Law & Order

Missing in Florida

According to law enforcement figures, there are more than 3,200 missing persons reported in Florida and over 84,000 nationwide. But those numbers are likely low estimates because cases are either unreported, mishandled or mistakenly closed.

Now, University of South Florida forensic investigators are teaming up with law enforcement to raise awareness of missing and unidentified persons cases.

"Missing in Florida Day" is modeled after similar events held in other states that have led to positive identifications.

Confusion Over Drug Tests Highlights Lack of Training For Officers

Nov 26, 2016
David Sleight / ProPublica

This story was published by ProPublica and co-published with the Tampa Bay Times.

Over the first several months of 2014, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office arrested 15 people on drug charges only to have the Florida state crime lab determine the substances thought to have been drugs in fact were not.

International Plaza

The Tampa Police Department is kicking off its annual Secret Santa Holiday Operation, which aims to prevent theft and keep shoppers safe this holiday season. 

The Department will have an increased presence at WestShore Plaza and International Plaza, both inside and outside.

Officer Scott McClain, a member of the bicycle and operation response unit, says that shoppers need to pay extra attention this time of year. 

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

A University of South Florida student who claimed that she had been robbed on the Tampa campus earlier this week - one of two crimes she alleges happened to her recently - has been arrested for filing a false police report.

The Manatee County branch of the NAACP is accusing the Bradenton Police Department of racial discrimination. The civil rights organization is referencing public records it recently requested from the department.

Starting next month, thousands of Florida’s correctional and probation officers will decide which union they want representing them. The choice is between the Florida Police Benevolent Association and the Teamsters Union.

Police Investigating Shooting Death Of Tampa Toddler

Sep 19, 2016
Former WMDriver / Flickr

Police are continuing their investigation in the shooting death of a 17-month-old girl at a Tampa apartment complex Sunday afternoon, officials said.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department / Facebook page

Investigators say a suspect in an aggravated battery case rammed his vehicle into a deputy's patrol car during a traffic stop near Tampa on Tuesday.

Flickr

Tampa Police say a 23-year-old man who was shot by his cousin wasn't wearing a bulletproof vest, but instead had donned a "fragmentation protective vest," also known as a flak jacket.

Police said in a news release that Joaquin Mendez put on the vest late Saturday and "wondered aloud whether it still worked." Police say his 24-year-old cousin Alexandro Garibaldi pulled out a gun and responded, "Let's see."

BRANDONRUSH (WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

Describing the misconduct as "essentially unprecedented," the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that two attorneys should be permanently disbarred for their roles in setting up the drunken-driving arrest of an opposing lawyer during a high-profile case.

Remains Of Dozier Victims Could Go To Tallahassee

Aug 22, 2016
Pool/Edmund D. Fountain / Tampa Bay Times

The remains of dozens of boys who were victims of beatings and abuse at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys should be reinterred in Tallahassee, the city where lawmakers and governors were responsible for the now-closed reform school, a state task force decided Friday.

Mike Halterman (Wikimedia Commons)

A fired Tampa police officer has been charged after investigators say he touched a woman inappropriately during a February traffic stop.

TheBlade28 (Wikimedia Commons)

A Florida comics dealer says books worth $85,000 were stolen at a Tampa convention, including two rare editions that marked the first appearance of Spider-Man.

Mike Halterman (Wikimedia Commons)

A Tampa man is behind bars after authorities say he shot a motorcyclist in a road rage incident.

Pool/Edmund D. Fountain / Tampa Bay Times

Florida investigators over the last two years quietly launched new probes into murder and sexual abuse allegations associated with a shuttered Panhandle reform school.

But State Attorney Glenn Hess in late May concluded there wasn't any way to prosecute any alleged crimes because either there was not enough evidence or that too much time had passed to charge anyone.

Dozier Task Force Holds Contentious First Meeting

Aug 3, 2016
Pool/Edmund D. Fountain/Tampa Bay Times

The Dozier Task Force held an organizational meeting in the Panhandle town of Marianna Wednesday.

Lawmakers created the task force to work on issues related to the Dozier School for Boys, a shuttered reform school that has been at the center of allegations about abuse and deaths of youths.

The task force is charged with coming up with a plan to create a long-term memorial to those who died at the school, as well as deciding what to do with the unclaimed remains of some children.

Busch Gardens

Veterinarians at Busch Gardens had to euthanize "Pinky" the flamingo after a man grabbed her from an animal viewing area and threw her to the ground.

Tampa police say 45-year-old Joseph Anthony Corrao of Orlando was visiting the park's Jambo Junction area with his family on Tuesday when he reached into a pen, picked up the flamingo and threw her down.

Manatee County Sheriff's Office

Authorities say a 50-year-old woman and a 12-year-old boy were killed by a man who then killed himself in Bradenton.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Groups of community and religious leaders held news conferences throughout the state today to call for restoration of the right to vote for convicted felons who have completed their sentences. One such group met in Tampa.

A nonprofit group called The Sentencing Project estimates nearly 6 million Americans are affected. And about 1 1/2 million Floridians - nearly one in every 10 Floridians - can't vote. That's the highest rate in the country.

Google Maps

A Tampa man is being charged with aggravated battery after whacking a visiting tourist with a shovel in a dispute over digging at the beach.

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