Florida Police Chiefs Association Update: Week Ending December 6, 2013

Dec 9, 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 December 6, 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.





State Representative Steube returning with new school security bill

Almost a year after the massacre of 20 first-graders in Connecticut, State Rep. Greg Steube said he’s not close to giving up on his effort to better arm school personnel in Florida to fend off a would-be attacker.


Arms shipment came from Florida

The shipment of a machine used to make and reload ammunition, along with several components and 3,300 war heads/projectiles that were seized at the port in Kingston last week originated in Florida, the police said yesterday.


Who’s an expert witness?  Change in Florida’s standard makes judge the gatekeeper

On July 1, Florida joined the growing majority of states in adopting a version of the federal-court standard for expert testimony.


Embattled Tallahassee police department gets new chief

The embattled Tallahassee Police Department is getting a new police chief.  Tallahassee City Manager Anita Favors Thompson announced on Tuesday that the city is hiring Michael DeLeo to take over the department.


Umatilla, Mount Dora, have new police chiefs

Interim Umatilla Police Chief Adam Bolton apparently impressed City Manager Glenn Irby enough to permanently head up the department.


J. Scott Dennis Sworn in as new North Miami Beach Police Chief

The North Miami Beach city council chamber was packed with law-enforcement and local officials from all over Miami Dade county who showed up for the swearing in of North Miami Beach’s new police chief, J. Scott Dennis Sr.


Congratulations to Florida Department of Law Enforcement newest agents

Twenty-five proud members of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Special Agent Training Class 33 graduated and took the oath of office in ceremonies held on Wednesday, Nov. 27 in Tallahassee. 


Miami Gardens police chief defends officers accused of harassment at store

Miami Gardens Police Chief Matthew Boyd defended his officers who have been accused of harassing employees and customers at a convenience store


Florida International University first in the nation to offer criminal justice Ph.D.

Florida International University’s Department of Criminal Justice has a new Ph.D. program in the works – an international crime and justice track with a degree encompassing international criminal justice issues, such as international drug trafficking, terrorism and transnational crime.


Florida malls add security, but quietly

As millions of Americans descend on shopping malls for the holiday season, few will likely notice new security measures intended to prevent violence that has marred malls from Paramus, N.J., to Kenya.


Editorial:  Sensible sentences

Illegally possessing or selling as few as seven pills of hydrocodone is enough to land someone a three-year mandatory minimum sentence in Florida.


Column:  Florida should restore option of parole

For 20 years, parole has been little more than an afterthought in Florida’s criminal justice system, and it was abolished altogether for crimes committed after Oct. 1, 1995. But that bright line is now under scrutiny thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent rulings that life without parole sentences for juvenile homicide offenders are disproportionate.


Special report:  Police agencies can grab data from your cellphone

In most states, including Florida, police can get many kinds of cellphone data without obtaining a warrant.





Florida Department of Law Enforcement Case Law Update:  Frisk of a Person Who is Suspected of Carrying a Concealed Firearm

Simply seeing a partially concealed firearm does not, standing alone, justify a frisk since many people may lawfully possess a concealed firearm.  However, the frisk in this case was justified because there were additional factors.


Florida Attorney General’s November 2013 Alerts


The Florida Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research:  Monitoring the Accuracy of Florida’s Criminal Justice Estimating Conference Forecasts

This report from the Florida Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research provides updates on various criminal justice benchmarks statewide.


Semi-Annual Crime in Florida Report, 2013

From the Florida Department of Law Enforcement–From January to June 2013, the total number of crimes known to law enforcement in Florida declined by 5.2% compared to the first six months of 2012.  The number of violent crimes (murder, forcible sex offenses, robbery, and aggravated assault) was down by 3.5%.  The report showed a 10.6% drop in murders, a 2% decrease in robberies, and a 4.2% decrease in aggravated assault.  Non-violent crime (burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft) fell 5.5%.  Burglary and larceny are down 9.5% and 3.7%, respectively, and motor vehicle thefts decreased by 9.6%.


Intimate Partner Violence:  Attributes of Victimization, 1993–2011

From the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics–This report presents data on trends in nonfatal intimate partner violence among U.S. households from 1993 to 2011.  From 1994 to 2011, the rate of serious intimate partner violence declined 72% for females and 64% for males.  Nonfatal serious violence comprised more than a third of intimate partner violence against females and males during the most recent 10-year period (2002–2011).  An estimated two-thirds of female and male intimate partner victimizations involved a physical attack in 2002–2011; the remaining one-third involved an attempted attack or verbal threat of harm.  In 2002–2011, 8% of female intimate partner victimizations involved some form of sexual violence during the incident.  About 4% of females and 8% of males who were victimized by an intimate partner were shot at, stabbed, or hit with a weapon in 2002–2011.


Estimating the Incidence of Rape and Sexual Assault

From The National Academies–The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) measures the rates at which Americans are victims of crimes, including rape and sexual assault, but there is concern that rape and sexual assault are undercounted on this survey.  It is likely that the NCVS is undercounting rape and sexual assault.  The most accurate counts of rape and sexual assault cannot be achieved without measuring them separately from other victimizations.  The authors recommend that BJS develop a separate survey for measuring rape and sexual assault.  The new survey should more precisely define ambiguous words such as “rape,” give more privacy to respondents, and take other steps that would improve the accuracy of responses.  Additionally, this report examines issues such as the legal definitions in use by the states for these crimes, best methods for representing the definitions in survey instruments so that their meaning is clear to respondents and best methods for obtaining as complete reporting as possible of these crimes in surveys, including methods whereby respondents may report anonymously.


State Court Organization, 2011

From the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics–The organizational structure of the nation’s trial and appellate courts changed modestly from 1980 to 2011.  Over the same time period, the number of states with more than three types of limited jurisdiction trial courts declined from 31 to 21.  From 1980 to 2011, the number of state appellate court judges increased 69%, and the number of state trial judges increased 11%.  In 2011, 52% of appellate court judges were appointed to their initial terms, while 75% of trial court judges were elected to their initial terms.  In 2011, two-thirds of state administrative court offices had full responsibility for judicial education and court technical assistance.  All general jurisdiction trial courts juries were required to reach unanimous verdicts for felony or misdemeanor cases in 2011, compared to 47% for civil cases.


Predicting Erroneous Convictions

From the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs–This report identifies ten statistically significant case factors that distinguish a wrongful conviction from a “near miss” (a case in which an innocent defendant was acquitted or had charges dismissed before trial).  The ten factors that help explain why innocent defendants, once indicted, end up erroneously convicted rather than released are the age and criminal history of the defendant; the punitiveness of the state; Brady violations; forensic error; a weak defense and prosecution case; a family defense witness; an inadvertent misidentification; and lying by a non-eyewitness.-.  Other factors traditionally suggested as sources of erroneous convictions, including false confessions, criminal justice official error, and race effects, appear in statistically similar rates in both sets of cases; thus, they likely increase the chance that an innocent suspect will be indicted but not the likelihood that the indictment will result in a conviction.


Evaluating Correctional Programs

From United Nations Publications–Issues that should be taken into consideration when designing and conducting evaluation research include the political nature of the program; resources for financial and organizational support; the condition, accessibility, and accuracy of correctional data; measurement instruments available for use; the development of adequate comparison groups; and limitations of evaluation research.  Solutions for measuring correctional effectiveness include using recidivism as an outcome measure, using performance-based measures, and measuring program quality.  The author presents an overview of the Evidence-Based Correctional Program Checklist, a tool developed specifically for assessing correctional intervention programs and determining how closely the programs meet known principles of effective intervention.


Can Technology Help to Reduce Underage Drinking?  Evidence From the False ID Laws with Scanner Provision

From the University of Albany–Underage drinkers often use false identification to purchase alcohol or gain access into bars.  In recent years, several states have introduced laws that provide incentives to retailers and bar owners who use electronic scanners to ensure that the customer is 21 years or older and uses a valid identification to purchase alcohol.  Results indicate that false ID laws with scanner provision significantly reduce underage drinking, particularly in the short-run.  The impact of these laws was more pronounced for 16 and 17 year olds.  For this group, these laws are associated with a reduction in the probability of engaging in binge drinking up to 12 percentage points.


Opportunities Exist to Enhance the Transparency of Annual Budget Justifications

From the U.S. Government Acccountability Office–The largest account in the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Prisons (BOP) budget justification–its Salaries and Expenses (S&E) account– is composed mainly of costs associated with Inmate Care and Programs and Institution Security and Administration, both of which have grown steadily since 2008.  This growth is due predominantly to increases in prison populations, which are the primary cost driver of BOP’s budget.  The other two program, project and activity (PPA) elements in the S&E account are associated with the care and custody of federal offenders in contract facilities and maintenance and administration.  BOP’s Buildings and Facilities (B&F) account, which makes up on average less than 3 percent of its budget, pays for costs associated with site planning; acquisition; and construction of new facilities and costs of remodeling and renovating existing facilities, and related costs.  In fiscal year 2014, the budget justification reflected a total of $6.9 billion; of which over 95 percent ($6.8 billion) was for BOP’s S&E account.


Actions Needed to Help Ensure Correct Designations of National Security Positions

From the U.S. Government Acccountability Office–In July 2012, GAO reported that the Director of National Intelligence, as Security Executive Agent, had not provided executive branch agencies clearly defined policy and procedures to consistently determine if a position requires a personnel security clearance.  Absent this guidance, agencies are using an Office of Personnel Management (OPM) position designation tool to determine the sensitivity and risk levels of civilian positions which, in turn, inform the type of investigation needed.  OPM audits, however, found inconsistency in these position designations, and some agencies described problems implementing OPM’s tool.


Progress and Challenges in Key U.S. Department of Homeland Security Programs to Secure the Maritime Borders

From the U.S. Government Acccountability Office–GAO’s prior work has identified several key factors important to secure the maritime borders.  The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its components have made progress (e.g., coordinating with partners), and in some cases also experienced challenges with their related maritime security programs.

DHS Could Benefit from Tracking Progress in Implementing the Small Vessel Security Strategy

From the U.S. Government Acccountability Office–The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its components–such as the U.S. Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection (CBP)–have started or completed initiatives to address small vessel security risks, but DHS is not tracking the progress being made to address action items in the Small Vessel Security Strategy (SVSS) Implementation Plan.  “Small vessels” are characterized as any watercraft–regardless of method of propulsion–less than 300 gross tons, and used for recreational or commercial purposes.




Notices of Declaratory Statement

Florida Department of Management Services

  • NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Public Employees Relations Commission has received the petition for declaratory statement from William Richardson, Case No. DS-2013-002, filed on November 7, 2013.  The petition seeks the agency’s opinion as to the applicability of the Dade County Police Benevolent Association’s (PBA) By-Laws to the petitioner’s opponent in election as it applies to the petitioner.  The petitioner alleges he is a PBA Board of Directors member eligible to run for office in accordance with the PBA’s By-Laws.  The petitioner alleges that the current “Sergeant of Arms” (Sergeant) was appointed by the President, and approved by the Board of Directors, to the position left vacant due to the retirement of the previous Sergeant.  The petitioner is currently running for election to the Sergeant position.  Petitioner is requesting a Declaratory Statement as to whether his opponent is within his rights to run for the position in the current election based on his previous appointment.
  • NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Public Employees Relations Commission has received the petition for declaratory statement from James Dixon, Case No. DS-2013-001, filed on October 31, 2013.  The petition seeks the agency’s opinion as to the applicability of the Dade County Police Benevolent Association’s (PBA) By-Laws as it applies to the petitioner.  The petitioner alleges he is a PBA Board of Directors member.  He alleges he has been excluded from running for Vice-President of the PBA based on an accused violation of the PBA’s By-Laws.  The petitioner is requesting a Declaratory Statement as to whether it is within his rights to run for President.
  • NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Public Employees Relations Commission has received the petition for declaratory statement from Angelique Henderson, Case No. DS-2013-003, filed on November 7, 2013.  The petition seeks the agency’s opinion as to the applicability of Section 447.501(2), Florida Statues (2013), as it applies to the petitioner.  The petitioner, a county employee represented by the Dade County Police Benevolent Association, Inc., (PBA), asks the following question:  May a county employee who is represented by the PBA, file an unfair labor practice charge against the PBA alleging a breach of its duty of fair representation regarding the manner in which the PBA processed a grievance regarding promotions?


Copies of the above Petitions for Declaratory Statement may be obtained by contacting:  The Clerk, Public Employee Relations Commission, 4050 Esplanade Way, Suite 135, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0950.

Please refer all comments to:  The Clerk, Public Employee Relations Commission, 4050 Esplanade Way, Suite 135, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0950.





December 12, 2013

Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission (“CJSTC”) Region XII Training Council.  8:35 a.m.  Agenda includes Florida Department of Law Enforcement/CJSTC updates.  Palm Beach State College/Criminal Justice Institute Assessment Center Updates; Region XII budget approval and any other business.  West Palm Beach Police Department Community Room, 600 Banyan Boulevard, West Palm Beach, Florida.  To view the meeting notice, click here.


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.