Parkland officials announced Friday they have decided to keep the Broward Sheriff's Office (BSO) as its law enforcement provider. This decision was made despite the heavy criticism the sheriff's office faced after the Stoneman Douglas massacre.
The city of Parkland hired the Center for Public Safety to conduct a review of the city's policing options. The options included the city establishing its own police department, partnering with another municipality or continuing its current relationship with BSO.
After a yearlong review, the Center for Public Safety recommended a two-year extension with BSO, and the city of Parkland is taking its advice.
Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky said the city trusts the Center for Public Safety.
“We hired CPSM. They are the experts in this matter. They have done over 300 studies like this. We are following their recommendations,” said Hunschofsky.
Hunschofsky says the city will hire a public safety coordinator. This individual will manage the contracts and keep the agencies in line with the city’s expectations.
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Report was released this week and identifies several areas for improvement. BSO Capt. Chris Mulligan, of the Parkland District, says BSO is paying attention to the report's suggestions.
“There are some things as an agency we have to acknowledge. You listen to people. You hear what their issues are and then you try and address those issues,” said Mulligan.
Communication was one of the major problems during the Stoneman Douglas shooting. The radios did not work. Chief Frank Babinec, of the Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department, is certain that the failed radio system has been fixed.
Mulligan says BSO is working hard to increase community initiatives to feel more connected to the Parkland community and that it has received positive feedback on the community efforts so far.
The contract between the city and BSO is set to renew on Oct. 1.