Florida Police Chiefs Association Update: Week Ending August 23, 2013

Aug 23, 2013



The following is an informational update on law enforcement news, events, legislative developments and meetings relating to the Florida Police Chiefs Association community for the week ending August 23, 2013. 

Click on the hyperlinks in bold type to access all information.

Should you have any questions or comments, please contact Florida Police Chiefs Association lobbyists, Colodny Fass& Webb.





Assistant Secretary William R. Brownfield Travel to Miami, Florida

Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) William R. Brownfield will travel to Miami, Florida, August 28-29 to address developing security challenges in the Caribbean.


Push for leniency in drug sentencing has been a hard sell in Florida

When U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced last week that he was ordering prosecutors to stop charging lower-level drug offenders with “draconian minimum mandatory sentences,” he echoed the refrain from a bi-partisan coalition of activists who have tried and failed to get legislators to change the laws in Florida.


Police officer checks zero in on juvenile offenders

The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice is shifting its focus:  Getting offenders out of detention and putting a priority on prevention and alternative programs.


Stay away, Miami police union warns recruits

The president of Miami’s Fraternal Order of Police union doesn’t think anyone should apply to be a cop in Miami because the pay is too low and benefits have been slashed in recent years as the city struggled to balance its budgets.


Ex-Groveland chief joins list of officials criticizing council members

Ex-Groveland Police Chief Mark Palmer is the latest in a growing list of city officials citing meddling by city council members as the reason he quit his job.


Manatee County school abuse case spotlights new Florida law on reporting

With the suspensions of five Manatee County school district administrators, Superintendent Rick Mills sent a strong and clear message to employees and the community: Staff will be held to the very highest standards — especially regarding student safety.


Florida Trend:  Changes at Florida Department of Corrections

In 2009, Florida’s prison growth seemed to be out of control. The state’s inmate population had topped 100,000 for the first time and was projected to grow another 20% over the next five years. At that rate, corrections officials warned, they’d need to build 19 prisons at a cost of $2 billion.


Stand Your Ground Class Offered By Florida Atlantic University

Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law has provoked heated debates, protests, calls for state hearings — and now a class at Florida Atlantic University.


Governor Scott Honors Hialeah Police For Shooting Response

Florida Gov. Rick Scott thanked members of the Hialeah Police Department and SWAT team Wednesday for their efforts in rescuing the hostages of a gunman who killed six people before he was shot and killed by officers last week.


Florida prosecutors, police back law change to target sex websites

Adding just two words to one of the nation’s first online laws might step up the war against prostitutes, pimps and child sex traffickers in South Florida, but it’s also triggered a battle between law enforcement officials and Internet libertarians.


Law enforcement agencies ease rules for inked officers

Twelve years ago, when she joined the Pinellas Park Police Department, Lonnie Lancto had two tattoos: one on her lower back and one on her ankle. Neither could be seen when she was in uniform.


Florida Hazmat Team Gets Meth Lab Training

Members of the Pinellas County Hazardous Materials Team underwent training Thursday to help them deal with methamphetamine laboratories.


Community forum organizers:  Drop “no-snitch” street code

Nino Lyons hopes clearer channels of communication between residents and police will serve as “jumper cables,” jolting the Diamond Square community into a safer future.


Fake websites were key to locksmith scam, police say

When it comes to business, David Merkatz plays by his own rules. He’s shot out car windows to drum up customers for his Brooklyn auto glass company and squirted glue into a door lock when he was working as a locksmith.


Bogart named New Port Richey police chief

Five months after being named interim chief, Kim Bogart has been appointed as the new chief of police in New Port Richey.


First female police sergeant in Niceville

Rhonda Willis simply smiled when asked about what she thought of being the Police Department’s first female sergeant.  “It’s an honor to be the first,” Willis said. “It seems like the last couple of years more women are getting into this field, and we’re making strides.”


Police trade gifts for guns in Brevard buyback programs

Fat double-barreled sawed-off shotguns, .22 revolvers, some tarnished pistols and bolt-action rifles. Anonymous citizens disposed of firearms during a gun buyback Thursday afternoon at Byrd Plaza near Dixon Boulevard and U.S. 1. In exchange, they left with a gift card or a new pair of Nike sneakers.


Man makes mistake of pulling knife on Florida’s top cop

It appears Larry Jackson flashed his knife at the wrong guy Thursday morning:  Marion County Sheriff’s Cpl. Timothy Liberatore.





U.S. Department of Justice:  Smart on Crime

This document outlines the five principles of the U.S. Justice Department’s “Smart on Crime” initiative, which is the beginning of an ongoing effort to modernize the criminal justice system.  The five principles are: prioritizing prosecutions to focus on the most serious cases, reforming sentencing to eliminate unfair disparities and reducing overburdened prisons, pursuing alternatives to incarcerations for low-level, non-violent crimes, improving reentry to curb repeat offenses and re-victimization, and ‘surging’ resources to violence prevention and protection of the most vulnerable populations.


U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Social Statistics:  Tribal Crime Data Collection Activities, 2013

This report describes Bureau of Justice Statistics (“BJS”) activities to collect and improve data on crime and justice in Indian country.  The number of tribal law enforcement agencies reporting crime data in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (“UCR”) Program increased from 143 in 2010 to 168 in 2011. Tribes received $404,317 through the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s 2013 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program.  The BJS released a solicitation in 2013 to survey the tribal activities and caseloads of all state and local law enforcement agencies and all local prosecutors’ offices that provided services on tribal lands.  In addition, BJS announced multiple funding opportunities in 2013 to improve tribal criminal history records and the reporting of persons prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm under state or federal law.


RAND:  Evaluating the Effectiveness of Correctional Education: A Meta-Analysis of Programs That Provide Education to Incarcerated Adults

Each year approximately 700,000 individuals leave federal and state prisons; about half of them will be reincarcerated within three years.  On average, inmates who participated in correctional education programs had 43% lower odds of returning to prison than inmates who did not.  The findings presented in this report are from an analysis of correctional educational studies, which indicate that prison education programs are cost effective.  According to the research, a one dollar investment in prison education translates into reducing incarceration costs by four to five dollars during the first three years after release, when those leaving prison are most likely to return.


U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics:  Mortality in Local Jails and State Prisons, 2000-2011 – Statistical Tables

These data tables present national and state-level data on the number of inmate deaths that occurred in local jails and state prisons, how the deaths are distributed across jails, and an aggregate count of deaths in federal prisons.  After a decline in 2008, the mortality rate for jail inmates has remained relatively stable (125 deaths per 100,000 inmates in 2010 and 122 per 100,000 in 2011).  Florida’s mortality rate is lower than the national average, but the rate increased from 97 deaths per 100,000 inmates in 2010 to 109 per 100,000 in 2011.  In 2011, 8 in 10 jails (81 percent) reported zero deaths.  From 2000 to 2011, an annual average of 82% of jails reported zero deaths.  Nationally, males and females died at nearly equal rates in local jails in 2011.


University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Consortium for Crime and Justice Research:  Nebraska Sex Offender Registry Study

This report examines sex offender recidivism rates using a risk classification system based on the Adam Walsh Act’s tiered offense severity ratings.  It also presents offender characteristics, victim characteristics, and offense characteristics among all individuals on the registry as well as the relationship of these offender, victim, and offense characteristics with recidivism.  Recidivism rates for sex offenders were low relative to other offenses, more than 97 percent do not reoffend.  The tier levels system of offense severity required under the Adam Walsh Act had only modest predicative accuracy in recidivism.  The authors also posited that sex offender registries that show the addresses of offenders could provide a false sense of security because most sex offenders do not commit crimes in their own neighborhoods.  Only 7 percent of such crimes were committed within a mile of an offender’s residence.


Oregon Secretary of State:  Treatment of the Highest-risk Offenders Can Avoid Costs

As of December 2012, 70 percent of incarcerated offenders in Oregon had some level of substance abuse problem.  However, about half of all the highest-risk offenders did not receive treatment.  The authors estimate that Oregon taxpayers and victims could have avoided about $21.6 million in costs if substance abuse treatment had been provided to all of the highest-risk offenders.

University of Chicago Crime Lab: Short-Term Results of the One Summer Plus 2012 Evaluation

The One Summer Plus (“OSP”) program combined a part-time summer job with proven cognitive behavioral therapy-based programming in order to reduce violence involvement and generate lasting improvements in youth outcomes.  While participants in OPS attended less summer school (4 percentage points lower enrollment) and saw no change in other schooling outcomes, they also showed a large proportional drop in violent-crime arrests after seven post-program months (3.7 fewer arrests per 100 participants, a 51% decline).





Final Adopted Rule

Revisions to Rule 33-601.601, entitled “Temporary Release of Inmates for Specific Purposes,” become effective on September 3, 2013.  The Rule provides for the temporary transfer of custody of any inmate, including those housed in private facilities, to attend a funeral or have a deathbed visit.


Notice of Variances and Waivers

DEPARTMENT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT, Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission

11B-27.002:  Certification, Employment or Appointment, Reactivation, and Terminating Employment or Appointment of Officers

The Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission hereby gives notice that it has issued an order.  On August 8, 2013, the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission, received a petition for a temporary or permanent waiver of subsection 11B-27.002(4), F.A.C., by Jose Jimenez.  Subsection 11B-27.002(4), F.A.C., requires officers to become employed within four years of beginning basic recruit training. Notice of receipt of the petition was published in the Florida Administrative Register Volume 39, Number 119, on June 19, 2013.  The Petition was supported by the Petitioner’s prospective employer, Hialeah Gardens Police Department.

On August 8, 2013, at its regularly scheduled business agenda meeting held in Ponte Vedra, FL, the Commission found that the Petitioner’s situation is unique.  The Petitioner demonstrated that the strict application of the Commission’s rules in this case would violate the principles of fairness.  The Petitioner’s four years to become employed expired six months prior to the Commission vote. At that time, the prospective employer had already determined that it wanted to hire Petitioner.  The Commission found that the purposes of the underlying statute, Section 943.1395(1), F.S., to ensure that officers meet strict qualification criteria and minimum training requirements, would be addressed in an alternative method by granting this rule waiver.  The Commission granted the Petitioner’s waiver request.  The Petitioner has six months from the date of the final order in this matter to become employed as a law enforcement officer.

A copy of the Order or additional information may be obtained by contacting Grace A. Jaye, Assistant General Counsel, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, P.O. Box 1489, Tallahassee, FL 32302, or by telephoning (850)410-7676. 


DEPARTMENT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT, Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission

11B-18.005:  Establishment of Regional Training Councils

The Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission hereby gives notice: that on June 13, 2013, the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission received a petition for a permanent waiver of paragraphs 11B-18.005(5)(b) and (d), F.A.C., from State Regional Law Enforcement Training Council XIII.  Paragraphs 11B-18.005(5)(b) and (d), F.A.C., require the Region XIII Training Council to have no more than two members from any one agency and a definite panoply of members from correctional institutions.  The petition supports the requested waiver by stating that there are no other correctional institutions other than the county facility run by the Sheriff’s Office.  The Sheriff’s Office also runs many town police departments on contract, runs the port, and various other law enforcement venues.  In order to comply with the rule, Region XIII would have to go outside of the Region to find members, which defeats the purpose of the council.

Petitioner stated that the council will suffer a substantial hardship if the waiver is not granted because the county correctional facility would not be properly represented.  The Council further stated that it would also violate principles of fairness to not grant the petition because the Council would have to reach out to agencies outside of the Council’s region for members to fill the seats which should be filled from within the Region.

Notice of receipt of the petition was published in the Florida Administrative Register Volume 39, Number 119, July 19, 2013.

On August 8, 2013, pursuant to notice, at a meeting held in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, the Commission found that the Petitioner’s situation is unique.  The Petitioner demonstrated that the strict application of the Commission’s rules in this case would violate the principles of fairness.  The composition of the State Regional Law Enforcement Training Council XIII must be amended to permit more than two members to be from the same agency.  After careful consideration of the facts in this matter, the Commission issued an order granting the Petitioner’s waiver.

A copy of the Order or additional information may be obtained by contacting Grace A. Jaye, Assistant General Counsel, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, P.O. Box 1489, Tallahassee, FL 32302, or by telephoning (850)410-7676.



Announcement by Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement


A team of assessors from the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA) will arrive Tuesday, April 23, 2013, to examine all aspects of the Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement’s (OALE) policies, procedures, management, operations, and support services.

As part of the on-site assessment, agency members and the general public are invited to offer comments to the assessment team. A copy of the standards is available through OALE’s Public Information Officer in Tallahassee at (850)245-1300.

For persons wishing to offer written comments about OALE’s ability to meet the standards of re-accreditation, please contact: CFA, P.O. Box 1489, Tallahassee, Florida 32302, email info@flaccreditation.org, telephone (850) 410-7200.

The Accreditation Program Manager for OALE is Judith Ivester.  The CFA Assessment Team Leader is Deputy Chief Rick Hawthorne, Gulf Breeze Police Department.  Other team members designated at this time are Officer Andy Joiner, University of North Florida Police Department, Accreditation Coordinator Kristen Holderfield, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Inspector James Fannin, Walton County Sheriff’s Office, and Commander Shelli Walters, Altamonte Springs Police Department.





September 16

Future Law Enforcement Executives Seminar  The Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA), in cooperation with the Florida Criminal Justice Institute, has scheduled a Future Law Enforcement Executives Seminar.  The seminar will be held September 16 – 20, 2013, at the Embassy Suites Lake Buena Vista, 8100 Lake Street, Orlando, Florida, and you are cordially invited to attend.  This program continues to receive rave reviews from attendees and is a “must attend” for up and coming law enforcement executives!  To make your reservations please contact the hotel directly at 407-239-1144, be sure to mention you are with the Florida Police Chiefs Association to secure your room rate of $89 per night. You must call before September 15, 2013 to guarantee receiving our special rate. Click here for driving directions.


September 19

Fall Board of Directors Meeting  The Fall Board of Directors meeting will be held on Thursday, September 19, 2013, during the 2013 Future Law Enforcement Executives Seminar being held at the Embassy Suites Lake Buena Vista, 8100 Lake Street, Orlando, FL 32836.  The meeting will begin at 10:00am, and be held in the Seminole Room. Lunch will be provided with the Future LE Executive Seminar attendees.  For hotel reservations please contact the Embassy Suites directly at 1-407-239-1144.  Please mention that you are with the Florida Police Chiefs Association and call by August 15, 2013 to guarantee your special room rate of $89 per night, which includes a cooked-to-order breakfast each morning.


November 12

Media Relations Training for Law Enforcement – 3 days in 1!   The Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA), in cooperation with the Jupiter Police Department, the Orlando Police Department and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, are pleased to announce this exceptional media training opportunity! Regional sessions will be held November 12 (Jupiter), November 13 (Orlando) and November 14 (Tallahassee).  Three days of basic, intermediate and advanced media relations training presented in a single day!  This fast-paced class is jam-packed with the essential strategies and tactics, skills and techniques that will help you WIN WITH THE MEDIA!  It is practical training, not theoretical: Take what you learn and put it to work for you on the street right away!


January 12, 2014

2014 Mid-Winter Training Conference & Exposition  The Florida Police Chiefs Association’s 2014 Mid-Winter Training Conference and Exposition will be held January 12 – 14, 2014 at the Rosen Centre Hotel, 9840 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819 and you are cordially invited to attend.  Please make your plans now to join us for this outstanding event!  To make your reservations please contact the hotel directly at (800) 204-7234, be sure to mention you are with the Florida Police Chiefs Association to secure your special rate which includes self-parking at the hotel. Click here for driving directions.