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City of Brooksville website

The Brooksville City Council voted Monday evening to disband the local police department. The Hernando County Sheriff's Office will take over the city's law enforcement duties June 1.


Andy Lalino / WUSF Public Media

This week on Florida Matters we visit the office of St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman to talk about his second term in office, which began about a month ago.


“Project Leo” could launch statewide, under a bill that has passed its first House committee. It would make it easier for law enforcement to track missing people with special needs.

You haven’t done anything wrong, but you’re pulled over anyway. The law enforcement officer asks to search your car. Should that officer be required to tell you about your right to decline the search? Florida lawmakers have started discussions about that very topic for the 2018 legislative session.

It’s that time of year when agencies lay out their plans for the coming year—and more importantly—how much those plans will cost.  Two of them are looking to hand out raises.

A new Florida law requiring autism awareness training for law enforcement officers takes effect Sunday.

Bill Seeks To Add Police To Hate Crime Law

Aug 22, 2017

Hate-crime protections would be extended to law-enforcement officers and other first responders under a measure reintroduced Monday by Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah.

Updated at 9:30 p.m. ET Saturday

Police in Kissimmee, Fla., just south of Orlando, reported late Friday that two officers there had been shot.

Officer Matthew Baxter, a three-year veteran of the department, was killed, and Sgt. Sam Howard was in "grave critical condition," Kissimmee Police Chief Jeff O'Dell told reporters early Saturday.

As he eyes a run for the U.S. Senate, Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday unveiled the first piece of his pending election-year budget proposal: a $30 million pay raise for state law-enforcement officers.

Ride-for-hire services like Lyft and Uber will have to comply with statewide rules, and religious expression at public schools will be explicitly protected in Florida, under new laws that go into effect Sat., July 1.

The changes are among 125 revisions the state Legislature passed and Gov. Rick Scott approved this year.

This week, hundreds of law enforcement flocked to the Florida Panhandle for the sixth annual Rural County summit. This year’s three-day event focused on terrorism prevention efforts.

Governor Rick Scott recently signed a bill into law requiring autism awareness training for Florida’s law enforcement officers. But, some may not see the merits of the new law—that gained traction after a high profile incident last year.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee has announced he plans to retire at the end of September.

In a letter to employees Friday, Gee called it one of the most difficult decisions of his career. He also thanked them for their service and said he's retiring to devote his time to his family.

Governor Rick Scott has signed a body-camera related bill into law. But, while it has the support of Florida law enforcement groups, others continue to have reservations.

A bill creating a uniform procedure for law enforcement agencies when it comes to conducting eyewitness interviews is on its way to the House floor.

A couple of bills moving in the Florida legislature aims to make law enforcement officers’ jobs a bit easier.

Pasco Co. Sheriff's Office

When crimes like the Pulse nightclub shooting or the shootings at the Ft. Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport occur, there are two major responses by law enforcement.

First, there's the immediate, tactical reply. Then there's the forensic investigation.

A center that brings training for those two stages together under one roof is in the works in Pasco County, and University of South Florida researchers are playing a major role.

Florida lawmakers want to allow law enforcement officers to review their body camera footage before writing a report or making a statement.

Florida House Minority Leader Janet Cruz says Democrats are working on different ways to help the state’s law enforcement and corrections officers. The House Democratic Leader from Tampa says that includes a pair of bills by Rep. Robert Asencio (D-Miami).

Sheriff: Deputy Tried To Kill Woman He Was Defrauding

Jan 24, 2017
Carl Gartner / Flickr

Authorities say a sheriff's deputy in southwest Florida tried to kill a woman he had been defrauding.

The State University System of Florida’s Board of Governors is asking state lawmakers to give them funding for more law enforcement and mental health counseling positions.

Proponents said the roughly $20 million would make state campuses safer.

While one body cameras-related bill was sent to the Governor, another died amid the budget impasse between the House and Senate. But, the bill’s main sponsor says he’ll be back again next year.

A man known to local law enforcement for having anti-government views shot and killed Leon County Sheriff’s Deputy Christopher L. Smith this past weekend. In an emotional press conference Sunday, the Sheriff’s Office, Tallahassee Police Department and Fire Officials outlined the events that led to the first death of a sheriff’s deputy in the county in a century.

A Leon County Sheriff’s Deputy is dead and another wounded after they were ambushed by a man who started shooting at them as they responded to a house fire.

The confrontation occured in the Plantation Woods subdivision.

In a written statement, the Leon Sheriff’s office says, “the suspect took the fallen deputy’s firearm and began walking North on Caracus Court actively shooting at the first responders as they arrived on the scene.

More Florida police departments are equipping their officers with body cameras. Some cities like Miami Beach even plan to have other types of employees including code enforcement officers wear cameras. And the US Border Patrol will begin testing them on agents next month. In the aftermath of last month’s police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri the devices are garnering support but they’re also raising privacy concerns.

Animal Cruelty Training Held For Law Enforcement Officers

Jul 9, 2014
http://www.humanesociety.org/

An organization that advocates animal rights is hosting a free training today for Tampa area law enforcement on animal cruelty and staged animal fights investigations.

"This training is providing local enforcement the tools to identify and to prevent animal cruelty," said Kate McFall, Florida State Director of The Humane Society of the United States.

Arrest Warrant Scam Hits Tampa Bay

Jun 2, 2014

In recent months, an arrest warrant scam has stirred up trouble in Tampa Bay. The scam involves a phone call from somebody posing as a law enforcement officer, insisting that the recipient of the call post a bond for missing jury duty. Victims are instructed to buy a "Green Dot" pre-paid card worth the amount that they owe, in order to avoid arrest. According to Mike Puetz of the St. Petersburg Police Department, one 84-year-old victim was taken for $12,000.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

You may not see them on the runway during Fashion Week in New York City, but make no mistake: Florida's police officers know how to work it.

Two Florida law enforcement agencies racked up honors during the Best Dressed Public Safety Departments Awards reception held earlier this month in Orlando. And the winners were...

  • Florida Highway Patrol (FHP): Best dressed department under 2,000 officers
  • Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office (HCSO): Best dressed department over 200 officers

The Hillsborough Sheriff's Department is recruiting 200 women into its force. Right now, only 19%  of field positions are filled by women.

This campaign to attract more women officers comes as more women are graduating with criminology degrees.

Detective Andrea Davis said women are vital to the force. They're especially valuable in cases involving violence against women and in certain undercover situations.

She said for some women, the idea of becoming an officer doesn't cross their minds.