November 3, 2006- City News
Mayor's Message

Dear friends,

As cities across the nation and state continue to experience an increase in violent crimes, the City in conjunction with the Orlando Police Department continues to use a multi-pronged approach to reverse this troubling trend. Earlier this year, I formed the Safe Orlando Task Force to engage a broad range of business and community representatives to identify short and long-term strategies to eliminate or reduce crime from the community.

Under Dr. Stanley Stone’s leadership, the Safe Orlando Task Force has broken down into subcommittees – prevention, enforcement, and reintegration—to develop strategic recommendations to enhance community safety and empower the entire community to play an active role in crime reduction strategies.

As part of the task force’s efforts, members of the University of Central Florida’s faculty are analyzing five years of homicide data to determine trends and patterns of violent crimes in Orlando. In order to provide comprehensive recommendations, task force members are also attending gang training exercises and participating in ride-a-longs with Orlando police officers.

By pulling together these valuable resources within our community, the Orlando Police Department and the City gains valuable insight into the problems and the potential solutions.

Last week, Chief Michael McCoy joined other police chiefs in Washington D.C. to lobby for federal funding for hometown security. Under Chief McCoy’s leadership, the Orlando Police Department has reallocated resources and developed three Patrol Tactical Squads, also known as TAC units, to target trouble areas. These squads are using a combination of plain clothes and uniformed officers to aggressively confront street level narcotics, violent crimes and pattern crimes in Orlando. During this short time, the squads have already made 54 arrests, seized illegal drugs and over $28,000 in cash.

In addition, the Orlando Police Department now has a liaison with the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. This agent has provided OPD with access to an enhanced gun-tracing program that helps target gun-traffickers and reveal where street-level criminals are buying their guns. The addition of this liaison agent allows violent offenders to be investigated and prosecuted on a federal level, helping to get criminals off the street. This communication with federal law enforcement may also result in additional federal funding or participating in federal programs.

The City has dedicated substantial public safety resources, and we will continue to allocate any necessary resources to ensure our residents have safe and secure neighborhoods.

Sincerely,


Buddy Dyer
Mayor

City Council Update

Public Safety Recruitment

At Monday’s City Council Workshop, Dr. Stanley Stone, Vice-President of Human Resources and Diversity at Valencia Community College, discussed recommendations from a task force to fine-tune the hiring process within the Orlando Police Department and to make it more effective and representative of the community. Recommendations included increasing recruitment, a swifter applicant review process and competitive incentives to work in Orlando.

Fire Station 15

Three items on Monday’s agenda start the construction process for Fire Station 15 in Lake Nona. The first steps include drainage and temporary road access. This is one of three new fire stations that will be built over the next three years as part of the Mayor’s Public Safety Initiative. Station 15’s groundbreaking is planned for Thursday, December 7.

Community Venues

The City will hold its next workshop on Community Venues on Monday, November 13. Glatting Jackson will present Phase Three of the Downtown Master Plan. This presentation will show how the three venues will be incorporated in the downtown area to enhance the existing neighborhoods. The Downtown Transportation Plan will also be discussed, highlighting enhanced methods to move people around downtown.

City of Valladolid Becomes Orlando’s Newest Sister City

The Cities of Orlando and Valladolid, Spain may seem like a world apart with 4, 259 miles and the Atlantic Ocean between them, but the two cities share similar connections and have now permanently strengthen their ties as "sister cities." On Friday, November 3, Mayor Dyer signed his first sister city agreement as Mayor adding to the current eight agreements the City of Orlando has with other international cities. Valladolid Mayor Francisco Javier Leon de la Riva was in attendance, with District 3 Commissioner Robert F. Stuart, District 4 City Commissioner Patty Sheehan, District 5 Commissioner Daisy W. Lynum, District 6 City Commissioner Samuel B. Ings and Raquel Tacon, Honorary Counsel for Spain in Orlando.

As sister cities, the local governments and its residents and businesses will exchange ideas related to education, science, culture, commerce and tourism. For example, the City of Valladolid has a technological park similar to UCF's Research Park. Local companies in both of these parks will benefit from the opportunity to share information related to digital media and simulation technology.

The Sister City agreement lays the foundation for a future of extensive and successful program activities including:

  • Educational exchanges involving UCF, Rollins College, the University of Valladolid and the Parque Cientifico "Universidad" Valladolid
  • Building on tourism opportunities including cultural and arts exhibits and cuisine exchange between chefs and distinguished restaurants showcasing best practices
  • Coordinating with airlines to create direct flights from Orlando to Madrid or Valladolid, Spain
  • Sharing successes in environmental, urban and community development

Interesting Facts About Valladolid

  • Oldest medical school in Europe, celebrating 600th anniversary

  • Birthplace of Juan Ponce de Leon

  • The region has nearly 500,000 residents

  • Next year, Valladolid expects the arrival of the Spanish High Speed Railway Network connecting the city to Madrid

  • Tourism has become one of the main driving forces of the economy

  • Castilian Spanish originated in Valladolid

  • Was the first capital of Spain

Other City of Orlando Sister Cities

  • Tainan, Taiwan

  • Orenburg, Russia

  • Monterrey, Mexico

  • Guilin, China

  • Curitiba, Brazil

  • Urayasu, Japan

  • Eykjanesbaer, Iceland

  • Seine Et Marne, France

Max, Orlando Fire Department’s Arson Dog

While many people may be familiar with law enforcement K-9s used to sniff out drugs or bombs or find missing people, they may not realize that dogs are also used to find evidence of arson.

Max, a Labrador retriever used by the Orlando Fire Department, assists investigators by finding traces of accelerant – the liquids or chemicals used to start a fire. This friendly Labrador is no casual sniffer. Max is so skilled she earns perfect scores year after year when she recertifies.

Arson cases are extremely difficult to prosecute without evidence, since fires happen so often by accident. Many times, an investigation hinges on evidence found at the scene of the fire. Most investigators have to rely on luck to get a positive sample. The human ability to discern such an important piece of evidence is limited at 40,000 olfactory glands, the parts of our body that detect smells. A K-9 has 220,000,000 glands. After seven years of service to the citizens of Orlando, Max has proved to be one of the very best. She is so exact, 98 percent of the samples collected from areas she finds come back positive from the State Fire Marshal's lab.

K-9 Max and her handler, Fire Lieutenant Dave Haley, have to recertify annually in order to testify in court as experts in the field of accelerant detection. This October, during a week of training and testing in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Max proved to be the "top dog" out of more than 30 teams from other jurisdictions within the United States, receiving a perfect score along with another team from Portland, Oregon.

OUC Water Department Wins Gold Award

The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) recently honored the Orlando Utility Commission with the 2006 Gold Award for Competitiveness Achievement. OUC was one of only seven water utilities in the nation to earn this distinction.

The award recognizes accomplishments in applying competitive business strategies to meet the expectations of drinking water consumers and municipal leaders.

OUC earned the award in part for its $124 million water production modernization and expansion project that resulted in eight interconnected and fully automated water treatment facilities. OUC’s pioneering work with regional partners to implement a comprehensive, integrated water resources plan also was key.

The AMWA Gold Award also recognized the work of OUC employees for controlling expenses, reaching project milestones, providing top-notch service and customer satisfaction.

Commissioner Diamond’s District 1 Picnic

Commissioner Phil Diamond will host his annual District 1 Picnic on Saturday, November 4, 2006. The picnic will be held at Wadeview Park (500 E. Harding Street) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be activities for the whole family including a hay ride in the park, moonwalks, face painting, a putting green, music and entertainment, demonstrations by the Orlando Police and Fire Departments and free food, ice cream and drinks! For more information, contact Sandy Johnson at 407-246-3011 or sandra.johnson@cityoforlando.net. See you there!

Veterans Day Parade November 11

Mayor Dyer and his Veterans Advisory Council are proud to announce the Seventh Annual Veterans Day Parade, Saturday, November 11, 2006 at 10 a.m. This premier annual event brings together the veteran and military community in the Central Florida region. The parade will take place in Downtown Orlando, beginning at Orange Avenue and Amelia Street. It will travel south on Orange Avenue, east on Central Boulevard, and north on Rosalind Avenue ending at Livingston Street. Bring your family, lawn chairs and your patriotic spirit to the Orlando Veterans Day Parade! Go to www.CityofOrlando.net for more information!

Watch Inside Orlando on Orange TV

Inside Orlando, the show that brings you an interactive backstage tour of the City Beautiful, has a new episode airing on Orange TV. With co-hosts Brie Turek and Orlando Rolon, Inside Orlando takes a look at SWAT, the Discovery Channel’s Stunt Junkies event at Lake Eola, new UCF Athletic Director Keith Tribble, the Orlando Fire Department’s Pride of Parramore Fire Station’s kitchen makeover, and the Johnson Diner relocation to CityView. Catch current and past episodes on cityoforlando.net.

Upcoming Events
click for details
Date Event/Location
November 4, 2006 District 1 Picnic details
November 4-5, 2006 Fall Fiesta in the Park details
November 11, 2006 Veterans Day Parade details
November 11, 2006 WMMO Downtown Concert details
December 2, 2006 Orlando Firefighters Chili Cookoff details
December 5, 2006 Holiday Lights Orlando details
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Road Closure

 

 

City Hall
400 South Orange Avenue
Orlando, FL 32801
Phone: 407.246.2221
Fax: 407.246.2842
Email: buddy.dyer@cityoforlando.net