Honorable Mayor, Members of City Council, City Manager and Citizens of Rockledge:
2021 was an extraordinary year by any measure, a year like none other in modern times - a year filled with unexpected challenges that saw the world changed. It was another year of ensuring our residents felt safe, addressing pandemic staffing challenges, handling supply chain issues, and experiencing an increase in calls related to mental health and behavioral issues exasperated by current environmental challenges beyond our control. It was a year in which each of us faced difficult personal challenges, and a staggering number of us lost loved ones.
It was a time when our organization discovered what we really were, and what we have become. To quote Shakespeare: “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em.” In watching 2021 unfold throughout the year, we were keenly focused on what we, as an organization, could do to serve. As I write this letter, I am proud of what our organization and our 140 plus employees have achieved, collectively and individually. As you know, we have long championed the essential role of Public Safety in Rockledge —as a municipal governmental organization, our most basic responsibility is public safety. Enabling all citizens to feel safe and secure, and for being a source of strength in difficult times. Those opportunities were powerfully presented to us this year, and I am proud of how we stepped up.
As I look back on the last year and the last decade— it is remarkable how much we persevered and have accomplished, not only in terms of our crime rate but also in our steadfast dedication to helping those in a time of need. 2021 was another strong year for the Rockledge Department of Public Safety, with a record 30% overall decrease in our crime rate, as well as numerous others we cared for while experiencing some type of emergency.
It is important to remember in almost all cases, the ultimate beneficiaries of our actions are the individuals in our fine City of Rockledge. Please know we, your Department of Public Safety team, go to work every day recognizing the enormous responsibility that we have to perform for our stakeholders.
Over the long run, our performance is a measure of the progress we have made over the years. This progress is a function of continual investments in our people, equipment and our community, in good and bad times, to build our capabilities. Whether looking back over five years or ten years, these investments mean our department has significantly outperformed similar departments by any measure applied. These important investments will also drive our department's future prospects and Rockledge’s safety and wellbeing of those entrusted to its care to prosper for decades.
Thank you for your interest and trust in our department. I welcome your thoughts.
J. LaSata, Director Rockledge Department of Public Safety