City of Florence Police Department

When families are moving to a new area, one of the first things they ask is if the Shoals is safe? How are the school systems? Where are the best neighborhoods to raise my children? They are questions that go hand-in-hand with moving to an unknown place—and during a time where safety is a concern in our country and newsfeeds are flooded with tragedy; newcomers are taking even more consideration and pause before they make a big move. However, in Florence these questions have always been easy to answer. It’s with a sense of pride and confidence that I can respond by informing home buyers that crime in Florence is at a 20 year low, with a historic low in 2015, thanks to the hard work, dedication, and community policing of the Florence Police Department.

This 20-year tradition of safety is due to their Community Policing policy, which began in 1997. The method involves the police department partnering with the community, neighborhoods, and civic groups to address issues and solve problems long-term. This open line of communication and striving to work together as a community, establishes healthy, long-lasting relationships throughout the city. In addition, when citizens come to the police department with an issue, their goal is to solve the problem permanently. The Florence Police Department encourages community members to call and report anything that is of concern, whether it be an abandoned house, unkempt yard, or any kind of suspicious behavior so they can work hand in hand. The goal is to prevent crime and remain involved in every neighborhood.

In addition, there is a police presence throughout the community whether it be in schools, parks,
shopping areas, or downtown events – citizens can find police officers on foot, horseback, bikes, and segways patrolling the events and public areas. This dedication to creating a presence in popular hangout spots limits crime activity, and creates a sense of ease for anyone attending events, participating in their favorite recreational activity, or sending their children off to school. Each city school has police officers with a radio on campus, and they conduct training in the school systems for the staff in preparation for emergency situations—they are in constant contact with the police department, making it easy for a rapid response time. Parents can also rest easy knowing that when they drop their kids off at baseball practice, or are watching their child’s soccer game, there is a police officer at each sportsplex while children are practicing or playing. And for large community events such as Frist Fridays, Billy Reid’s Shindig, and Handy Fest the police department meticulously plans for each activity, ensuring that attendees can enjoy their favorite musician or sporting event without having to worry. Last weekend’s Beer Festival went off without a hitch and with no complaints—with almost 400 people in attendance, this was just one example of a successful event where the only thing anyone was worried about was having fun.

There is a reason that Chief Ron Tyler of the Florence Police Department wants to live and work here—he wants to raise his children in a safe place, where he can send them to school and to the park without concern. He loves the Shoals not only because it’s a great place to raise your kids, live, work, and play, but because there are a variety of cultural community events, and a great regional university—it has all the small town charm with the benefits of a larger community. It’s a place that he says, “you want to call home.” Chief Tyler and the entire Florence Police Department’s love for the Shoals community is apparent and they want you to get involved! Call about an opportunity to be a part of the Citizens’ Police Academy and be on the lookout for the future Citizens’ Advisory Council, where their desire is to give a voice to the marginalized by allowing representatives to meet and address concerns—it’s a transparent way to stay connected to all parts of our wonderful community. So, if you haven’t thanked a Florence police officer today, be on the lookout to do so—they deserve gratitude for all their hard work in keeping our great community safe. Thanks to them we really can enjoy all the Shoals has to offer!


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