President Bob Schulbaum (at lectern) with the Alliance Security Committee (VP
Mort Mazor standing to the right and Director Stan Goodman seated to the right)
and other distinguished members of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
On March 14, 2013 the Alliance presented a Security Seminar which included a
domestic security update. The Palm Beach
County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO) explained aspects of Strategic Intelligence
including the Fusion Center, Business Partners Against Terrorism,
fighting organized crime, Bolita cases, and subversion groups. The
audience of community leaders learned of a new intelligence-seeking "App"
which will be coming soon for smart phones to provide the public with the
opportunity to help the PBSO identify suspicious activity. The Vizcaya Community hosted this event.
MEMBER COMMUNITIES HOST THE SECURITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETINGS: The Photo below was taken at The Lakes of Delray, host for a Homeland Security meeting.
Pictured from Left: PBSO Deputy R. Duran; Alliance Director Charles Laufer; PBSO Lt. P Ebel; Alliance 1st VP Mort Mazor; PBSO Capt. J. Calise; Alliance Pres. Bob Schulbaum; Anti-Defamation League Regional Director Andrew Rosenkranz; Detective Ryan Miller. **************
MARCH 18, 2011 PHOTOS by Mort Mazor, Alliance VP Communications
Lt. Pete Ebel
Chief Deputy Michael Gauger with Alliance President Bob Schulbaum
K-9 Sheriff's Deputy Luis Ledbetter with his bloodhound "Clue."
Michelle Damone, Executive Dir. Project Lifesaver
P.B.County Sheriff's Dept. Helicopter Pilot Dave Clark
MARCH 18, 2011 SECURITY SEMINAR Report
By Stan Goodman, Director
President Bob Schulbaum welcomed Alliance community representatives, and the representatives from the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Department. He thanked Alliance Vice-President Mort Mazor for chairing the event. Mort told us the focus of the meeting was the safety of seniors. A list of the most common types of scams used by thieves, all of which were perpetrated in our district, was prepared by Detective Mark Hoffman and distributed. Some of these are: the relative in jail scam, the lotto scam, the timeshare recovery scam, and the pest control scam.
Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Pete Ebel told us that crime in our area is down from last year. Although stolen vehicles remained at six, business burglaries are down 50% and residential burglaries are down 26%. They have increased directed patrols, (helicopters, boats, patrol cars in specified locations etc) by 13%. He stressed that if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is a scam. He said that drug arrests are up 33% this year. He asked us to turn in our expired medications when the department is collecting them, and definitely not to flush them down the toilet as they will wind up in a water supply.
Chief Deputy Michael Gauger’s topic was the Sheriff’s Office budget. He stated the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Department was the largest police agency in the county and one of the largest in the United States. It covers 2400 square miles that includes approximately 1,300,000 year round residents and 1,700,000 residents in season. The Department has merged with seven police agencies since Sheriff Bradshaw took office. There are approximately 4000 employees in the department. The annual budget is $460 million. The department is responsible for jails, which were formerly a County Government responsibility. Part of their function is the treatment of 400 to 600 inmates a day who suffer from mental illness. Insurance does not cover prisoners. The department has programs to help jailed inmates withdraw from alcohol and drugs. The $460 million annual budget includes the approximately $130 million cost of running the jail system. Money generated by fines, tickets, alarm system charges, etc. goes to the County, not the Sheriff’s Department. Confiscated drugs are burned. The Chief said the biggest current problem facing the department is the proliferation of pill mills. Three hundred people in our county die each year from the illegal use of pills. The Palm Beach Sheriff’s Department has had success in arresting pill dispensers. He concluded by thanking all members of the COP program and stating that it is a necessary adjunct to the Sheriff’s Department.
Lieutenant Ebel presented a case history about a group of residence burglars who committed 75 burglaries before they were caught. By then they had stolen about four million dollars worth of property and cash. He told us how to protect our homes from this type of crime. Exterior lighting is essential. Don’t leave shades up where someone watching from the outside can see where your alarm system is and whether or not you are putting it on. Cover the alarm box LED lights with a picture, mirror, etc. Do not have too much foliage surrounding your house as it gives the burglar extra time to force open a door or window. Lock your doors, shut your garage door and set your alarm at all times. Don’t get a false sense of security from the fact that you live in a gated community. The burglary gang mentioned previously only went into gated communities because they found more unlocked doors in them. The crooks get in by parking away from the community and walking, biking, or swimming in. Keep records, pictures and serial numbers of valuables. Put your driver’s license number on valuables as police can trace it back to you. They cannot do this with your social security number.
The next speaker was Deputy Sheriff Luis Ledbetter and his bloodhound Clue. Clue is a Friendly Find Dog, as opposed to a German Shepard which is a hunting or attack dog. Bloodhounds are born with superior olfactory organ ability which helps them locate people by following their scent. Three-eighths of a bloodhound’s brain is for smelling while a Sheppard’s brain is only one-eighth for this purpose. Bloodhounds will not bite, while Sheppards do. The department has 52 active dogs for various purposes including finding people who are lost, or are criminals, or for locating drugs. Dogs specialize in one discipline and become very good at it. They live with their handler and become part of the family. The average bloodhound should work 10 to 12 years while the average Sheppard will work 6 to 8 years. When they can no longer work they continue to live with their handler.
Michelle Damone, Executive Director of Project Lifesaver, the next speaker spoke about Project Lifesaver which utilizes a wristband that allows a person who has wandered away due to Alzheimer’s, Down syndrome, dementia or other reason to be located. The emitted signal can be tracked by trained public safety agencies or even by helicopter. The Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office assures that deputies on each shift are trained in Project Lifesaver. The cost for the wristband, including a year’s supply of wristbands and batteries is $300. There are no other fees. Financial assistance is available.
Sheriff’s Department pilot Dave Clark concluded the seminar. The department has 12 pilots, three helicopters and three mechanics. Each helicopter has a 30 million candlepower searchlight as well as a heat seeker which enables the crew at night to see what’s on the ground without giving away the fact that they are searching. Each flight has two pilots for safety reasons, and they patrol 24 hours every day. The top speed is 160 miles per hour. Although crime television shows often mention that a person is not missing until 24 hours have passed, the truth is they begin a search immediately on notification. If you see a helicopter circling around your house, stay indoors. The more people the pilots see on the ground, the harder it is to isolate the person they are looking for.
Mazor concluded the presentation by calling attention to the Wellness Expo which will take place at the South County Civic Center being conducted by the Delray Medical Center in conjunction with the Alliance of Delray. Flyers and counter cards were distributed. He also announced the appointment of Bob Schulbaum as President of the South County Mental Health Center, Inc. at their annual luncheon the day before.