Florida Police Chiefs Association endorses Rick Scott for re-election

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On Monday, the Florida Police Chiefs Association announced its endorsement of Gov. Rick Scott in his re-election effort.

In deciding to throw support behind the incumbent, FPCA cited the Scott’s record of backing Florida’s law enforcement and public safety initiatives.

“Police Chiefs across the state of Florida are thankful for the support of Governor Scott regarding law enforcement and public safety,” said City of Jupiter Police Chief Frank Kitzerow, President of the FPCA.

The FPCA noted that during Scott’s watch the Florida’s crime rate dropped to the lowest in 43 years, according to the FDLE 2013 Uniform Crime Report.

There were 27,380 fewer crimes reported in 2013, 3.8 percent improvement over the previous year, representing a regular trend since Scott took office in 2011.

“The Florida Police Chiefs are fortunate to have such a strong advocate for law enforcement in Governor Scott,” said Springfield Police Chief Philip Thorne, FPCA past president. “We look forward to continuing to work with him to protect our state and our citizens.”

Scott also signed into law additional funding for law-enforcement training resources in the $77 billion 2014-2015 Florida budget, which took effect July 1.  In addition, the new budget doubles the per-officer funding to $67 as part of the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Trust Fund.

“The funding for these resources was a critical issue for Florida’s police chiefs this year, and we cannot thank Governor Scott enough for his continued support for law enforcement over his term,” said FPCA Executive Director Amy Mercer. “Governor Scott is the clear choice for Florida’s next Governor because he has proven he cares about our state and its citizens.”

Scott also sided with the FPCA in his veto of SB 392, a bill that would have increased Florida’s highway speed limits to 75 miles per hour.  Law enforcement officials lobbied against the speed limit hike after concerns the higher limits could increase the risk accidents for both motorists and law enforcement officers.

FPCA is the country’s fourth largest state police chiefs association, made up of 750 of Florida’s top law enforcement executives. FPCA represents every region of the state and includes municipal police departments, airport police, college and university police, private business and security firms, as well as federal, state and county law enforcement agencies.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.