By: Sharon Aron Baron
Attention all single law enforcement officers: Are you looking for the ultimate bachelor pad? How does rent-free sound? While we’re at it, how about we take care of all of the utilities too? And to sweeten the deal how about we throw in some free amenities like a workout room, pool, showers and tennis courts. Pets welcome!
Sound to good to be true? Welcome to Broward County’s best kept secret, until now.
Broward County Schools little known, yet long running Resident On Campus or ROCS program is the best real estate deal in South Florida and it’s all on the taxpayer’s dime. If you’re one of the lucky officers living in one of these trailers on school campuses across Broward County as part of this program, you may soon be faced with eviction.
Prompted after allegations of a “swingers” party at one of the trailers located on the campus of Nova High School in Davie, concerns have surfaced that law enforcement officers are no longer living alone in the trailers or may have passed them down to their girlfriends. Allegations have also surfaced that one brazen officer allows his dog to frolic in the campus swimming pool.
Created back in the early 1980s, this program allowed residents, retirees, school custodians, along with law enforcement officers to park their trailers in exchange for light security on campus. In the late 1990’s there were 42 ROCS program participants.
Fast forward to today, with the arrival of security cameras and School Resource Officers, the usefulness of the ROCS program has become obsolete, but many trailers are being sold to other law enforcement officers to live in, thus keeping the program going.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate use of facilities,” said Andrew Ladanowski Chair of Broward County Schools Facilities Task Force. “These trailers have taken valuable recreational space, and in some cases, created additional challenges to the facilities department when additional classrooms are required.
According to Major Robert Dinkel with Broward District Schools Police Department, there are still 32 ROC trailers at various locations throughout the district. Both Ladanowski nor Dinkel would give specific locations of the trailers for security measures, however Dinkel did confirm that none of them had ongoing leases.
Kevin Montagna, Deputy Chief with the Coral Springs Police said, “There is an officer who lives at one of the elementary schools in Coral Springs.” He said that it was the only school in Coral Springs that had this arrangement, that the Officer on Campus program, that was part of the Broward County School Police Special Investigative Unit, was discontinued several years ago.
The Facilities Task Force will be meeting on November 14, where they are hoping to get answers about the validity of the program.
Said Ladanowski, “The only beneficiary I see, is the freeloader living in these trailers.”