By Saraana Jamraj
For the past month, Tamarac, along with the rest of Florida, has been under a shelter-in-place order which has resulted in a sharp decrease in crime.
However, as the State awaits Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s announcement on April 29, about whether or not the order will expire, crime in Tamarac is slowly approaching the level it was at when quarantine began.
On April 22, Captain Jeff Cirminiello met with the city commission in an online meeting for an update and reported 91 BSO employees were infected with COVID-19. Eight have returned to work, fully recovered.
“We are very lucky. We have none of our Tamarac deputies or employees infected by COVID,” said Cirminiello.
The department is currently working at full capacity, and adapting to the need for social distancing by handling non-emergency calls via phone, when possible, adding that it’s been more convenient for some residents.
He said that it’s worked out well, and they haven’t received any complaints about handling non-emergency calls via phone.
Cirminiello noted that the shelter-in-place order led to a steep decrease in crime.
“When it started, we did see a quick decrease in overall crimes because people were in their house[s],” said Cirminiello.
Initially, Cirminiello said call volumes were down about 40 percent, but, as the city moves towards reopening, that decrease has thinned. Still, crime is below where it was when the city was fully opened.
“It’s crept up steadily—we’re at about 20 to 25 percent decrease, at this point,” said Cirminiello.
He said that the slight rise had included juvenile, vehicular, and burglary crimes.
They also had an increase in calls about people congregating at parks and playing organized sports, which they had to respond to daily.
As far as the need for masks and gloves, Cirminiello said that Broward Sheriff’s Office is fully stocked on PPE.
Their primary focus right now is on shopping centers—making sure that senior shopping hours are being adhered to, and hindering any increase in retail theft.
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- Saraana Selene Jamraj is a writer, activist, and a student pursuing her master's degree in mass communications at Florida International University.
She's currently the communications manager at The Salt Box in Parkland and has lived in Coral Springs since 2004.
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