Clearwater Police Chief Sid Klein announced his retirement at the conclusion of his monthly staff meeting on August 13th. He gave his official six-month notice; setting Jan. 29, 2010 as his last day.
Chief Klein began his career with the Clearwater Police Department on Jan. 5, 1981. During his command, Chief Klein has recruited, trained and retained top caliber people in the law enforcement profession. He has also established an international reputation for CPD as a professional and progressive police agency.
The reporter approached the Blue Ford Explorer cautiously, with gun drawn and knocked on the driver’s side. Suddenly the door was flung open, a shot gun stuck in his face and bang, he’s dead. His mistake? He failed to call for backup before approaching the alleged perpetrator.
The scenario? An opportunity “to walk in a police officer’s shoes,” with a simulated traffic stop of a reported felon; just one of the highlights of the “26th Annual National Night Out Against Crime” that took place on August 4, 2009 in Clearwater Mall in the parking lot outside Target.
I am often approached by citizens wishing to contribute their time and energy to the community. Allow me to suggest the Sheriff’s Citizens Patrol Volunteer Program as a wonderful way to help out.
As a member of the Citizens Patrol, you will have an opportunity to serve side by side with our deputy sheriffs and perform a variety of valuable services for our citizens and visitors to Pinellas County. Some of the responsibilities include seizing and recovering found property, assisting with disabled motor vehicles, directing traffic at crash scenes, issuing parking tickets, participating in community events, child fingerprinting and vacation house checks,to name a few.
Too many people, knowledge of what law enforcement agencies do is limited to what they might have seen in television dramas or news stories. For this reason, many people have only a limited understanding of how a professional law enforcement agency operates and what its employees do. Deputies and other uniformed members of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office are the most visible part of the agency, but there are many employees whose efforts are not as visible, yet they are vital to our success. These jobs include a wide variety of accounting, clerical, communication, maintenance and many other support positions without which the Sheriff’s Office would have difficulty in providing meaningful service to the public.
One important, yet seldom recognized function of any law enforcement agency is professional record management. When it comes to maintaining the Sheriff’s Office criminal records database, the job is handled by our Records Division. In most cases, until there is a need for a copy of report, the round-the-clock important tasks performed by the members of this division go largely unnoticed.
To accomplish their mission, the Sheriff’s Office Records Division is separated into three different units, each of which has specific responsibilities pertaining to law enforcement records. Criminal records are constructed, validated, archived, and disseminated by members of this unit as necessary in accordance with Florida public record laws. For this reason, criminal records from the present dating back to the 1950s are currently preserved.
As we approach the end of summer, I would like to remind you that a new school year is about to begin. Later this month, more than 150,000 Pinellas County students will once again begin making their daily trip to and from school in one of the largest school districts in our state. Whether traveling by car, bus, bicycle or on foot, students may face some challenges as they make their way to and from school in the coming months.