Honorable Mayor, Members of City Council, City Manager and Citizens of Rockledge:
There are no words to describe 2020. It’s been a year like none other in modern times. A year filled with unexpected challenges that saw the world changed. The COVID-19 global pandemic arrived, and by March we knew, like every other Public Safety organization, the pandemic reality would bring an entirely new set of challenges, requiring an extremely agile response.
We wasted no time adjusting our mission, with our newly articulated purpose in mind. We committed to three specific and clear objectives, and have stuck with them:
- To protect the health, safety and well-being of our people;
- To be there for our residents, business owners, and visitors; and
- To keep our department strong.
We developed new pandemic-related solutions at lightning speed.
The year’s second major wave of change began in May when, after an “in-custody” death, our country and department witnessed civil unrest on a previously unseen scale. After closely monitoring the social climate, we hosted and policed one of the largest demonstrations in the state.
Throughout the year, we continued our commitment to delivering the highest standards of quality service. Rockledge Department of Public Safety has remained strong because of our values. Worth noting are our professionalism, service and compassion, which are the underpinnings of our focus on doing the right thing. These are values that have guided those who came before us for over 105 years and are even more relevant to the challenges brought on by COVID-19 and civil unrest. Our character is both internally embedded and externally recognized, being ranked as the 20th safest city in the entire state of Florida, and our continued success in recruiting the best candidates speak for itself.
Most importantly, through all the challenges of 2020, our culture — as created and sustained by each member of the RDPS — was revealed to be our greatest strength. In the moment when we needed it most, we came together as one, a community aligned to our shared values and committed to our shared future.
That’s how we responded - with creativity and resolve to the greatest test of our careers, and that’s how we’ll continue to serve - through collaboration, agility and care – all to go beyond expectations for those we serve.
Thank you for your interest and trust in our department. I welcome your thoughts.
J. LaSata, Director
Rockledge Department of Public Safety