This is a blog from the fifth and final town hall meeting hosted by Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk, who has already held similar sessions in North Naples, Golden Gate, Golden Gate Estates and Naples. Tonight's event, blogged by Daily News Staff Writer Tracy Miguel-Navarro, will start at 6 p.m. at the Collier County Park Building, 312 N. 1st Street, Immokalee.
The next topic was what could be done to expand youth programming.
Suggestions included the Boys and Girls Club, junior deputy programs and Explorer's programs.
On the topic of what could be discussed with the youth, the group suggested drugs, drinking and driving, using their cell phone while driving, rights and personal responsibilities.
“How about some fun, safe thing for the kids to do,” Rambosk said.
Suggestions included summer programs and year-round programs and a youth academy.
The next topic was what the Sheriff’s Office could do about safety. Rambosk asked residents how they help residents start locking their vehicles to prevent burglaries.
Suggestions included expand neighborhood watch, public service announcement on television and Spanish language radio stations and fliers.
Rambosk asked if the Internet was a viable way residents received information.
Quickly, the group began to share their ideas for what could be included in their Web site, including crime prevention and identification, site linked to other sites, user friendly and awareness.
A man in the crowd said he was bilingual.
Rambosk said to the group that the night was for brainstroming and there were no bad ideas.
Fred Thomas, a longtime Immokalee activist, asked what can they do to help the Sheriff’s Office.
Rambosk said the community should take a proactive approach to challenges such as crime and a budget shortfall.
Rambosk also spoke about community caretaking and community initiatives.
He also spoke about the misconceptions with the Sheriff’s Office partnership with ICE.
Group has grown to 33 attendees, as Rambosk began to speak about crime rate in Collier County.
Currently Collier County is at the lowest crime rate since 1971 at about 2,300 crimes per every 100,000 people.
Rambosk said the Sheriff’s Office vision and how they plan moving forward into the future include the following: community, safety and service.
There are about 355,000 Immokalee residents with 100,000 to 130,000 seasonal residents. Immokalee’s patrol district is about 2,025 square miles.
Rambosk told the group that all of the meetings would be used for its strategic plan for the coming year.
As the meeting begins there are 27 attendees.
“We are going to talk about what the futures holds… and they only way to do that is to talk to you,” Rambosk said.
“Tonight is really about listening to you.”
Dick Rice, executive director of the Immokalee Chamber of Commerce, is hoping for a good turnout.
“We want the community to know that the sheriff’s department is accessible,” Rice said.
As the meeting is about half an hour from beginning, eight tables are set up along with partnership cards, pens and stickers with additional chairs in a back row already set. There’s a projector at the front of the room displaying a “Making our Community Safe TOGETHER” Power Point.
Several Sheriff’s Office staff are patiently waiting for Immokalee residents to start arriving.