AgLaw should be merged with FWC. A larger FWC presence is needed in Northern Florida, as Sheriff's Offices frequently complain they can't get an FWC officer to respond. The Ag Stations could be manned by civilians. However, if that step takes place, the current Sworn Officers shouldn't lose their positions. They should be given an option to move to FWC or FHP. Morale is low in the AgLaw Dept. because they feel like they don't do any Law Enforcement work. Most want to be merged with FWC.
In Central Florida, someone got wize and allowed civilian crash investigators to handle crashes in place of sworn troopers, freeing up countless officers for more enforcement. There are 100's of Aux Troopers wanting to work crashes for FREE, but are being told they can not do it. This is perfect duplication of efforts AND underutilization of resources.
I would encourage the panel to study the Pinellas County Mutual Aid Agreement. This could serve as a model for the State to enact, to give Municipal Officers authority to assist State Law Enforcement Agencies in some of their duties. Currently an on-duty Officer outside of their territorial jurisdiction in Pinellas County has the authority to act in certain circumstances. In the interest of Public Safety, this should be a Statewide program of cooperation.
Create the Florida State Police. All uniformed State Police troopers would handle all the current state law enforcement assignments; highway patrol, weigh stations, parks enforcement, commercial motor vehicle enforcement etc. State Police detectives/special agents would handle all investigative areas. One State Police agency would require only one colonel rather than the 12+ we have now. Consolidation would lower costs and improve morale, cooperation and crime fighting efforts dramatically.
Brevard county has to many sheriffs. Brevard county especially Merrit Island, Cocoa Beach and Cocoa have become a police state with more sheriffs then they know what to do with. You would think that Sheriffs are killed here on a regular basis it is not unusual to see a traffic violation stop have as many as 4 sheriff cars and some times state police involved in a single person vehicle stop.
Merge the DEP law enforcement, FWC law enforcement; merge FHP, MCC(already done) and AG law weigh station duties; merge ABT, State fire marshal, finacial services, insurance and any other white collar criminal investigations into the FDLE
All state LE should be consolidated under a DPS model. All should have same vehicles & uniforms w/ different divisions for servicing the various agencies. Cops should only work for cops. You will get better career longevity as officers who get burned out in one field could retrain readily to work a different division w/ out the expence to the state of rehiring over & over. Also, officers would greater opportunities for career progression & job efficacy. Florida hired me 3 times.
All law enforcement positions should be under the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Agencies like FWC, DEP, ABT, and FHP could be branches of FDLE. FHP would be the branch of Highway Safety. FWC and DEP could merge and be Environmental Wildlife Conservation. This would streamline all middle and upper management, and make all law enforcement more effective and efficient. All investigative and specialty positions (K-9, task forces, BOI, etc) within every agency can be FDLE special agents.
Law Enforcement consolidation only makes sense. Most states have either a state police or a public safety division where all state law enforcement agencies fall under one organization. Consolidate all law enforcement and create a state police. The sheriff's office can remain as is. Kentucky created a state police which did not affect the power of the sheriff. Agencies all over this state have consolidated into the Sheriff's office or other departments. It time for state agencies to do the same.
The CVE Bureau of law enforcement have similiar function within the ranks of Captain and Lieutenant. For example: the Pensacola Office Captain makes all decisions concerning how that office operates and function. The Lieutenant just answers the phone, send emails. This type of operation is wasteful to the eople of Florida.
Create a Dept of Natural Resources; Merge AG, DEP and FWC. It is more than apparent that rank and file is not the heavy portion of the budget so. Allow atrition to occur and parasitize some leadership. Then Request upper 10% of leadership to staff New DNR. This will allow a bottom up top down equalization and should prove to be beneficial when duplication has been identified. The leadership is expensive not the rank and file. There are some great leaders lets use them not loose them.
I am for a single 'state police' type agency for all state law enforcement. Florida has a serious moral problem in its highway patrol due to very low pay and an unsupported and often incompetent command staff. Bring in some outside commanders like what other states have done. Georgia's deputy public safety commissioner and second in command of the state patrol is a retired FBI supervisor. Being in some new blood to the FL state law enforcement.