By: Jen Russon
The Broward Sheriff’s Office Tamarac district now has a liaison whose duty is bridging the gap between the local community and law enforcement.
Deputy Kaitlin Spehr, formerly with the Deerfield Beach district, joined Tamarac in December. Since then, she’s lost no time introducing herself around the community.
“I sense a disconnect between residents and deputies and feel like it’s my job to bridge that gap,” said Spher. “People worry they’re bothering us. I want them to know we’re here to help.”
So far, Spehr loves being in charge of Tamarac BSO’s social media.
She said their Twitter and Nextdoor apps are helping get the word out about initiatives, like ‘Story Time with a Deputy,’ and, once COVID-19 abates, a fun event with Tamarac teens.
Captain Jeff Cirminiello feels fortunate to have plucked Spehr from the Deerfield district, where she played a pivotal role in community policing.
“Deputy Spehr is going to lead a new community policing initiative, focusing on our vast business district. I know she has the talent and dedication to ensure this program’s success,” he said, adding they are on the same page regarding providing local businesses with the resources they need to feel safe.
“The captain and I have been working together on an initiative for the deputies to meet with businesses to build a strong relationship with them and get to know them face to face,” said the deputy.
One way for BSO to help both businesses and residents is by taking advantage of the Ring App. They monitor Ring to push out information to the community involving traffic issues or active scenes they may be working on.
“I created a questionnaire for the deputies, so they’ll have business owners’ contact information. We’ll be going door-to-door to ask about their safety concerns, telling them what to do in the event of an emergency,” said Spehr.
The 29-year-old always knew she wanted to work in law enforcement. Growing up in Coral Springs, Spehr graduated from Coral Glades High School, then went on to Broward College and FAU.
Criminal activity typically happens when businesses are closed, she said. Since it’s not uncommon for the owner to live out of town, having their contact information on hand is incredibly helpful.
“If we have their information right here at BSO Tamarac, it gives us quick computer access. We can get police on the scene quickly.”
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- Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.
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