From women’s self-defense classes to active shooter training and even a teen driving program, a new space will be host to new services that will allow community members to interact with law enforcement officers on a personal level.
Lee County Sheriff’s Office gave us a look inside it new community outreach center at Miromar Outlets in Estero Saturday.
“It was nice getting to know some of the deputies,” Parker said.
Moments after 15-year-old David Parker got behind the wheel of his mom’s car, a Lee County deputy was at his side, and it wasn’t for a traffic stop. Sgt. Alan Canfield accompanied Parker, who got to have a positive experience with law enforcement.
“We get in the car, and I don’t introduce myself as Sergeant Canfield. I say I’m Allen. What’s your name?” Canfield said. “And from that point on through the whole course, we’re talking to each other like two human beings.”
The driving course for teens helps them develop the necessary skills to operate a vehicle, and it’s also building relationships between law enforcement officers and the people they help protect.
The LCSO driving program will have its home base at the new community center. Sheriff Carmine Marceno said anyone can visit and get to know a deputy or even a deputy dog.
“It’s not because they dial 911 or they need is for a medical emergency. It’s just because,” Marceno said. “Walk in; say hello; look at all the programs we have.”
Moms like Robin Parker are most excited about the expanded space for the teen driver challenge and seeing her son get to know his deputy driving teacher.
“With me in the other seat, we end up fighting and arguing,” Robin said. “And I think they’re more comfortable driving with one of these guys out here, and they listen more. It’s just invaluable.”
The LCSO community outreach center at Miromar Outlets is open from noon to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday with office hours noon until 9 p.m. on Sundays.