2020 was a tumultuous, frustrating, and heartbreaking year for all of us. In March, the COVID-19 pandemic spread around the world and we saw lock downs, closings, and restrictions to curb the virus’s spread. Our officers remained out on the front line keeping the public safe. To ensure they have the protection necessary for an ongoing response long-term, we created a COVID-19 Response Fund. Thank you to all who have donated.
Toward the end of May, the nation was shocked by the tragic killing of Mr. George Floyd. Across the country, thousands protested racial inequality and systemic racism. Many cities saw great conflict between residents and their police force. We are fortunate to have experienced the opposite in Boca Raton. So many residents continue to be proud of our police department. Our officers are brave, caring, and respectful, and the opposite of what happened with Mr. Floyd’s death.
Several peaceful protests took place in the city, thankfully without violence, injury or arrests–all good signs of the respect our residents have for each other. In June, our officers showed compassion for the hurt and anger felt and walked along with the community in a Peace Walk which included Pearl City community leaders and residents, interfaith clergy, City Council, and many resident advocates all marching together against racism and wrongful force and committing to greater listening, dialogue, partnership, and action.
In June, we grieved the passing of retired Boca Raton Police K-9 “Max.” He served for nearly eight years as a bomb detection and patrol dog. Not only did K-9 Max and his handler, Officer Lyman, answer the call when it was time to work but they also won many competitions and wowed crowds at community events.
In December, the police department participated in the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program to provide new toys and clothing items for children of families in need in our city. Spearheaded by Juvenile Specialist, Jennifer Shulman, officers and staff adopted 40 “angels” this year and helped fulfill their specific gift requests.
Amid these times, our police officers continue to carry out their mission to protect and serve and keep Boca Raton safe.
The pandemic and the resulting public health orders forced us to cancel three special events. This became the catalyst for us to innovate and create a new plan to continue providing the needed resources for our police department.
In November, we successfully pivoted to virtual events and presented the Virtual Breakfast with the Chief followed by the Virtual Jazz Brunch in December. Additionally, we expanded our reach with mobile fundraising and developed other options to connect with supporters online.
Virtual events will continue for 2021. The next event is the Call for Backup (Un)Party & Virtual Silent Auction on Friday, January 29, 2021. We hope you will take the leap and join us!