TOPS Public Safety Program

Overview
Beginning April 4, 2010, a new public-private partnership between Orange County Government, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the International Drive Business Improvement District was launched.This prototype program has provided for an increased law enforcement presence that has enabled the tourist corridor to maintain its strong reputation in the travel industry as a safe experience for visitors, employees and residents.
 
History
The Tourist Oriented Policing Squad (TOPS) program is the result of a grant issued to Orange County through the U.S. Department of Justice stimulus program.
  • Orange County partnered with the I-Drive District and its dedicated funding source, to commit to the required four-year program.
  • Funding for the first four years of the program came from a combination of the COPS grant and a special assessment that I-Drive Business Improvement District.
  • The safety initiative provides enhanced services to the 7.7 million overnight visitors each year and the more than 75,000 employees who work in the area.
  • TOPS followed the highly successful International Drive District off duty program that was implemented in 2008.
  • Today, 100% of the funding for TOPS is contributed from the International Drive Business Improvement District special assessment program.
 
 
Significance
The TOPS program allows for enhanced coverage of International Drive that is located within the unincorporated area of Orange County for the I-Drive District master taxing unit.
  • The unincorporated area covers over 4,500 acres including the Orange County Convention Center, 46,000 room accommodations, attractions, entertainment, dining, shopping and residential.
  • This proactive approach to public safety means an increased presence of bike patrols, marked cars and officers on foot throughout the area.Additionally, experienced deputies are assigned to these special squads who have been specifically trained for the TOPS program.
  • Addressing the needs of meeting attendees, tourists and area employees, the TOPS program provides an increase in deputies that enables increased tracking of activity throughout the District program boundaries.Deputies have direct contact with I-Drive businesses, visitors, employees and residents.These dedicated squads provide flexible coverage which allows for quick response when needed.
  • Area businesses benefit from increased communication with the deputies.Educational seminars, crime prevention training are offered as well as safety assessments for individual businesses.
 
Contact:
International Drive Business Improvement District: Luann Brooks, 407-248-9590 or LBrooks@IDriveDistrict.com
 
June 2016