The City of Cocoa and the Cocoa Police Department celebrated the grand opening of the Community Engagement Center off of Varr Street in Provost Park on Wednesday, February 23, 2022 with a ribbon cutting and tours of the facility. The center now houses the offices of the Community Engagement Unit and Code Enforcement Division.
The Community Engagement Unit was created in September 2021 by Chief Evander Collier with a goal to promote and foster collaborative partnerships with the citizens of Cocoa and to continue to build trust, transparency, and improve relationships with the community. This unit also provides public education on personal safety and crime prevention. Officers also serve as problem solvers to connect people with social services where needed.
“I believe it is important to have these resources and these officers more accessible to the public,” Chief Collier stated. “My goal from the beginning has been to be in the community with the people. This center facilitates that and more.”
The Community Engagement Center is part of the ongoing commitment by the Cocoa City Council to improve upon our community parks. The center along with repurposed fields, new basketball courts, and renovated restroom facilities are some of the improvements scheduled to occur in Provost Park this year.
The Community Engagement Unit utilizes tools and programs such as the community outreach trailer, K9 Copper who helps to enhance positive community relationships with law enforcement, the Cocoa Police Athletic League, Cops and Kids Summer Camp, Shop with a Cop, Back to School Supply Drive, Space Coast Police K9 Competition, Holiday Food Drive and Thanksgiving Meal Giveaways, and the Christmas Toy Drive.
Code Enforcement’s mission is to foster and maintain the feeling of a safe and healthy environment for those living, working and visiting the City of Cocoa. Code Enforcement Officers are civilian employees that work to preserve property values and remove blight throughout the city by enforcing the city’s Code of Ordinances.
The result of the combined efforts from both units will ultimately increase the safety for the community and improve the overall quality of life for all residents and visitors of the community at large. The center will also provide space for community members to host pre-planned events and meetings coordinated through the Community Engagement Unit.