I’m Mike Fisher and I have spent almost 30 years protecting this county as a member of the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office and retired as a Captain at the end of 2016.
As your Sheriff I have a plan to restore accountability, transparency and trust back to the Osceola County Sheriff’s office with the goal to make it the top law enforcement agency in the State of Florida.
FOCUS BACK ON POLICING
I intend to bring the agency’s primary focus back to the core function of law enforcement through true Community Policing. To do that I will increase the number of Patrol Deputies we have on our streets responding to your calls, which is the foundation of any successful law enforcement agency. Under the current sheriff our Patrol staffing levels have remained the same since I retired from the Office in 2016, yet his budget has increased exponentially in the last two years and he has added numerous appointed personnel, many unbudgeted. Several policing units have also been disbanded citing a need to add Patrol personnel, yet we have no more allotted Patrol Deputies today than we did two years ago. In fact, the Patrol Division at the Sheriff’s Office is currently short of being fully staffed to its current staffing level, which above all else directly affects response times to your calls for service or emergencies. We must first recognize our core function as a Law Enforcement agency.
ENGAGING OUR YOUTH
I will work immediately to implement a comprehensive school safety plan for our Schools so there is consistency in procedures, processes and training for all of our School Resource Officers. This will consist of standardized training for our SROs in multiple areas to include; threat and vulnerability assessments, mental health and other important security measures outlined in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Commission Report. Currently this Sheriff has no identifiable comprehensive plan in place for our SROs. I will also work to proactively address juvenile delinquency, since 40% of adolescent’s time is spent outside of school, by strengthening public private partnerships and establishing new ones to design after school recreational programs, in identified areas throughout the county, that will be accessible and involve deputies mentoring and guiding. These programs will ensure our youth have outlets to turn to rather than crime, drug use or gangs. The safety of our children must extend beyond the walls of our schools and into the neighborhoods where they live.
I will partner closely with non-profit organizations, businesses and our local governments already recognized to address homelessness by launching a “Homeless Outreach Team” within the Sheriff’s Office. This Team will work directly with these community partners in identifying the needs of homeless individuals and families by reducing the reactive model to one of a proactive relationship.
TOURISM AND SAFETY
In the West 192 region, I will re-establish the disbanded proactive policing units and add Patrol personnel in the Tourism Corridor to address the rising calls for service in these areas. These additions will also help keep our citizens, guests and businesses safe. The West Region of the county is the highest call volume area within the Sheriff’s Office Jurisdiction and grossly understaffed.
ACCOUNTABILITY TO OUR CITIZENS
To hold the Sheriff’s Office accountable to the public, I will implement a comprehensive long-term Strategic Plan for the Sheriff’s Office. With a Strategic Plan in place, it will provide accountability and much needed transparency; it will provide direction and vision about future growth, staffing and identify long term needs. Plus, a long-term Strategic Plan will provide the public to see the direction of where the Sheriff’s Office is going and how this will build a strong, transparent and trustworthy law enforcement agency.