Fort Lauderdale Residents Oppose Building Forensic Center In Their Neighborhood – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports

(WSVN) – Broward County calls it a state-of-the-art forensic science center, but many who will be living nearby are calling it a county mortuary they don’t want. Kevin Ozebek has the 7 inquiries tonight.

Right now it’s empty, sandy land in Fort Lauderdale, but when Sharon Alexander looks at this site, her emotions start to flare.

Sharon Alexander, Resident: “It’s heartbreaking.

What you are looking at is the future home of the Broward County Forensic Science Center. It will house both a new Broward Sheriff’s Office criminal lab and the county medical examiner’s office that is currently located in Dania Beach.

Sharon Alexander: “Nobody wants to say, ‘Pass the morgue and you will come to my house. Pass the morgue, and I follow the community to the left or to the right. Nobody wants that, and that’s what we’ll get.

Kevin Ozebek: “Raise your hand if you are deeply opposed to the opening of the medical examiner’s office here. “

As you can see, Sharon is far from alone in her opposition.

April Young, resident: “This will degrade our community that we work so hard for. “

The forensic center will be built along Northwest 23rd Avenue, a predominantly black community.

The back of the building will be near Rock Island Elementary School.

Angela Grant, Parent: “It’s too close to any school, period. I have two young children who go to this school.

John Morrison, resident: “Who wants to go to school next to a morgue? The whole thing is quite simply scandalous.

But, as Broward County sees it …

Monica Cepero, Broward County Assistant Administrator: “It’s actually an investment in their community. “

Monica Cepero is the deputy county administrator.

Monica Cepero: “There is only one entry and exit. It won’t be near primary school. None of the children will see anything. No one will actually see what is going on.

That is, unless they enter the facility to visit a section designed to educate the public about forensic science.

Cepero says this will provide a great opportunity for nearby students.

Monica Cepero: “It’s going to be a partnership where we really want to involve people from the community, and we welcome them into community halls and training opportunities. “

However, many community members do not adhere to this proposed partnership.

John Morrison: “We don’t need a county mortuary in our neighborhood for our kids to learn forensic science. They have to put it somewhere else.

John Morrison and many of his neighbors feel that this facility has been dumped on them.

John Morrison: “These people from Parkland wouldn’t dare accept a county mortuary in their neighborhood. They wouldn’t put him in Weston.

Kevin Ozebek: “Do you think it would be built in a neighborhood that didn’t have this similar demographics? “

Sharon Alexander: “Absolutely not. “

The county says it chose this land simply because it was available and met the criteria.

Monica Cepero: “We continue to be sensitive to the needs and concerns of the community. We will listen every step of the way.

Sharon has started a petition and she hopes she can get the county to change course.

Sharon Alexander: “I’m going to stand up and scream at the top of my lungs, ‘This is not happening in this community.’ “

Sharon says she doesn’t feel like she’s fighting a losing battle because construction hasn’t started yet, but the county plans to innovate here in 2023.

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