Protect Rio Vista Program

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The Protect Rio Vista program utilizes your subscription funds to hire off-duty Fort Lauderdale police officers to patrol in the neighborhood.  The officers are in uniform when on duty and have full authority to take official action action should a crime take place while on patrol.  The officers patrol in a marked car leased by the civic association and will be dispatched by FLPD for any 911 call recieved from the neighborhood.  Members also recieve a cell phone number by which they may contact the patrol officers directly while they are on duty.  Members also recieve the opportunity to request a vacation check of their home when they are out of town. 


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Protect Rio Vista Program Description

How Does it Work?
When is the Patrol on Duty?
Patrol Cell Phone
Out of Town Checks
Other FAQ's

Fort Lauderdale police officers are being utilized for the Rio Vista security patrol

  • The same eight police officers will again be working the vast majority of the patrol hours so the officers are very familiar with Rio Vista and its residents
  • The officers will be in uniform and able to take official action should a crime take place while on patrol
  • If a 911 call is received for Rio Vista while an officer is on private patrol in Rio Vista, the dispatcher will immediately notify the Rio Vista private patrol officer
  • If a 911 call is received for Rio Vista during a time when there is not a Rio Vista private patrol, the call will be handled according to the police department’s normal procedures
  • The patrol schedule is being set each week by the Protect Rio Vista Committee in conjunction with the police department.  The committee is attempting to set times which 1) prioritize the highest crime hours, 2) create visibility for the patrol in the neighborhood, and 3) avoid any recognizable pattern. 
  • Last year 300 households participated and therefore we were able to afford 7+ hours of patrol per day. We will budget the hours per day for the coming year based on the prior year’s level of participation.  
  • The patrol hours will be less on some days so that at other times (for example, Halloween) we will be able to offer extended patrol hours.
  • If you have suggestions for the patrol schedule please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The direct cell phone number for the Rio Vista patrol is made available to members so they may contact the officers directly.

  • Should you have an emergency, please call 911 (not the Rio Vista patrol cell phone).  The patrol cell phone is for non-emergencies and will not be answered during times when there is no active patrol
  • The phone will be with the patrol officer during the hours of active Rio Vista patrols (otherwise it will be left at the FLPD for the next patrol officer to pick up before reporting to Rio Vista)
  • The phone will have voicemail and the officers will be asked to check the voicemail and respond appropriately (residents can leave voicemails about non-time sensitive issues--such as asking for a walk around while they are on vacation)
  • If you are leaving town and would like the patrol to keep a special watch on your property simply send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the following information: Resident Name, Resident Address,Out of Town Date, Return Date, Out of Town Contact Information, Person Officer Can Contact Locally, People with permission to enter property, Special Instructions. The patrol will check on the property daily, conditions and schedule permitting.
  • Should I cancel my alarm service?  Absolutely not.  The patrol is not 24/7.  The patrol is a supplement to neighborhood security but is not a substitute for the measures we should all take to secure our homes
  • Will my subscription automatically renew? If you have paid with a credit card or a paypal subscription, your membership will renew in the month of your subscription anniversary. You will be on the member list for the entire year. (Please be sure to send updated credit card info to xxx or keep you paypal account current.) If you paid by check or a one-time paypal payment, you will receive a renewal reminder in Dec/Jan. You will be added to the list when your payment is made.
  • Can I change the email address on file?  Yes, send any updates to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  You may wish to add the email address above to your email address book so that any important updates do not get blocked by your spam filter.  

Protect Rio Vista #1 objection:

Don’t my property taxes already pay for that!?

Certainly everyone pays their fair share of taxes, and property taxes do go to pay for police services.  Let’s take a quick look:

A $500,000 house in Rio Vista pays a millage rate of 16.4392 or $8,220 in property tax.  The City of Fort Lauderdale millage rate is 4.2536, so the City takes $2,126.80 of the total property tax bill.  According to the City of Fort Lauderdale’s budget documents, the total City budget for 2009 was $327,485,911.  The Police department’s budget was $91,647,022 or approximately 28% of the overall budget.  So, if we take 28% of the City’s $2126,80 on your property taxes, the Police department gets about $595.50 of your property tax bill.  According to the Police budget, the Operations Division (the folks driving the cars out on the street) receives $45,134,284 of the overall Police budget.  That adds up to 49% of the overall Police budget, or $291.80 of your tax bill.  But remember, this is the Police budget for the entire City.  The budget shows 247 officers assigned to Operations.  Let’s say 6 of those are assigned to work Rio Vista, or 2.4%. That means about $7 of the property tax bill actually goes to policing Rio Vista!  $7 out of $8220 works out to about .08%.

We know that prior to the patrol we rarely saw police in our neighborhood.  The reality is that even though there were officers assigned to our area they spent most of their time responding to calls in neighboring areas and rarely made it east of US1.

With the Rio Vista Security Patrol, we are able to piggyback on the City’s existing administrative costs and spend almost 100% of the fund directly on patrol hours in Rio Vista.   I can’t think of a better value for the peace of mind we receive.

We have just over 400 member households as of this writing.  There are 950 households in Rio Vista.

500 participating households would allow us to schedule 12 hours of coverage per day (we currently have between 9 and 10).

We urge all of you to encourage your friends and neighbors, living in Rio Vista, to join the Protect Rio Vista initiative.

Warm regards,

Steve Hudson

Chair Protect Rio Vista


The complete monthly logs can be viewed by clicking the button below.  The patrol has also done more to calm the traffic in our streets than any speed bump will ever do. Making our neighborhood a safer place for our children to play.

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