Staff of Safe & Sound Hillsborough
Freddy Barton is the Executive Director of Safe & Sound Hillsborough (S&SH), a multi-sector, multi-disciplinary collaborative aimed at reducing and preventing violence utilizing a public health model. Safe & Sound Hillsborough is a collaborative project that coordinates the efforts of Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, Cities of Tampa, Temple Terrace and Plant City, the Public Defender’s Office, the State Attorney’s Office, School District of Hillsborough County, 13th Judicial Circuit, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County. In his role, Freddy works with policy makers, civic and business leaders, residents and community-based organizations to mitigate the factors that contribute to violence.
Working with Hillsborough County and other agencies, he has launched several initiatives designed to keep youth safe and positively engaged in their communities; turning two dormant recreation facilities into thriving afterschool and summer programming sites, creating programs to help youth within the juvenile detention center and serving as the lead for the local My Brother’s Keeper Initiative. He has also helped to implement a youth mock trial program in four targeted zip codes served by S&SH, is establishing a county-wide policy review council and has coordinated many community events throughout Hillsborough County. He serves as a vocal advocate for youth intervention services, mental health support systems and community engagement. He & Safe & Sound Hillsborough created the Annual SafeSummit Violence Prevention Conference which focused on bringing residents, policy makers and law enforcement officers together to come up with solutions for Hillsborough County. Combining faith, energy and his passion for community, he is a sought-after public speaker at many community events. He serves as a member of various community advisory groups including the State Attorney’s Community Advisory Council and is the Chair of the Detention Center Advisory Board.
Freddy previously served as Vice-President of Operations for the Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa, (CDC of Tampa, Inc.), overseeing Housing, Youth Development and Career Services to serve East Tampa and surrounding communities. During his tenure, Freddy helped bring in over $3.8 million in funding from state, local, federal and corporate sources including securing appropriations from the Florida Legislature. Utilizing over 15 years in Technical and Professional Development, he has created training programs for youth and adults, assisting over 3000 candidates in the Tampa Bay area in job training and technical certification courses. Combining his Business Administration education with his Microsoft Master Trainer Certification, he has been an adjunct instructor teaching at the collegiate and professional levels in Professional Development and Information Technology courses and is also a guest lecturer on violence prevention strategies and community building. He successfully created training programs for youth and adults, assisting over 3000 candidates in the Tampa Bay area in job training and technical certification courses. He has managed training and development programs with a specific emphasis on workforce development and youth. In addition, he helped to create programs to employ the hardest to serve including transitional youth and ex-offenders.
In 2012, Freddy laid the groundwork for the opening of Tampa Vocational Institute (TVI), a state of Florida licensed post-secondary educational institution providing short-term vocational training and certification in industries such as Customer Service, Microsoft Applications, Green Trades and Construction. Since its inception, TVI has graduated 218 students, focusing on transitional youth ages 18-24, with over 80% obtaining gainful employment.
Outside of his normal duties, Freddy is a community advocate, mentor and volunteer. He enjoys reading to elementary school students and serves as a mentor to youth as well as ex-offenders who have reentered the community. His philosophy in life is simple… “life is rewarding when we use our blessings and talents to help others”. He and his family are members of Allen Temple AME Church, where in 2017 he received the Inaugural Image Award for Exceptional Community Service. Molina Healthcare of Florida has honored him with the Community Champion Award, recognizing him for leadership, volunteerism, public advocacy and his unyielding passion for serving those in need; and he was recently awarded Director’s Community Leadership Award from the FBI – Tampa Field Office, and will be recognized nationally in Washington, DC by FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Freddy lives in Riverview, Florida with Denise, his wife of 14 years and his sons TJ and Cameron. Whenever he is not out and about in the community, he spends his free time barbequing and riding motorcycles.