Hallandale Beach Fire Department Officially Merges With BSO
The Hallandale Beach Fire Department has officially been sworn in to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
At a ceremony held Tuesday in Gulfstream Park, Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony laid out his expectations for the department.
“It is up to us to perform well so we can build trust and so that you can look back and say ‘Yea, we made a good decision when we brought the Broward sheriff office over,’” he said to fire department members.
The Hallandale Beach department had suffered from disorganization and lack of funding for equipment and pensions, and department members began working with the city on a plan in 2017.
Brad Masters, district chief in Hallandale Beach, said the merger effects will be seen in the field.
“We’re going to be having higher staffing levels, we’re going to be having more training, we’re going to be having access the citizens of Hallandale Beach will have access to additional services provided by BSO," he said.
The merger had some critics. Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper said she thinks the contract costs the city too much. The $19.5 million merger will cost the city's taxpayers around $1 million a year.
Vice Mayor Sabrina Javellana said the money is well spent.
"I know we're gonna see better response times. We're gonna be part of an accredited agency, we are gonna see a safer agency with better training for our city, for our first responders." she said.
The city commission has 90 days to vote to terminate the contract, although it is unlikely they will have the votes to do so.