Florida Police Chiefs Association Update: Week Ending November 23, 2012

Nov 26, 2012


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 November 23, 2012.  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.





THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA:  Measure filed to ban texting and driving in Florida

Drivers would be banned from manually typing or reading texts, emails or other electronic messages while operating a car under legislation filed in the Senate Tuesday.


Blog:  Law Enforcement Puts Out Legislative Priorities

Want to know what’s on the holiday wish lists for police chiefs and sheriffs around the state?


Stand Your Ground Task Force says Florida Law is Mostly Fine As-Is

The findings of a state committee tasked to investigate Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law may be as polarizing as the statute itself.


Florida Judge Skeptical About Prison Privatization

A skeptical judge on Monday raised questions about whether it was legal for the state to move ahead with a plan to privatize nearly 3,000 health care jobs in Florida’s prisons.


Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner receives sixth national reaccreditation

On Saturday, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey formally accepted the department’s sixth reaccreditation award from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies during a ceremony in Jacksonville, Florida. 


Corrections Secretary Tucker Offically Retiring As Department Of Corrections Boss

Corrections Secretary Ken Tucker is officially stepping aside as head of the agency, the latest in a series of changes for the state’s prison system.


Changes due for Crestview Police Department to Prepare for Accreditation

With what he calls his “observation and evaluation phase” almost complete, new Police Chief Tony Taylor is preparing to implement changes he believes will make the department more responsive and prepare it for accreditation.


Tarpon Police Seek Accreditation

Tarpon Springs Police Chief Robert P. Kochen recently announced the arrival of the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation on December 11.


St. Augustine beach community divided on police department

Prior to last week’s election, Historic City News reporters noted lines were already being drawn in one of the more controversial issues to affect the City of St Augustine Beach since the municipality incorporated in 1959 – what to do about the police department.


Contract Negotiations Begin for New St. Petersburg Police Headquarters

St. Petersburg took another step Monday night to building a new St. Petersburg Police Headquarters and renovating/replacing the existing blighted police station located at 1300 1st Ave. N.


Sanford Police Chief Applications Include Two from Central Florida

Two Central Florida law-enforcement officers are among the 31 people who have applied so far to become Sanford’s next police chief, according to a list presented to the city by a hiring consultant this week.


Database funding key to fighting prescription drug abuse

The proliferation and abuse of prescription pills throughout the state and particularly in the Tampa Bay area is our greatest law enforcement crisis, affecting not only repeat criminals but also otherwise law-abiding citizens struggling with addiction.


Three law enforcement officers rescue woman from fiery wreck

Two off-duty Broward sheriff’s deputies and a Coconut Creek officer combined efforts to save a woman from burning to death in a wrecked pickup truck Sunday.


Black Wednesday raises Christmas spirit — and the number of DUIs

The season to be merry starts Wednesday night, Thanksgiving Eve – or as some in the bar industry and law enforcement circles call it, “Black Wednesday.”


Florida Smart Justice Alliance:  A cost-saving public safety idea whose time has come

Imagine you and some buddies are enjoying a friendly low-stakes poker game when your enthusiastic host turns the music up way too loud. One of his neighbors gets annoyed and calls the police, who discover the poker game – and suddenly you’re facing a possible gambling arrest.


Editorial:  Police Car Program Needs Accountability

For many South Floridians, the idea of a police car parked overnight in the neighborhood is a comforting thought.


Urinating On A Police Car Is Never A Good Idea [Video]

Henderson reportedly relieved himself on the cruise when the law enforcement officer’s back was turned, the Florida Sun-Sentinel notes.





U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics:  Pretrial Release and Misconduct in Federal District Courts, 2008-2010

From 2008 to 2010, federal district courts released more than a third (36%) of defendants prior to case disposition. Nearly three-quarters of federal defendants released pretrial did not pay a financial bond to secure their release. In addition, federal courts released 10% of noncitizen defendants identified as illegal aliens, compared to 43% of legal aliens and 55% of U.S. citizens. About 8 out of 10 federal defendants released prior to their case disposition had conditions attached to their release.


National Center for State Courts:  A Return to Trials: Implementing Effective Short, Summary and Expedited Civil Action Programs

A widespread perception exists that the civil justice system is too complex, costs too much, and takes too long. To address these concerns, several federal and state jurisdictions around the country have implemented an alternative process designed to provide litigants with a speedier and less expensive process, including both a simplified pretrial process and a shortened trial on an expedited basis. This report provides recommendations for jurisdictions around the country that are considering implementing such programs, as well as those seeking to improve their current programs. The recommendations are meant to serve as a flexible framework for reform, with the details of each program to be determined at the local level.


The National Academies:  Reforming Juvenile Justice–A Developmental Approach

Adolescence is a distinct, yet transient, period of development characterized by increased experimentation and risk-taking, a tendency to discount long-term consequences, and heightened sensitivity to peers and other social influences. For most youth, the period of risky experimentation does not extend beyond adolescence, ceasing as identity becomes settled with maturity. Much adolescent involvement in criminal activity is part of the normal developmental process of identity formation and most adolescents will mature out of these tendencies. Knowledge of adolescent development has underscored important differences between adults and adolescents with direct bearing on the design and operation of the justice system.


Georgetown University:  Improving the Juvenile Justice System for Girls: Lessons from the States

Girls make up a growing percentage of the juvenile justice population, and a significant body of research and practice shows that their needs are not being met by a juvenile justice system that was designed for boys. The set of challenges that girls often face as they enter the juvenile justice system include trauma, violence, neglect, mental and physical problems, family conflict, pregnancy, residential and academic instability, and school failure. The juvenile justice system only exacerbates these problems by failing to provide girls with services at the time when they need them most. This report reviews the literature documenting girls’ pathways into the juvenile justice system; examines recent gender-responsive, trauma-informed reform efforts; and concludes with recommendations for future efforts at the local, state, and federal levels. Detailed case studies of recent reform efforts in three jurisdictions in Connecticut, Florida, and California are presented.


The Center for Court Innovation:  National Drug Court Online Learning System

This new web resource offers free access to training on a wide array of subjects, including the psychopharmacology of addiction, sanctions and incentives, trauma-informed care, and methamphetamine addiction. Courses include video lessons by experts in the field, virtual site visits of drug treatment courts around the country, interviews with practitioners, and a resource library of documents and reference tools.


U.S. Government Accountability Office:  Federal and State Efforts Related to Accidents That Involve Non-Commercial Vehicles Carrying Unsecured Loads

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) collects limited information on crashes involving vehicles carrying unsecured loads but plans to make changes to collect better information. Currently, NHTSA collects some data in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the National Automotive Sampling System General Estimates System. However, the systems do not currently have a data category to distinguish between debris resulting from natural sources (such as a tree branch) and debris resulting from human error (such as an unsecured load).  As a result, the NHTSA cannot currently identify how many crashes involve vehicles carrying unsecured loads.


U.S. Government Accountability Office:  Increasing Federal Funding Flexibility and Identifying Research Priorities Would Help Support States’ Motorcycle Safety Efforts

The GAO estimated that the total direct measurable costs of motorcycle crashes– costs that directly result from a crash and that can and have been measured– were approximately $16 billion in 2010. However, the full costs of motorcycle crashes are likely higher because some difficult-to-measure costs–such as longer-term medical costs–are not included. Victims and their families, as well as society–including employers, private insurers, healthcare providers, government, and others–bear these costs.


U.S. Government Accountability Office:  Countering Violent Extremism–Additional Actions Could Strengthen Training Efforts

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has identified and is communicating to its components and state and local partners topics that the training on countering violent extremism (CVE) it provides or funds should cover; in contrast, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has not identified what topics should be covered in its CVE-related training. According to a DHS official who leads DHS’s CVE efforts, identifying topics has helped to provide a logical structure for DHS’s CVE-related training efforts.