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Over 40 civilian volunteers give their personal time to be part of the Community Action Team.
For Marvin Knight, going to the Florida State Fair is less about fun and more about community and safety. That is why this year he is once again joining over 40 civilian volunteers and giving his personal time to be part of the Community Action Team that will help patrol Student Day at the Florida State Fair this Friday night.
"We come out year-after-year because our children matter more than anything and making sure they have a fun and safe night is important to all of us," said Knight, an employee at TECO/Emera .
Community Action Teams, CAT, are a joint effort made up of members of the Sheriff's Office, Tampa Police Department, Hillsborough County School Security Department and volunteer members from the Black, Indian and Hispanic Sheriff's Advisory Councils. At least one person from each group will come together on Student Day and patrol the Fair from opening to close. At least five CAT teams will join the overall security effort on this normally busy night for the Fair. This is the fourth year the teams have deployed. CAT teams are an integral part of the overall Fair security plan which last year helped usher in a 40% reduction in trespass warnings and arrests for students and record receipts and attendance for the Fair.
This will be Gino Collura's first time on the team. Being part of the CAT team as a civilian representative is important because it is a living example of what good can happen when the community works together before a problem arises, said the USF PhD in Psychology Candidate and new member of the Hispanic Advisory Council.
"We aren't there to be cops, we are there to put action to words and show everyone that a safe and secure community requires those who don't carry a badge to step up and do their part," said Collura. "Student Day is meant to be fun and we want to help make sure it stays that way."