It is Time to Restore the FRS C.O.L.A

It is Time to Restore the FRS C.O.L.A

Since 2011 the Florida Retirement System (FRS) Cost of Living Adjustment (C.O.L.A.) accrual calculation has been stripped away from current law enforcement officers. The 2011 decision by Florida Lawmakers to eliminate the C.O.L.A. will have a long-lasting negative effect on the entire State of Florida and its retired police officers covered by the FRS. The effects of this will surely be felt for years to come as our future retirees will have less retirement income making it hard to keep up with inflation. Florida law enforcement officers work tirelessly, sometimes in dangerous conditions, to create and maintain safe communities for everyone. The Fraternal Order of Police believes it is time to restore the FRS C.O.L.A accrual for these well-deserving peace officers. Over the past few years, there were only a few lawmakers who stepped up to support law enforcement officers and attempt to restore the C.O.L.A. accrual calculation. This year there are lawmakers, Republican and Democrat, in the The Florida House of Representatives/HB779 (Clemons-R and Co-Introducers Willhite -D, Brannan-R and Watson-D) as well as the Florida Senate/SB784 (Gruters-R and Co-Introducer Broxson-R) showing their support for law enforcement officers AND public servants by putting forth legislation aimed at restoring the FRS C.O.L.A. accrual calculation. The members of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) wholeheartedly support this proposed legislation and the lawmakers that support it. Returning the C.O.L.A. is a positive step for Floridians, law enforcement officers and our future State...
The Juvenile Civil Citation – Is it Effective?

The Juvenile Civil Citation – Is it Effective?

The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice provides an alternative to arresting juveniles who have committed first-time misdemeanor offenses; the Juvenile Civil Citation. It is well-known in the school policing community how easy it is to effect a physical arrest by placing handcuffs on a juvenile, writing an arrest form, completing an incident report and transporting the child to the Juvenile Assessment Center. By contrast, a juvenile civil citation requires much more time and effort from the police officer as a means of ensuring juveniles get the best possible chance at correcting their delinquent behaviors which have resulted in misdemeanor crimes. F.O.P. Lodge #133 is extremely proud of the earnest work accomplished over the years by our police officers in providing our children with a “second chance.” As an added bonus, the civil citation program saves taxpayers millions of dollars every year that would otherwise be spent on arrested youth who would normally go through a formal juvenile delinquency program. Here’s how it works: Once there is probable cause that certain misdemeanors have occurred and a juvenile is the offender, the police officer may issue a civil citation. Unlike an arrest where an individual is taken into custody and an arrest form is generated and the subject is transported to the proper intake facility, the civil citation, believe it or not, is much more time consuming and requires close monitoring by several entities. With all civil citations, there is a verification process to determine whether or not the juvenile meets the criteria for the program. After determining that the juvenile meets the criteria, an arrest form along with the completed...
The ‘Code Red’ Lockdown — Post Sandy Hook

The ‘Code Red’ Lockdown — Post Sandy Hook

By Brian Levy This week, I conducted my first school lockdown since the Sandy Hook tragedy. As I was on my way to this code red lockdown, many thoughts were racing through my head. As I navigated my way through traffic with my lights and sirens blasting, I was thinking about my daughter and how scared she would be in this type of situation. I could not wait to get to the school to rescue these kids. Upon my arrival, I met with the school administrator who had placed the school on an immediate lockdown. The information I had received from dispatch was that there was a subject that had just committed a robbery in the surrounding community and had been seen on school grounds. The school administrator confirmed that the subject was on school grounds and did not know his whereabouts. At this point we did not know whether the subject was on school grounds or had fled. My goal was to confront the criminal and make sure our students and staff members were safe. We needed to go room to room to verify the subject was not hiding in a classroom.  What I observed showed me that things are already very different now — post Sandy Hook. It was apparent to me that all of the schools teachers had their own, well thought out, safety plans for this type of situation.  All of the classroom doors were locked, but what we found on the inside of the classrooms was pure creativity. Born of fear. One of the first rooms we entered seemed empty at first. We could not find...