With 2013 now upon us, I would like to personally thank our citizens and community for giving me the opportunity to serve as Brevard County's next Sheriff.
I would also like to thank Sheriff Jack Parker for his tremendous support and faith in me to follow in his footsteps and carry on the rich traditions of the Sheriff's Office.
I am truly humbled by the opportunity to serve our county and words cannot express how proud I am to become a member of the Brevard County Sheriff's Office.
Almost daily, I am reminded that Sheriff Parker leaves very big shoes to fill, as his term as our Sheriff comes to a close. I can tell you first-hand that he and his staff have done an amazing job at creating what I believe is one of the strongest agencies in the country. I can also tell you that Sheriff Parker and I both strongly agree that the "big shoes" are actually filled each and every day by the nearly 1,200 men and women of the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, who work tirelessly to protect our community.
Throughout the campaign and during the transition process, I was often asked about the various crime trends and significant issues we will face in the coming years.
Without question, one of our greatest challenges is finding a safe balance between today's challenging economy and providing law enforcement services to our citizens.
Even with the recent reduction in the overall crime rate, violent crime, child exploitation, identity theft, fraud and illegal drugs all remain at alarming levels across the state of Florida.
While each of these crimes create their own concerns for our citizens' safety and well-being, recent events like the tragedies in Connecticut and Colorado create an entirely new dynamic for law enforcement and public safety to consider.
The future model of our agency maintains the same level of "immediate response" service that we currently provide and also places strong emphasis on the reduction of the crime rate through aggressive proactive measures.
In law enforcement, we must be proactive, and also reactive. By being proactive, we work to prevent a crime from ever occurring. We are reactive when a crime does occur and, most often, that involves response to the crime through investigation, prosecution and victim advocacy.
I believe that aggressive crime prevention is the key to a continual reduction in the crime rate in our communities.
By providing vital crime prevention information to our citizens, we empower them to help protect themselves and their families every day.
We all know that knowledge is power, and having current information to protect ourselves against the various crime trends, scams and other criminal activities is one of the most powerful crime-fighting tools we can give our citizens.
How we deliver crime prevention information is being re-channeled through the various mediums of today, reaching our citizens through social media, schools, civic organizations, homeowners associations, faith-based organizations and even our business community.
Our new model will utilize face-to-face presentations, web-based services, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, television, email and even telephone to deliver crime prevention information instantly to thousands of our citizens.
Additionally, by refocusing existing resources in a multi-pronged approach of prevention, investigation and prosecution, we are able to effectively combat crime and work closely with our State Attorney's Office to keep violent criminals in prison, where they belong.
We will continue to work with our local law enforcement agencies to develop partnerships that limit redundancy in investigations and provide jurisdictional coverage throughout the county. Criminals have no boundaries and travel from jurisdiction to jurisdiction committing crimes.
Partnerships like our G.A.M.E.O.V.E.R. Task Force combine resources and are an effective aggressive tool, saving taxpayers money by working together to target criminals.
As I am sworn in and take the oath of office, I am excited to become a member of such a great agency that professionally serves the citizens of Brevard County, each and every day, with passion and pride.
I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as your sheriff and as a proud member of the Brevard County Sheriff's Office.
Wayne Ivey is the new sheriff of Brevard County.