BONITA SPRINGS -- The Bradenton Police Department won the "Rocky Pomerance Law Enforcement Excellence Award" June 19 for its Neighborhood Liaison Communication Project. I am very proud of our Neighborhood Liaison Communication Project, and the rapport that it has developed between the Bradenton police officers and the residents," said BPD Chief Michael Radzilowski.
"This has helped foster the ongoing respect and feeling of teamwork resulting in collateral changes in the target areas including, businesses increased by 17 percent, home sales increased by 41 percent, and the crime rate has dropped by 28.8 percent.
"The citizens expressed that their efforts were effective in reducing crime, thereby reducing fear, and increasing the feeling of safety, ownership and teamwork alongside the members of the Bradenton Police Department. This collaborative effort has saved the Bradenton Police Department in excess of 6,000 man-hours and $200,000 in taxpayer monies."
Radzilowski and BPD Capt. William Fowler were accompanied by Tami Spyker, who serves as Neighborhood Watch liaison for West Bradenton.
The "Rocky Pomerance Law Enforcement Excellence Award" allows the Florida Police Chiefs Association to recognize agencies for developing and implementing innovative approaches to policing.
The award is named in honor of retired Chief of Police Rocky Pomerance, an innovative and visionary leader who furthered the mission of the Florida Police Chiefs Association.
The award from the Florida Police Chiefs Association and Star & Shield Group Inc. recognized outstanding community policing initiatives by small, medium and large law enforcement agencies statewide. Annually, three awards are presented to each of the following sized agencies:
Large (76 officers or more) Bradenton Police Department;
Medium (31-75 officers) -- Lighthouse Point Police Department;
Small Agency (one-30 officers) -- Santa Fe College Police Department, Gainesville.