We often talk about the dangers of police work on Fridays when we do "Protecting the Palm Beaches," and how much officers really put on the line to do their jobs. It's something Lantana Police Chief Sean Scheller thinks about whenever he hears the term "routine call."
"There's no such thing in our workforce that's routine anymore. Domestic violence cases (for example), the officers go, and we try to send two or three on every call because somebody can be angry at their spouse one second and then when we arrive they turn their aggression towards us."
The chief wanted to share info on what his department is doing when it comes to community involvement.
"We partnered up with some of the local schools and back in March we had a 3-on-3 basketball tournament with the youth in the community at one of the schools. We did like a 'cops vs. kids' in basketball. And just recently in June, we did the last day of school for the kids, we did a big kickball tournament."
He says both events were firsts for the department, but more events are being discussed.
There's also a mentorship program underway with kids from Palm Beach Maritime Academy, a K through 12 charter school in Lantana.
Here's the backstory.
"About two years ago, right at the first week of summer, our officers were dispatched to a call at one of the schools and there were some kids that jumped the fence and (were) playing basketball. And instead of turning it into something negative, that they were trespassing, our officers took the time, sat down with the kids and said 'How many books can you read?' And our officers revisited them and took two of the kids that read the most books to dinner."
That has led to all of the community involvement things mentioned above.
Honoring Officer Tavcar
Chief Scheller credits road patrol officer Edward Tavcar for leading the way in organizing these events.
Officer Tavcar is a field training officer and acts as an officer in charge in the absence of a sergeant. The chief says the officer has kids attending Lantana schools and he shows up on his days off to Lantana Elementary to read to students there.
Officer Tavcar has been with the department since 2003.
Photos: Lantana Police Dept.