Prescription drug abuse was at the top of the list of concerns Everglades area residents shared with Sheriff Kevin J. Rambosk when he met with them Thursday.
Residents urged Sheriff Rambosk to ask state lawmakers to provide more funding and grants for drug treatment programs. They also asked him to work with legislators to come up with a national prescription monitoring program that would track both the patients who receive medicine and the doctors who prescribe it.
In the area of traffic safety they told Sheriff Rambosk that U.S. 41 East is a problem with motorists frequently creating a safety hazard by coming to a stop without pulling completely off the roadway. The road is also poorly marked in areas, they added. Also in the area of traffic safety, residents suggested that CCSO provide rental car companies with Florida traffic law information that could be distributed to their customers.
Residents praised the deputies who work in the Everglades district, telling Sheriff Rambosk that they regularly see deputies interacting with children and teens at locations where young people gather to make sure they stay safe. Youth programs are important, they added. Build-A-Boat, a program that partners deputies and local youths build a boat together, was especially effective, they said.
CCSO will use the input provided at the community meetings to help lay out the agency's Community Safety Plan for the coming year. The current Community Safety Plan, which lists youth programs, traffic and boating safety, crime prevention, community outreach and communication as its priorities, was also the product of citizen input.
Anyone unable to attend one of Sheriff Rambosk's community meetings can submit their input and ideas online by going to www.colliersheriff.org and clicking on the "Got a Great Idea?" icon.
Golden Gate area residents will have an opportunity to weigh in at the next meeting, which is set for 6 p.m. Monday, April 26, at Vineyards Country Club, 400 Vineyards Blvd.