiatives, it has supported organizations such as HANDY (Helping Abused Neglected Disadvantaged Youth) and has provided for the holiday feeding where more than 2,000 complete dinners were provided to needy and under privileged families in Broward County.

The Broward Sheriff's Advisory Council sponsored the 2013 Bicycles for Champions Christmas Extravaganza where 200 bicycles, helmets, locks and other items were provided to needy children in our community. This year's Bicycles for Champions event is growing even larger to provide more than 300 children with bicycles and other gifts.

The Broward Sheriff's Advisory Council has also supported BSO through the purchase of a much-needed canine that can sniff out unauthorized cell phones and other contraband that may be found in our county jails. The use of unauthorized cell phones by inmates that are smuggled into our jails allows them to facilitate the commission of new crimes, including attempts to intimidate witnesses who are scheduled to testify against them in court.

Most recently, the Broward Sheriff's Advisory Council assisted BSO by financing public service announcements that are directed at our children and their parents, including crime prevention tips and positive guidance to our youth. As I like to say, our youth are 100 percent of our future!

The Sheriff's Foundation of Broward County, established in 1999, has also been instrumental in giving support to those who need it most. It plays a vital role in the annual holiday Shop with the Sheriff, along with many other charity events, to ensure the neediest children have school supplies, clothing and nutritious meals. Members also contribute time and resources to the Anti-Defamation League, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Hispanic Unity, HANDY, 2-1-1 Broward and many other organizations to support educational and public awareness programs. Among its many initiatives, the foundation has an at-risk scholarship fund to provide scholarships to students with financial needs. Last year, it established the BSO Community Partnership Initiative, which supports grassroots community programs, including organizations that assist people experiencing homelessness and those with mental health needs.

Fire rescue and law enforcement personnel protect and serve the community, not for recognition, but because it is their job, their passion, their chosen field of public service. Likewise, both the Broward Sheriff's Advisory Council and the Sheriff's Foundation of Broward County provide essential services without expecting acknowledgement in return. I do want to commend both organizations for their commitment to all residents of Broward County.

I would also encourage you to learn more about these outstanding organizations by visiting their websites at browardsheriffsadvisorycouncil.org and sheriffsfoundationofbroward.org.

Please consider making a donation to the Broward Sheriff's Advisory Council or the Sheriff's Foundation of Broward County or consider joining as a member.

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