A Message From the Sunrise Police Chief...
February 24, 2018
Dear Respected Parents, Guardians and Teachers:
As Chief of Police, there is no greater honor and privilege than to provide safety and security to our children, educators and families. In light of the recent events at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, I feel deeply compelled to write each parent or guardian of a student in our Sunrise schools, even if you do not live in Sunrise. I am a parent. I understand the swirling emotions and concerns you must have regarding the safety of your children and educators in our schools.
While we, as a City, neither oversee the education process in our schools nor are we tasked with being primarily responsible for safety and security in our schools, the Sunrise Police Department has always had a passion and unwavering dedication to our children, schools and our School Resource Officer Program. The City of Sunrise Commission has been a leader in assuring that each Sunrise school has a dedicated, full-time sworn officer assigned. As a police department, we strongly believe in the value that the School Resource Officer Program provides to our children, educators and families. In addition to providing a full time officer at our schools, the Sunrise Police Department has assigned a dedicated sergeant, whose single task is to provide supervision for the school resource officers.
The Sunrise Police Department’s School Resource Officer Program is second to none. Your resource officer goes through a rigorous and competitive process for this assignment. The selection of a potential School Resource Officer begins with internal interviews from our full-time law enforcement ranks. During the interviews, the officer’s knowledge, experience, work history, specialized training and accomplishments are closely scrutinized. As your Police Chief, I only want the most qualified individuals from our agency working with and protecting our schools.
It is important for you to know, because they may not tell you, our School Resource Officers are current and former members of our SWAT team, former military members, and officers with experience in highly-specialized departmental units. Each officer selected for this position knows that they are tasked with establishing strong relationships with the children in their assigned schools, and also with ensuring that they work closely with school administration to create the safest environment possible for their children. The selected officers all accept this assignment knowing that they are expected to do whatever is necessary to protect our children should the unthinkable happen.
Your School Resource Officers have extensive training in the latest tactics with the finest equipment, meant to keep both them and the children they protect safe. Your School Resource Officers are highly proficient in the use of their firearms and rifles. Each and every day, your School Resource Officer has access to their rifles that they are mandated to bring with them.
Your School Resource Officers spend their days walking the schools, getting to know students and families, and addressing issues as they arise – both in a responsive context and proactively. They are always ready to talk and listen to the students, parents and school staff. The school’s concerns become our concerns. We act pre-emptively to address any threats that may arise. To do this, we maintain strong ties and relationships with the community, students and school staff.
In closing, our children and educators deserve the best, and we strive to deliver that each and every day. Actions speak louder than words, therefore allow our actions to speak volumes about our dedication to our children. I am always available to each and every one of you should you have any questions or concerns about the protection of our schools.
Thank you for all of your support, and may God bless our children and educators.
Anthony W. Rosa
Chief of Police