The City of Fort Lauderdale Police Department is guided by a mission statement that invokes a strong partnership with the community. Its various divisions, departments, and bureaus strive to reduce crime and the fear of crime in our community.
The Operations Bureau is the entity responsible for the physical 24-hour delivery of Police services throughout the three Police districts of the City. A total of 409 individuals comprise the Operations Bureau. In addition to the Assistant Chief and three Majors, there are nine shift captains, one support captain, 38 sergeants, 315 sworn officers, 42 public service aides and support staff.
The Bureau operates in a three-tier system:
- The guidance and leadership of the Assistant Chief directs the Operations Bureau through the efforts of three Majors.
- The second tier is made up of the Majors who are responsible for the delivery of Police services in three geographical districts composing the City of Fort Lauderdale.
- Finally, the Operations Support Division, Reserves and Community Policing Initiative complete the operational makeup of the Bureau which are staffed in large by the Patrol Division.
District I covers primarily the northern and eastern sections of the City, including the Beach and all areas east of the Intracoastal, and those areas north of Broward Boulevard generally east of a line along the FEC Railroad tracks/North Dixie Highway (NE 4th Ave). It includes the US-1 Corridor and the shopping complexes at the Galleria and Coral Ridge Malls.
Fort Lauderdale Beach is the major tourist destination in Broward County and draws thousands of tourists from all over the world. As popularity of the Beach area increases, special events continue to gravitate to the area including Air & Sea Shows, the City's Fourth of July Spectacular, the Winterfest Boat Parade, and the annual Beach Ball event. The Beach is also home of the world famous Hall of Fame Swimming complex, which features numerous events including international swimming and diving competitions.
This is the Central and NW District, encompassing those areas north of Broward Boulevard and west of the FEC/N Dixie Hwy line, including the Executive Airport and its’ surrounding community.
The Sistrunk Corridor continues to provide a significant entranceway to the City of Fort Lauderdale and is the subject of ongoing improvements. The CRA has acquired various parcels along Sistrunk Boulevard to create a viable mixed- use commercial corridor with a view to creating a “Midtown Mainstreet” and Business District of retail, office and residential redevelopment. The commercial areas surrounding the Executive Airport also continue to expand and develop.
District II hosts the city’s largest park, Mills Pond, and is also home to an African American Research Library and Cultural Center.
District III comprises the southern portion of the city and includes everything south of Broward Boulevard and west of the Intracoastal, apart from the Las Olas Isles area, extending south to the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport and westward out to US 441.
The District includes the Downtown area, the Arts and Science District, and the entertainment areas of Las Olas Boulevard and the Riverwalk. Together with the large number of Government and Business Offices located within District III, this results in large a influx of people into the area on a daily basis.
Large portions of District III are residential areas offering unique policing challenges in very diverse neighborhoods.
Majors Directing the Operations Patrol Division
The Operations Patrol Division, is the division of street side uniformed officers who are most visible. As the largest division in the agency, it is divided among the three geographic districts, each commanded by a District Commander.
The Majors direct the officers of the Operations Patrol Division to provide the most basic of law enforcement tasks, as well as perform operations in maintaining a safe community including:
- responding to all calls for service,
- conducting preliminary investigations,
- crime control and improvement of neighborhoods
- action planning and coordination of multi-divisional law enforcement operations,
- coordination of public safety at special events,
- service delivery in response to action alerts, community concerns and problem areas
- communicating Police activities and information of interest to civic groups, City government, and individuals actively involved in the community.
The number of officers allocated to each district is determined by a variety of factors including: number of calls for service, number of arrests, geographical barriers, crime factors, civic organizational boundaries, and special needs.
Based on the needs of the community, each district is allotted specific resources including shift captains, sergeants, uniformed patrol officers, motorcycle officers, and public service aids. Additionally, each district is supported by all other Divisions and Bureaus within the Police Department, in their efforts to provide the best possible service to the community.
In order to put the number of officers and their volume of work into perspective, we submit the following:
The Fort Lauderdale Police Department responds to approximately 200,000 calls for service. The Department also records over 17,000 arrests, while issuing over 60,000 traffic citations annually.
Some of the more notable special events the Patrol Division has provided public safety for include the Air and Sea Show, the Winterfest Boat Parade, the Sistrunk Festival and David Deal Playday. Some of the other events in which the Police Department is an essential element are the Oktoberfest, the Las Olas Art Festival, and the Promenade.
The Fort Lauderdale Police Department's Reserve Police Officer program allows citizens, with full-time occupations in various fields, to work as part-time officers with the agency. These individuals are fully certified part-time police officers with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and are empowered to make arrests, issue traffic citations, and investigate calls they may be dispatched to during their tour of duty.