The Broward Sheriff’s Office Deerfield Beach District 10 command recently launched Operation B.O.L.O., a program designed to teach city employees how to recognize and report suspicious and criminal activity in the community. The unique partnership between BSO and the City of Deerfield Beach was developed to help address a recent spike in daytime residential burglaries and other property-related crimes, a trend that accounts for over half of the total crime in the city. Although the Deerfield Beach command has initiated several operational plans which resulted in many arrests, enlisting the help of in-the-field employees will greatly enhance those efforts.
Through this unique partnership, BSO will train city employees from the Environmental Services and Parks and Recreation departments on crime watch techniques, crime awareness, and how to report incidents. Once employees have completed the training, they may begin to participate, although participation is not mandatory. When an employee reports an incident, the information he provides will be conveyed in real time to on-duty deputies, who will immediately be routed to the scene. If an employee provides information that leads to an arrest, he or she will be eligible for up to a $100 reward. Operation B.O.L.O. is funded through a $5,000 allocation from the Law Enforcement Trust Fund (L.E.T.F.). Similar programs have been started in cities in Florida, Illinois, and Texas with much success.
According to Police Chief Pete Sudler, the success of the program will be measured by the amount of money paid out, and the number of crimes solved. At the first training session, Sudler encouraged employees to participate in the program. “This is your city—we need you to be our eyes and ears in the community. Let’s do this thing together,” he said.