Florida Police Chiefs Association Update: Week Ending November 9, 2012

Nov 13, 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 9, 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.





Florida law inspires confusion over whether “straw-buyer” of weapon can be charged

Local law enforcement officials continue to grapple with Florida’s firearm possession laws as they seek a way to punish the buyer of a gun investigators say was used in an Oldsmar double murder.


Florida Capital Briefs: State Supreme Court to consider red-light camera cases

The Florida Supreme Court today agreed to take up cases from Orlando and Aventura about the legality of local red-light camera ordinances.


Florida Officers Head North to Aid in Sandy Cleanup

Florida law enforcement is answering the call to assist New Jersey with a strike team of twenty-seven officers and one communication technician.


Crime Rate Increases In Escambia And Santa Rosa

Overall crime was up in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties during the first six months of 2012, according to a report just released by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.


Former top federal official to be sentenced for child porn

The former local chief of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had up to 150 pieces of child pornography on his personal laptop and used his expertise to wipe the computer clean, according to federal court documents filed this week.


Trooper Who Shot Cemetery Owner Cleared by Florida Department of Law Enforcement 

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement cleared a state trooper of wrongdoing Wednesday in its investigation of a shooting at a Pinellas Park cemetery.


Police: Officer lied about misplaced ammo

Police in Florida said an officer who attempted to purchase ammunition to hide the fact that he lost 40 rounds was suspended for five weeks.


Boynton chooses a firm for Police Department review

The City Commission voted to move forward with a $54,000 internal review of the Police Department.


Opinion:  For thousands of South Florida cops, the job comes with a take-home car

Thousands of South Florida law enforcement officers are commuting to work at public expense and some are logging round trips of 100-plus miles daily.


Slayings spotlight Florida gun laws

On probation for misdemeanor battery and for carrying a knife to his high school, Benjamin Bishop had no way to legally purchase the 12-gauge shotgun authorities say he used to kill his mother and her boyfriend Sunday.


Blog:  Jury says journalist arrested while videotaping police is not guilty

A jury acquitted a Florida photojournalist who was arrested on January 31 while documenting the eviction of Occupy Miami protesters.


Mount Dora police chief, deputy chief to retire

Police Chief Randy Scoggins and Deputy Chief Ron Rauth this week informed City Manager Mike Quinn that they plan to retire. Each has been with the city 13 years.


Marion County sheriff-elect under fire for alleged election law violation

The man just elected as Marion County’s new sheriff is already dealing with an allegation of an election law violation, but Chris Blair said he’s confident the matter will be resolved quickly.


Sheriff races decided in 4 Florida counties

There are three new sheriffs in Central Florida, and one enjoying a win for his second term.


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.


Florida Smart Justice Alliance:  Adult Civil Citations is cost-saving

Many Floridians, even the most law-abiding, have made bad choices that inadvertently ended up violating a law. Even for low-level offenses, until now law enforcement in Florida has had only two choices in these circumstances: Let you go or arrest you.


Puerto Rico’s Police Superintendent:  “No-excuses” culture of Puerto Rican police delivers results

After 27 years in the FBI, including several senior law enforcement positions in South Florida, I eagerly returned to my native Puerto Rico to become police superintendent last March.


Florida Comets Law Enforcement tournament a hit

The 2012 Florida Comets Law Enforcement Basketball Tournament was a big success for Indian River County and Vero Beach.


Mugshots:  The hot new Internet business

It’s a hot Internet business: Get mugshots for free from government websites, put them on your own websites and then demand money when irate people plead to have their photos removed.


Blog:  Why a Sensitive Dog Is an Evidence-Impaired Cop’s Best Friend

The key issue in Florida v. Harris, which the U.S. Supreme Court heard on Wednesday, is how a judge should determine whether a drug-sniffing dog is reliable enough to provide probable cause for a search.





The Florida Legislature’s Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability:  Expansion Drug Courts Serving More Prison-Bound Offenders, but Will Not Fully Expend Federal Funds

The 2009 Florida Legislature established eight post-adjudicatory drug courts to divert drug-addicted, prison-bound offenders to treatment, thereby saving state prison dollars. As of September 30, 2011, 1,190 offenders had been admitted to the program.  Despite actions by the 2011 Legislature, the Office of the State Courts Administrator reports that the courts are not likely to serve enough offenders to expend all federal grant funds before they expire in March 2013.  While the number of prison-bound offenders served has continued to increase, only two of the eight expansion drug courts have had a majority of their participants facing mandatory prison sentences.  Current data indicates that Florida expansion drug court completion rates for early program participants may slightly exceed the completion rates of other post-adjudicatory drug courts.


U.S. Government Accountability Office:  Civil Air Patrol Involved in Certain Missions, but Department of Homeland Security Should Assess the Benefits of Further Involvement

The Civil Air Patrol (“CAP”) has performed certain homeland security missions for federal, state, and local customers, but devotes the majority of its flying hours to training and youth programs. Several of CAP’s mission areas fit within the Department of Homeland Security’s definition of homeland security, as found in the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review Report–a strategic framework for homeland security.  For example, CAP disaster assistance and air defense activities relate to the QHSR mission areas of ensuring resilience to disasters and preventing terrorism and enhancing security, respectively.  The CAP has performed some of these activities in support of DHS components, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Coast Guard, as well as state and local governments.


U.S. Department of Justice:  Hiring and Retention of State and Local Law Enforcement Officers, 2008 -Statistical Tables

This report provides information on how the Bureau of Prisons’ estimates costs of housing inmates in BOP facilities, residential reentry centers and home detention.  The report notes that BOP uses different factors for estimating costs for its facilities. Daily costs per inmate are estimated using operational costs such as food, staff salaries and training, and medical supplies, but not costs such as those for new construction and modernization and repair.  For community corrections, BOP estimates daily costs using the contract per diem rates paid to the privately-owned companies that operate residential reentry centers and monitor offenders that are on home detention.  The report also includes evaluation results on the Elderly Offender Pilot Program and the cost savings it provides to the federal government. The program placed eligible elderly offenders on home detention until the end of their prison terms.  The evaluation indicates that the program achieved no cost savings to the federal government and noted that the lack of cost savings could be attributed to the program’s strict statutory eligibility requirements which limited the number of inmates eligible for the pilots.


U.S. Department of Justice:  Community Supervision of Underage Drinkers

This overview of practices to supervise underage drinkers in the community finds that an effective program should emphasize four goals: community protection, youth accountability, competency development, and individual assessment. In addition, conditions of community supervision must be clearly stated to the youth, must be constitutional and fair, and must help rehabilitate the youth.  Also, community corrections and diversion professionals must acknowledge the diverse cultural backgrounds of youth and tailor interventions and services accordingly.  Justice system professionals must also remember that youth under supervision maintain certain basic constitutional rights and violation of these rights, intentional misconduct, or negligence can result in legal liability.




Notice Of Variance:  Rule 11B-27.00212 “Maintenance of Officer Certification”

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission has advised that on October 5, 2012, the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission (“CJSTC”) received a petition for a permanent waiver of Rule 11B-27.00212(14), F.A.C. from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office on behalf of 59 officers for the 2008, 2010 and 2012 reporting periods (7/1/2006 – 6/30/2008; 7/1/2008 – 6/30/2010; 7/1/2010-6/30/2012).   11B-27.00212(14), F.A.C. requires officers to requalify with a firearm every two years on a course of fire mandated by Commission Rule and supervised by a CJSTC-certified firearms instructor.  On November 1, 2012, pursuant to notice, at its regularly scheduled Business Agenda meeting held in Sarasota, Florida, the CJSTC found that the Petitioner’s situation is unique.  To access the variance, click here.