June Message from Chief Parry
Our Department is busy gearing up for our Police Summer Youth Camp which provides arts, sport activities, games, enrichment and so much more to underserved children in our community. Our officers have run this award-winning summer youth camp since 2016. It is a great way for our officers to build bonds with the underserved youth in our community.
Community outreach is a priority to us and something we strive to improve on every day. Our community outreach efforts include Picnic in the Park, Shop with a Cop, Special Needs Database and events, youth sports and mentoring programs and of course our Police Summer Youth Camp. Our Department works hard at building strong ties between our officers and the youth of our community.
Unfortunately, as we are working hard to build lasting bonds with the youth of our community, one of our local schools is working to discredit them. This school is reading a book to 5th grade students entitled “Ghost Boys,” which is a story about a 12-year-old boy who is shot and killed by a police officer in Chicago after the boy pointed a toy gun at the police officer. The school temporarily halted the reading of this book after FOP District Director, Paul Kempinski, authored an open letter to the Broward County School Board. However, it appears as though they have plans to continue to read this book to the young children in our community.
Kempinski stated during an interview that “This book convinces its reader — the children of our community — that police officers regularly lie as they routinely murder children, while painting police officers as racists.” The book uses statistics about police shootings of unarmed black people that can only be characterized as outright lies meant to grossly distort the truth about these shootings. One statistic quoted in this book states, “In 2015 over 1,000 unarmed Black people were killed!” That is gross over exaggeration. The average number of unarmed black people killed yearly by police between 2015 and 2020 is 22, not over 1,000 as the book states. The truth is that more people in the United States are attacked by sharks yearly than unarmed black people are killed by police . Let that sink in. I attached the links for those statistics at the end of this message.
I can’t imagine why anyone, especially our schools, would want to put out that level of dangerous, anti-police propaganda at a time when everyone agrees that building bonds between the police and our youth is so important. My Department works hard to build those bonds with the kids in our community. I am saddened that one of our schools is hampering our efforts.
It’s summertime again and that means drowning prevention and hurricane preparedness are important and timely topics.
There is no doubt the safety of children remains our number one concern. Sadly, the number one cause of accidental death for children under the age of five in South Florida is drowning. Unlike so many tragedies we deal with in the law enforcement profession, drowning is entirely preventable. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, or caregiver, I encourage you to:
- Learn CPR
- Never leave children unsupervised near any body of water – not even for a moment
- Sign your children up for swimming lessons
- Never rely on flotation devices to protect your child in any body of water
- Install a pool fence and alarms on every door that leads to water
NOAA predicts another active Atlantic hurricane season so now is the time to prepare. Some of the items you should have in your hurricane preparedness kit include enough food and water for every person in your house for at least three days. You should also have batteries and chargers for flashlights, cell phones and radios. If it is possible, fill your prescription medication so you will always have enough on hand. You should also keep your gas tank filled and have cash in your wallet.
June is Pride Month, a month where we recognize the impact that LGBTQ individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally. I am very proud of the contributions our LGBTQ members have made to our Department and our community.
I know you will find it hard to believe but June 4th is a day that is near and dear to my heart. It is National Doughnut Day! I look forward to partaking in the sweet doughy treat that is proof that God loves us!
June 14th is Flag Day. It is a great day to hoist old glory and show pride in our Country. June 14th is also the Army’s birthday, so I wish a happy birthday to the United States Army and thank all the men and women who have served in the Army for their service to our Country.
June 19th is the day we celebrate the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States. On that day, our City will hold our second annual Juneteenth celebration. We hope you can join us.
Lastly, June 20th is Father’s Day. If you can, spend time with your Dad. Please cherish that time and don’t waste it. My Dad is gone from this earth, but his spirit is alive and with me. I never felt more alone in this world than on the day my Dad died. If you still have yours, tell him you love him and celebrate his day! If you haven’t already, please connect with me on Facebook @ChiefParry.