The City of Margate is located in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metroplex, the sixth largest metropolitan area in the United States. Margate is the oldest city in north-western Broward County having been incorporated May 30, 1955. In 1955, the city administration consisted of a Town Clerk-Treasurer, a police officer, and a designated attorney.
The city has grown to become the 15th largest city in Broward County, with a population in excess of 54,000. The city covers approximately 9.44 square miles, has approximately 135 miles of roadways, and approximately 30 miles of waterways. The city is governed by a Mayor/Commission form of government. The City Commission appoints the City Manager, a professional administrator, who oversees and manages the day-to-day operations of the city through appointed department directors.
While primarily residential in nature, the city does have a significant business and industrial area which is currently undergoing substantial redevelopment. The City has created a Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) to guide this redevelopment and to ensure sustainability of these efforts, and has hosted a community visioning effort to gather input from the community as to the future direction of the city. The City has also recognized the need for community-wide property maintenance standards by adopting several new ordinances related to property maintenance and appearance. These new laws are designed to prevent blighting conditions, sustain property values and reduce crime.
The city is widely recognized for its exceptional home-town quality of life and the provision of excellent municipal services, including police and fire protection. The city has a richly diverse population that is continually changing. There are a large number of "snowbirds", including many Canadian citizens who call Margate home during the winter months. A number of major east-west and north-south roadways are utilized by residents and business owners to transverse from one section of the county to another.
The police department has grown to 180 members, which includes 111 sworn officers and 69 civilian personnel (including part-time employees). The department has an annual budget of approximately 16 million dollars. The department, a full-service law enforcement agency, is organized in traditional, paramilitary fashion. The department is also responsible for code compliance and animal control.
The police department follows a community-policing philosophy department-wide. Members of the department have established working partnerships with other city departments, county, state and federal agencies, homeowners associations and members of the private sector. The department has adopted a proactive stance towards establishing partnerships and addressing community issues.
The police department is composed of four bureaus whose commanders report directly to the Chief of Police:
The Field Services Bureau consists of the Patrol Division, Community Service Aides, K-9, Special Response Team, Special Enforcement Team, Crisis Negotiation and Gang Units. The major responsibilities for these respective components include but are not limited to: responding to emergency and non-emergency calls for service, investigating criminal and non-criminal complaints, investigating traffic crashes, enforcing Florida State Statutes, strategically responding to critical incidents and crime suppression.
The Investigative Services Bureau consists of the Special Operations Division and the Criminal Investigations Division, which includes detectives that investigate; Narcotics Enforcement, Major Crimes, Property and Persons Crimes. Victim Services, Crime Scene Technician and Technical Support are supporting components of these two divisions. The Personnel/Background Investigations Unit is a component of the Investigative Services Bureau.
The Support Services Bureau provides administrative and logistical support for the Department and consists of Training, Records, Planning and Research, Accreditation, Grants, Emergency Management, Property and Evidence and Court Liaison. The Training Division is responsible for the in-service training of all new and current police department personnel. The Records Unit is tasked with the receipt, processing and retention of police department reports and documents.
The Community Services Bureau consists of Code Compliance, Neighborhood Policing, School Resource Officer, Animal Control and the Traffic Unit. The components of this bureau include; Code Compliance Officers who are responsible for identifying, addressing and correcting city code complaints. The Crime Prevention Officer coordinates neighborhood crime watch groups, crime awareness lectures and Problem-Oriented Policing projects. School Resource Officers (SRO) are stationed within our four public schools. SROs teach the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) curriculum. The Traffic Unit addresses neighborhood traffic complaints and conducts specialized traffic enforcement.
The Public Information Office, Office Management and Internal Investigations Unit are components that report directly to the Chief of Police.
The Margate Police Department is a Commission for Florida Accreditation (CFA) Accredited Agency since 1997.An accreditation program has long been recognized as a means of maintaining the highest standards of professionalism. Accreditation is the certification by an independent reviewing authority that an entity has met specific requirements and prescribed standards.