Who Oversees Police Activity in Brooksville?
I am not going to spend time rehashing if eliminating the Brooksville Police Department was a good idea or not as it is already been done so now we have to deal with what we have now.
Having the Hernando County Sheriffs Department gives the City of Brooksville a little less control as we are just contracting with them. Basically we pay the Sheriffs Department to provide policing services to the City of Brooksville. My position is that this delegation of authority should be subject to local community oversight. Let me explain my thoughts on this.....
Don't get me wrong, I have not heard of any issues with the Sheriffs Department and any of the citizens of Brooksville. How can we as a City make sure that we don't have any issues now or into the future?
If there is one single incident between the Hernando County Sheriffs Department and a citizen that could be the start of issues that will be hard to overcome. Afterall, all it takes is one incident for people to question if the entire Sheriffs Department is representing our best interests in the City of Brooksville. It's happened in several other communities all over the United States as we have all seen on the nightly news.
So, how do we prevent this from happening in our City? Here is what I am proposing.
When elected, I propose the creation of a volunteer Citizens Oversight Board to oversee and review policing activities within the City of Brooksville. This citizen oversight board would regularly report directly to the Brooksville City Council with their findings and recommendations.
What I envision is a eleven member board consisting of appointed volunteer community leaders and representatives of various interests within the City of Brooksville. Clergy, black community leaders, business, LGBTQ community, homeless activists, elderly, and other interested parties then will review and audit police activities within the city limits as well as meet regularly with the Hernando County Sheriff or his representative to facilitate an understanding of what the City of Brooksville wants and needs in regards to our community policing.
I believe that this will foster an environment of understanding and good will that could be an example of best practice for community policing for other communities as well as the City of Brooksville.
Good community policing begins before there are any issues, and especially works well when the community is actively engaged.
Let me know, is this something that you would like to see happen in Brooksville?