With hundreds of thousands of people in Brevard County for the historic Artemis launch in preparation for the return to the Moon, Brevard Sheriff Wayne Ivey touches on topics we may not think about. Traffic. People safety. Bringing business back to Florida's Space Coast.
In this episode of the Great American Senior Show, your grey-haired host Sam Yates and Sheriff Ivey reveal details and some behind the scenes stories that you don't want to miss.
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Hello, everyone, and welcome to another exciting edition of The Great American Senior Show. I'm your gray haired host, Sam Yates and we are back in Brevard County. And I have to tell you, we're back in Brevard County because of something exciting that happened here. The Artemis launch, the preparation for taking man to the moon happened again, the taking the manned moon aspect here in Brevard County and something very, very special. And Sheriff, your department, your personnel played a vital role in making sure that went off without a hitch.Sheriff Wayne Ivey:
Yeah, you know, so every every launch that we have here attracts people that come to see a piece of history. And, you know, when when we returned to space back during COVID, I shouldn't say return space when we turn croute returned crewed launches to space. You know, hundreds of 1000s of people came here. And, and I actually took a little heat over that, because NASA was telling people to watch it virtually. And I was asked about it. And they said, when the media asked me, you know, shoot, what am I telling people about the launch? I said, Brevard County's open for launch business, you know, saying my, my thought process was I want people I need to get my restaurants back open, I need to get my my hotels back in swing, I need to get, you know, retail, everything else, you know, going again. And so I wanted to bring people to more County. And so I said Brevard County's open for for launch business. And man, it was it was great came here. And it was really a shot in the arm to help reboot our, our economy and our re kickstart it. So then, you know, you fast forward, and now we're at a pace where we're, they're estimating sometimes as many as three to four launches a month, and maybe even more. And the launch is depending upon what they are, you know, for example, Artemis is a return to the moon. And for some, that's, that's an unknown history moment. They weren't here and they weren't alive, like you. And I were to, you know, revel in the success and the patriotism of America, you know, the race to the moon. Today, we have new reasons for going to the moon, we have, you know, the ability to, you know, do the things we're doing with return easy returns of boosters, and things, you know, all those things. And so, it's an exciting time. And then you see hundreds of 1000s of people come to watch, you know, a launch of that magnitude. And, you know, for us, our team, they're there. They're all the same from what we do to protect citizens. But each one of them brings a little bit of uniqueness to it. If you think back to the shuttle days, you know, some of the some of the crowds were bigger based upon who some of the astronauts were. And, and so, you know, the, it's exciting. If you go back 10 years ago, people wrote Brevard County off they, they certainly wrote the north end of Brevard County off because the space center was dying. And now thanks to great private industry giants, we're we're a mecca of of industry, and just exciting things. So you know, our team responds to these in each one. And we bring in the additional resources, we work very well with the Emergency Operations Center, John Scott, the manager of EOC, and his team, and making sure that we're creating traffic patterns. Just just yesterday morning, I was on a call looking at one of the upcoming launches, you know, and how it could impact traffic for the school, you know, and stuff. So every one of them and certainly the volume of them brings up brings a challenge, but Artemis is is an exciting, exciting time. The entire program, you know, watching watching Artemis go up and return to the moon was something that was just phenomenal. But you know, knowing the next launch of that program or the next extension of that program, it's awesome. And you know, where else can you come to? And if you think about the history of Brevard County, yes. When when I'm out and about and I tell people where Brevard County is the two things that may make them usually resignate with us are I Dream of Jeannie and the space program. And so if you think about and you marry those two together, this is where dreams are launched from and it's amazing place to be a partSam Yates:
of and I have to say that a few years back Barbara Eden was going to be immediate area and because of COVID She didn't make it here but we had really been looking forward to that.Sheriff Wayne Ivey:
Oh, me too, because you know, listen, I I'm somebody that grew up on a you know, watching I Dream of Jeannie and, and I, I wasn't from Brevard County starting to where Cocoa Beach was. And then of course I come here and I see it and everything. But I grew up on I Dream of Jeannie and, and I was so looking forward to her being here because I was actually going to escort her awesome up on stage. The crew had asked me to do that I was so excited about it. But she'll be back. She'll, she'll make her way.Sam Yates:
She is going to do that. Quick question about celebrities. We're seeing more and more celebrities here in Brevard County. Good thing, bad thing. How does that impact any of your operations?Sheriff Wayne Ivey:
Well, you know, it doesn't impact us. Usually, you know, the celebrities depending on who they are, have their own security details and things of that nature. So it's not really drawing any resources away from what we do every day. But I think it's a good thing. And I think it's a good thing, because you have to look at why are they coming here. And they're coming here because this is an incredible place and incredible part of America. And so I think it's I think it's really neat to see them coming here a lot of growth. Vieira is just bursting at the seams and the growth that's anticipated and, and that plan there is awesome. And the VR Corporation such a great corporation to work with, they're very giving in their their charitable giving. They're also very, very wise in their developments and their planning, of how those can only impact their residents in that VR area. But how they impact us and the fire departments, things of that nature.Sam Yates:
And that leads me to the question that as you mentioned earlier, North Brevard County used to be not a ghost town, but the property values and everything else were low, just nothing happening here. Now that we do see that growth, you're taking that all into consideration, and we see a growth pattern for your department that in the upcoming years?Sheriff Wayne Ivey:
Well, you know, we do a comprehensive study to you know, everything that we do is based on per capita. And so we look at, you know, how are we doing? How can we, you know, better better assign resources to different areas, if you look at the copper, and the last comprehensive plan we had were about 56 deputies, positions, I should say, short, but because of the way we've aligned our resources, because of the shifts that we've put everybody on, and the way that we're able to work with our county commissioners to have, you know, the budget and the resources we need, where we're at a great place. In fact, I've been Sheriff now almost 10 years, and in the past nine and a half years, our crime rate has dropped by 51%. And that's, that's almost unheard of. It's a, it's a direct credit to a community that partners with us direct credit to the men and women of law enforcement and a direct credit to our strategy that we will put your butt in jail if you as much as spit on one of our sidewalks. And so we're going to continue that we're going to maintain that. And our goal is to lower the crime rate even further.Sam Yates:
And I'm going to say hit hit. We need you to stay around for a longSheriff Wayne Ivey:
time, I am going to stay here as long as our citizens and the men and women of this agency allow me to do so.Sam Yates:
Echoing your statistics. And I referenced this because I want our audience to realize it. The Space Coast Health Foundation recently completed a study about a 200 page study of the the status of healthy in Brevard County and one of those categories was crime and violent crime. And we are well below the national average.Sheriff Wayne Ivey:
Yeah, you're gonna hear me knocking on wood because I don't want to jinx that. But yes, you're right. You know, one of the biggest challenges we have here is not on the violent crime side, we rank very high in fact, I think third in the country, and the most incidents of vehicle of pedestrian and bicycle deaths. And, you know, circumstances create circumstances. And when you look at you know, the beautiful beaches, we have the people that want to go out bicycling and jogging and, and, you know, walking, not that I'm any of those. But the people that do that we're at an increased level people walking their pets, you know, and none of those things and so we we, you know, have to be better at being careful on both ends of the spectrum, the driver of the automobile and the person walking in the crosswalk or riding their bicycle on on the side of the road. All of us need to do better and lower that number as well. And we're working strongly to do awareness campaigns to keep that from you know, climbing up, making sure we're getting it down.Sam Yates:
Sheriff I know your time is at a premium today. So at some point when we do come back, let's talk more about that. And make sure that we have some information for our res That's because you're around. We are outdoors here in Brevard County. So I think that's important. Yeah, youSheriff Wayne Ivey:
know, the weather is great. And if it's hot, then you get in the water, you know, or people are fishing all of those things. And so there's so many boxes that we check as a community here. It's why we're growing. It's why we're growing industry wise. It's why we're growing population wise. And thankfully, while our population is going up, or crime rates going down,Sam Yates:
and just as a sidebar to that when we looked at that report from the Brevard, or from the Space Coast Health Foundation, and we looked at senior citizens share those that had experienced crime in the last five years 1.1%, which is a phenomenal it's almost unheard of crime within that segment as far as senior citizens so we want to continue to do our part to keep them safe, andSheriff Wayne Ivey:
we come back for another another great show. Let's, let's talk about what we do on the economic crime side to protect our seniors. And let's talk about the impact that opioids are having in every community, including ours.Sam Yates:
That is on my schedule. Sheriff, thank you very much for being here. And until our next episode, I'm your gray haired host of The Great American Senior Show. I'm Sam Yates. That's the way our program