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OUR POLICE FOUNDATION: Expectations
FOUNDATION TO FUND NEW BEACH PATROL VEHICLE
At its April meeting of the Board of Directors, Chief of Police Brian Smith discussed with the Foundation the need for a replacement beach patrol vehicle for Juno Beach.
The current four-wheel drive all-terrain vehicle is nearing its life expectancy and showing serious mechanical issues. In addition, the salt air and sand on the beach is causing severe rusting and metal corrosion which is beginning to affect everything from the lifespan of the vehicle, to maintenance practices and the power needed to operate safely.
Our Juno Beach police officers are deployed to provide a proactive police presence on the beach and at the pier day and night throughout the year. They patrol both in the ATV and on foot and are given specialized training on how to handle problems on the beach. Their primary duty is to enforce all Town, County and State regulations, laws, and ordinances and to assist the public and lifeguards.
The officers are proud to serve our resident and visitors, but it is important that they have the proper equipment, in this case a fully operational vehicle, to do their job effectively and efficiently.
While the specifics of the new vehicle are currently being evaluated by Chief Smith and his team, the Foundation has agreed to fund the purchase with a Grant, using funds donated to the Police Foundation by local business and private sector donors.
Look to see a new vehicle patrolling the beautiful Juno Beach oceanfront very soon.
FOUNDATION FUNDED DRONE NOT FLYING... YET!
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic and the shutdown of various companies, our police officers have not yet been able to take the test and receive their authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
This two-hour written test allows applicants to demonstrate that they understand the regulations, operating requirements, and procedures necessary to safely fly a drone. By passing the “aeronautical knowledge exam” a Remote Pilot Certificate is issued by the Federal Aviation Administration and is valid for two years.
So, while our police officers have taken all the required classes and been busy training on the intricacies of safe flying, they have not yet been able to receive the required certification to fly.
But as things reopen, Officers will shortly be taking the test and you will soon be seeing aerial patrols over the beaches and open areas of Juno Beach.
DETECTIVE COPPIN NAMED OFFICER OF THE YEAR
Congratulations to Detective Kevin Coppin who was named as this year's "Juno Beach Police Officer of the Year."
Detective Coppin began his law enforcement career in 1988 when he became an Officer with the West Palm Beach Police Department. He retired in 2012 with the rank of Captain. After obtaining a law degree, Kevin decided to return to law enforcement and joined the Juno Beach Police Department in May of 2019.
In his first year with our agency, Kevin has investigated nearly a dozen major cases, many of which ended in an arrest and are now closed. Several of those cases involved financial fraud, stolen checks or credit cards and others included auto burglary, assault and aggravated battery.
In all cases, Detective Coppin worked diligently and professionally and for his efforts Chief Smith has named him as the Officer of the Year.
Well done Detective Coppin! The residents, business owners and visitors to the Town of Juno Beach are very appreciative of your efforts and hard work!
BEACHES REOPEN - POLICE ROLE SHIFTS
After being closed for nearly two months, the beaches of Juno Beach reopened on May 18th with no major restrictions – just a requirement that gatherings be no more than 10 people and non-family beachgoers must stay at least six feet apart from each other..
Earlier restrictions placed by an Executive Order from the Florida Governor due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic were lifted by a subsequent amendment.
Sunbathing, swimming, and the Juno Beach pier are all now open
With the amendment, the role of our Juno Beach police officers has shifted from keeping the beautiful beaches of our town from being closed and empty – to being open and safe. Officers continue to make routine patrols on the nearly two-miles of beachfront in Juno Beach. But they are now more focused on reminding people about social distancing, health, and safety – and asking those disregarding the rules to leave.
Echoing other law enforcement leaders, Juno Beach Chief of Police Brian Smith said “We are allowing people have their space, and by and large they are being compliant, doing the right thing and making an effort. My sense is that beachgoers are happy to get back on the beach and are abiding by the rules.”
RADIO STATION RECOGNIZES JUNO BEACH POLICE OFFICER
On Friday May 22nd, radio Station 850AM - "The South Florida Morning Show" made note of a Community Outreach event involving a Juno Beach Police Officer. Have a listen to the tape about the Officer's beach interaction with one of the radio stations broadcasters.
Great job Officer Gus Chavez... and all of the men and women of the Juno Beach Police Department!
COFFEE WITH A COP
Unfortunately, the ever popular “Coffee With A Cop” program that has taken place on the first Wednesday of every month continues to be temporarily halted. The monthly event, sponsored by the Town of Juno Beach, will hopefully resume in the near future.
The event typically brings out a large crowd of residents, business owner and interested parties to meet Chief of Police Brian Smith and many of his officers. The Chief updates the participants on recent crime statistics as well as areas of concern. He then answers any questions that the attendees may have. We hope to see this program restart in the not too distant future.
POLICE VOLUNTEERS RETURN TO DUTY
After a two month hiatus, Major Paul Fertig has announced a restart of the well-received Juno Beach Citizen Patrol Program.
Effective June 1st, our eight police volunteers who assist the agency with non-law-enforcement task including patrols have all agreed to pick up where they left off before the pandemic.
Chief Smith and Major Fertig are shown here as the first patrol heads out on the newly purchased, Foundation funded, Police golf car. All are wearing masks because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. We should all assume that we are silent carriers. In addition to thinking about how to protect ourselves, we should behave and act in a way to protect others from us.
In addition to highway, parks and beach patrols, the volunteers assist with numerous administrative tasks which free up sworn officers to perform their main responsibility which is keeping the Town of Juno Beach safe.
“We’re thrilled to have our volunteer back” said Major Fertig “and we appreciate very much the services they provide for us." Individuals interested in becoming a police volunteer should contact Major Fertig at (561) 626-2100.