Last Thursday night, the Bartow Police Department held class number one of the 2014 Citizen’s Police Academy. Holding true to the tradition, Mr. S.L. Frisbie was the keynote speaker to start our year; and, as in years past, he beautifully outlined the beginnings of the Bartow Police Department.
While I listened to his unique blend of comedy and history, I just couldn’t help but think about where we are today and where we will be in the future. Not being originally from Bartow, my wife and I find the historical background of the city very fascinating. But, as police chief, my job requires that I also prepare us for the future. As Bartow grows, and it will grow, crime typically grows too.
Bartow enjoys a predominately safe environment in which to live, but as I have said before, property crimes continue to be a source of concern. Yes, crime has been declining in Bartow since 2009, but it can be and should be better. Crime prevention is every citizen’s job including the police department. If we were even willing to pay taxes high enough to afford one officer per resident, I still couldn’t guarantee that there would be no crime. Police officers do not possess super-human powers. We don’t read minds; we don’t know every single person who lives in every single house. So, how do we (both as citizens and police) work to prevent crime?
It takes a partnership between your police department and you. As we are approaching the end of January, some of us have made resolutions for the new year. This year, make prevention, self protection, and partnership with the Bartow Police Department a part of that resolution. Together we can make a difference, and a safer, more livable community should be on everyone’s list.
The Bartow Police Department’s Community Service Team has several ways to help you if you are interested in being a part of the future of Bartow. Give us a call at 863-534-5034. Let’s make this a team effort this year, and work together for the future of our community.