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Community Spotlight: Community Partnership Receives Award


On July 1, 2014, at the Florida Police Chiefs Association 62nd Annual Summer Training Conference in Boca Raton, Florida, the Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA) and Star & Shield Group, Inc. announced that the Bradenton Police Department and the West Bradenton Crime Watch were co-recipients of the “Operation Cooperation Award.” 

Bradenton Police Department Chief of Police Michael Radzilowski and President of the West Bradenton Crime Watch Tami Spyker were in attendance to receive the award based upon the Safe Kids Fair of 2013. The award recognizes outstanding community policing initiatives and partnership between the police department and private organizations. The “Operation Cooperation  Award”  provides  a mechanism  for  the  Florida  Police  Chiefs  Association  to recognize member agencies for their dedication and strong partnerships with private and public organizations. The Miami-Dade Police Department was also awarded for their efforts in decreasing illegal drug purchases from local pharmacies. 

Chief of Police Michael Radzilowski said, “I am very proud of the Safe Kids Fair of 2013, and the rapport that it has helped develop between the Bradenton Police officers and the residents.”  This project has provided safety education to over 350 children and 150 families in the City of Bradenton. Free bicycle helmets along with certified bike helmet fitters  were  provided  through  a  grant  from  University  of  Florida. The children attended a bike safety roundup to learn to be safe on the road. Free bike lights were given through the FDOT.  Some of the business partners were Starbucks, Target, Winn Dixie, Wal-Mart, Bealls Department Stores, Home Depot and Tropicana, as well as small business owners in the area who all offered contributions and/or giveaways. This was a true partnership of the entire community, which focused all of its efforts to keeping its smallest residents safe.

The Safe Place program provided a social worker who taught the children “stranger-danger” safety. Kid ID’s with onsite fingerprinting and DNA swabs were provided by the Society of Retired Special Agents of the FBI, with instructions for parents in case children went missing. The Westminster Presbyterian Church opened their doors and 11 acres  for  the  event. Thirty  two civic groups, 50 companies, 65 volunteers, and the Bradenton Police Department donated their time to the safety of the children of our City. Volunteers gave over 900 hours of service to the Fair, equivalent savings of $24,291 to the City of Bradenton. The cost of the entire event was only $424, due to donations of time and resources from volunteers, businesses and public safety.

The Second Annual Safe Kids Fair will be held on October 11, 2014, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3011 19th Ave West, Bradenton, 34205. The event is free to the public and open to children of all ages. If you are interested in becoming a vendor at the event or are a public service agency willing to donate your time, please contact Tami Spyker at BPDNeighborhoods@aol.com or (941) 677-3815.


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