Message from the Chief

FIREWORK SAFETY

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As the Fourth of July celebratory events approach, the Wilton Manors Police Department would like to remind all residents and visitors to practice safe fireworks handling. 

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) there were an estimated 11,100 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during the 2016 calendar year and 68 percent of the total estimated fireworks related injuries were during the 1-month special study period between June 18, 2016 and July 18, 2016. 

The most common injuries were to hands and fingers (33 percent); head, face, and ears (20 percent); legs (18 percent); eyes (9 percent); and arms (8 percent). About 900 injuries were related to sparklers and about 400 injuries were related to bottle rockets. Legal fireworks that comply with CPSC regulations can be safe when used responsibly, but all fireworks by nature are hazardous and can cause injuries. 

The CPSC recommends the following safety tips to prevent misuse that could lead to accidents: 

  • Children of any age should be supervised by an adult at all times when handling fireworks. 
  • Set off fireworks in a clear area, away from houses, cars, dry leaves, grass and any other flammable material.
  • Always keep a bucket of water nearby in case of an emergency. If a firework fails to ignite, pour the water on it to prevent it from igniting at a later time without awareness.
  • Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them in water and throw them away.
  • Make sure people and animals are out of range before lighting fireworks. 
  • Never light fireworks in a container, especially a glass or metal container. 
  • Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas. 
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place. 
  • Always observe and obey state and local laws. 
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting. 
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • ALCOHOL AND FIREWORKS DON’T MIX!

Additionally, while Independence Day is a time for celebration and fun, please remember to plan ahead and make smart choices, designate a sober driver or another safe mode of transportation, and lastly practice safe handling of fireworks. 


OUR POLICE OFFICER SUPER STARS 2017!


UCR

2017 was a special year for our community as we saw a reduction in our Uniform Crime Report (UCR) numbers (the seven (7) Part I crimes are: Homicide, Aggravated Assault, Sexual Battery, Burglary, Larceny, Robbery and Auto Theft).  The total number of Part One crimes is then factored against our 2017 population to give a “Crime Rate.” Our community’s 2017 number was 4.32 Part One Crimes per capita; the lowest UCR in the past 20+ years!  WMPD has many excellent employees all of whom contributed in 2017.  Here are five (5) employees we honored as our “super stars.”

Detective Patrick Newton was selected as our Employee of the Quarter for the 1st Quarter of 2017.  In February 2017 a high profile armed robbery occurred in the CANA area.  Detective Newton was assigned the investigation which included little evidence other than a grainy surveillance video.  With that snippet of information, Patrick worked his street sources and developed a suspect.  Within 48 hours two suspects were arrested and interviewed.  Confessions were secured and two additional suspects were identified and arrested within two days.  Detective Newton has also been a vital member of the Broward County Gang Task Force which has helped glean information regarding gang activity in our area.  This information has been shared with our entire Department in our continuing effort to curb the nexus of crime related to gang activity.  

Officer William Findlan was our Officer of the Quarter (2017 2nd quarter) based on his work ethic as he took the lead to train all of our employees on the use of NARCAN in our effort to mitigate the wrath of the opioid epidemic.  Our police department had several “saves” in 2017 as officers applied the NARCAN as trained by Officer Findlan and brought back victims who had overdosed.  In addition, Bill was awarded a Life Saving Award when he entered the canal waters just off the Colohatchee boat ramp to rescue two children who fell from their overturned wave runner and were struggling to stay afloat.

Administrative Coordinator Julie Kunz was selected as our Employee of the Quarter (2017 3rd quarter) for her unwavering support of the home we call the Wilton Manors Police Department.  In September 2017, as Hurricane Irma approached, she went into hyper drive as she planned for the many meals for all our troops for the time frames of pre-storm and storm landfall.  She coordinated the shopping, the preparation and the delivery of these meals. This was not an easy task with which to deal; especially in light of her having to care for her own family at the same time.  Then, she rode out the storm with the troops staying in the station to ensure the needs of the troops were serviced as they tended to their heightened patrol duties under difficult conditions.  Grateful cannot begin to summarize how we felt about Julie’s service during this challenging time.

Officer Michael Havemann was our Officer of the Quarter (2017 4th quarter) for his diligent work in keeping our community safe.  For example, during the late night hours of a December evening Officer Havemann was working a Burglary Suppression operation when he encountered two individuals as they emerged from an unlit area of a residential neighborhood.  He investigated and discovered four other individuals who were also prowling the area.  All six were arrested and post arrest intelligence confirmed that they were indeed “casing the neighborhood” for potential burglary targets.  No doubt Officer Havemann’s actions prevented some crimes from being committed.

Officer Fernando Arias was our (Officer of the Year 2017).  Knowing that our community values traffic safety, Officer Arias made it a priority to provide a balanced approach to education and enforcement of our traffic laws as in 2017 he wrote over 480 citations.  Traffic stops often lead to other criminal intelligence and that rang true in December when he stopped a car for a traffic violation.  A records check revealed the driver to be on probation out of Palm Beach County for a violent felony; with a restriction not to leave the County.  The driver was challenged on this and fled the scene (per policy, no car chase began).  Working with our Detective Bureau and the Palm Beach State Attorney’s Office, the subject was located, arrested and his probation was revoked.  Thus, our streets were made a little safer as a result of his work.  Some statistically facts which demonstrated his work ethic throughout 2017 were as follows:  81 arrests (28 of which were felonies); 157 field interviews (meaning he walked our streets and made contact with people) and over 270 offense reports (meaning he did not shy away from the paperwork).  Taken together, Officer Arias earned the respect of his peers who selected him as our Officer of the Year for 2017!

We congratulate the above five persons for their incredible work ethic and dedication to making our community a safe place to live, work and play.  They, along with the entire team we have at WMPD, make me so proud to wear our uniform!!

As always, the Wilton Manors Police Department is at your service day or night, 24/7.  Feel free to visit us in person at our Front Desk in City Hall, 2020 Wilton Drive.  The hours are Mon-Fri 7AM-10PM and Saturday 10AM-5PM; the lobby is closed on Sunday. Also you can use our website at www.wmpd.org for all the information you need to contact us or report code issues, etc.


Regional Dispatch / Non Emergency: 954-764-HELP (4357)
In Case of Emergency dial 9-1-1
If you see suspicious activity, please call Dispatch.
Regional Dispatch / Non Emergency: 954-764-HELP (4357)
In Case of Emergency dial 9-1-1