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Florida Department of Law Enforcement

Joe Gruters files ‘political’ hate crimes bill

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A House member has filed proposed legislation to add violence based on “political affiliation or beliefs” to the state’s list of hate crimes.

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Cost to protect Rick Scott now up to nearly $3 million

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Protecting Gov. Rick Scott, First Lady Ann Scott, their family, and the Governor’s Mansion and grounds cost the state nearly $3 million last fiscal year, up from $2.6 million the year before. The annual Report of Transportation and Protective Services, issued Tuesday by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, showed the cost to safeguard the governor alone rose roughly $218,000 from 2015-16, to almost $2.3 million in 2016-17.

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Rick Scott ceremonially signs legislation to fight opioid abuse

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Gov. Rick Scott joined local law enforcement and legislative officials Thursday to ceremonially sign a bill that brings stiffer penalties for dealers of synthetic opioid drugs and fentanyl. The bill cuts through the bureaucracy and allows state officials to immediately draw more than $27 million in federal grant money from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Opioid State Targeted Response Grant, awarded to Florida April 21.

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Rick Scott signs bill to fight terrorism

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill Thursday that creates new criminal offenses to combat terrorism and funds more agents to investigate terrorist acts. The Governor was in Orlando to attend the Orlando Counter Terrorism Conference, where 210 agents from the law enforcement agencies from across the southeast are sharing ideas to stop terrorism. “This bill helps our local, state and federal law enforcement community work together to keep people safe,” Scott said. “We’ve all got to open our eyes and…

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Joe Henderson: Rick Scott’s approval rating climbs because the economy trumps everything

in 2017 by

The steady increase in Gov. Rick Scott’s approval rating has reinforced the notion that if voters have a job and the economy seems to be humming along, other things don’t matter much. The latest poll, released this week by Morning Consult, put Scott’s approval number at 57 percent. Considering that he stood at 26 percent in 2012 according to Public Policy Polling, that’s downright miraculous. That same PPP poll five years ago included a forecast that Scott would lose a…

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Florida could put police lineup standards into law

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Florida could put into law police lineup guidelines that the state’s top law enforcement agency developed six years ago. The Senate voted unanimously for a bill that would require law enforcement agencies to use the lineup standards to avoid eyewitness mistakes that could lead to wrongful convictions. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement encouraged agencies to adopt the standards, but agencies aren’t required to do so. Eyewitness mistakes are to blame in 64 percent of cases in which defendants are…

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Five children used candle for ‘light and heat’ after child welfare worker ignored calls for help

in Apolitical by

A sub-contracted case manager with the Florida Department of Children and Families was arrested for falsifying information regarding the well-being of children living alone, officials confirmed Thursday. Spokespeople for both DCF and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed Vanessa Arias, 33, was arrested Friday for lying on safety reports. “The department has no tolerance for any individual compromising their integrity and, thereby, potentially jeopardizing the safety of a child,” Jessica Sims, a spokeswoman for DCF, told FloridaPolitics.com by email. “We immediately…

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