Florida Department of Law Enforcement

Florida Channel

A Senate panel quickly confirmed the head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Tuesday. During the Senate Criminal Justice committee hearing, Rick Swearingen reiterated his call for more personnel and pay raises to retain crime lab analysts. That’s supposed to help with the backlog of thousands of untested rape kits in the state.

Florida Channel / Florida Channel

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement should test all of the state’s thousands of untested rape kits that are backlogged. That’s according to the head of a Senate budget panel who no longer wants the state to outsource that job.

Florida Channel

A Florida lawmaker has filed a measure aimed at speeding up the processing of DNA evidence collected in sexual assault investigations. That’s after a recent call by Attorney General Pam Bondi to get more funding for crime labs all across the state to test thousands of untested rape kits.

MGN Online

A statewide council looking to build on Florida’s current anti-human trafficking efforts is mulling over potential legislation for 2016.

State of Florida / myflorida.com

Florida Cabinet members have approved a settlement agreement in a case questioning whether members and aides worked outside the sunshine law in the ouster of former Florida Department of Law Enforcement head Gerald Bailey. 

Florida Channel

Florida Governor Rick Scott and members of the cabinet got an update on the status of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement from FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen. His position is up for review and next month he’ll be publicly interviewed by the cabinet. It’s part of a formal process all agency heads must now undergo following the controversial ouster of former FDLE head Gerald Bailey.

Florida Channel

According to recent national reports, there are thousands of untested rape kits around the U.S.—leading to a backlog of unsolved cases. The Florida Legislature is now considering putting thousands of dollars into a statewide rape kit assessment.

Dwight Sims, Jr.
Suwanee County Sheriff's Office

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has arrested two correctional officers for beating an inmate and trying to cover it up. The arrests come as the Department tries to clean up its troubled prison system--which has been plagued by accusations of inmate abuse and neglect.

Two Florida lawmakers have filed bills looking to track statistics on “use of deadly force” incidents.

Florida Channel

In the coming weeks, a Senate panel is slated to take up a comprehensive prison reform proposal aimed at fixing Florida’s troubled prison system.

It’s been months since Senate President Andy Gardiner tasked Sen. Greg Evers (R-Baker)—the Senate Criminal Justice Committee chairman—with writing a comprehensive prison reform package to help fix a system plagued by inmate deaths and inmate abuse allegations. Gardiner says these are serious issues.  

Governor Rick Scott's administration has released its version of the events leading up to the departure of the former Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner. The move comes as high-level Republicans  call for an investigation into the firing of former FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey.

The Florida Channel

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater stepped up their criticism of Governor Rick Scott’s administration Thursday. Both Atwater and Putnam are joining an increasing number of voices who say there should be an investigation into the firing of the state’s former top law enforcement official.

State of Florida / myflorida.com

Florida cabinet members continue to distance themselves from Governor Rick Scott over the removal of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner.

  Atwater, Bondi and Putnam to Revisit Bailey Ouster

WFSU

Gov. Rick Scott has rejected a request from Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater to consider a search for a new head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Scott wants the cabinet to consider changes at the departments of insurance regulation, financial regulation, and revenue. The exchange comes as Democratic lawmakers call for an investigation into the ouster of former FDLE head Gerald Bailey.

WFSU

A former Florida Department of Law Enforcement official is accusing Governor Rick Scott of political payback after he removed Gerald Bailey as head of FDLE. It’s not unusual for a governor to shuffle agency heads at the start of a second term, but in Bailey’s case, the issue is about how and why his departure occurred.

WFSU

Two of Governor Rick Scott’s new agency leaders earned cabinet-level approval Tuesday, but Scott still isn’t saying why he let go of one his longest-serving agency secretaries.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey has been replaced by Rick Swearingen.  Scott was twice asked by reporters Tuesday why Bailey was let go but didn’t answer the question.

MGN Online

During their first week back, Florida lawmakers discussed some ways to reform the state’s prison system—currently plagued by allegations of inmate abuse by prison guards and cover ups.

Sen. Greg Evers (R-Baker) chairs the Senate Criminal Justice Committee. And, during a recent hearing, he briefed lawmakers on an overview of what’s been going on with the troubled prison system.

Florida Channel

Some Florida lawmakers are questioning whether the state’s prison agency plagued by allegations of inmate abuse can be trusted to accurately report suspicious inmate deaths. That issue arose in a Senate Criminal Justice Committee hearing Monday.

The death of mentally ill inmate, Darren Rainey, and the way the Florida Department of Corrections handled the investigation spurred the agency to enact a series of reforms to combat prison abuse at its correctional facilities. Now, the department is facing a suit from Rainey’s family—which has revealed new details surrounding his death two years ago in a South Florida prison.

Tallahassee Police Department

Tallahassee’s Police Chief Michael DeLeo is now a voting member of the state’s Domestic Security Oversight Council. Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey says  DeLeo's experience and expertise will be beneficial to the group.

DeLeo says he’s excited by the appointment and will work to balance the safety of the state’s citizens while protecting their rights. FDLE Spokeswoman Samantha Andrews says the council acts as an advisory council for domestic security groups around the state.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

An inmate abuse protest that started off at the Capitol Monday and ended at the Florida Department of Corrections left both sides parting ways amicably.

Ada Campos’ son, Justin, was serving a life sentence for killing two gang members. He claimed self-defense, but a judge didn’t agree. While housed in Jackson Correctional Institution, Campos says Justin got repeated calls and visits from his family.

http://georgemallinckrodt.blogspot.com/

Florida’s prison system has been in the news a lot lately, between suspicious prison deaths, allegations of inmate abuse, and new reforms meant to address such abuses. But, some say the reforms are not enough and a change in leadership should be in store.

Florida Department of Correction's website

A recent inmate death at a North Florida Correctional facility has some calling for federal officials to step in and address what they call a “culture of inmate abuse” within the Florida prison system.

Latandra Ellington was an inmate at Lowell Correctional Institution in Ocala, serving about two years in prison for fraud. Weeks ago, Tallahassee Attorney Darryl Parks says the 36-year-old sent two letters to her aunt, saying she felt threatened by guards. So, he says Ellington’s aunt called the facility and left a message.

Florida Channel

Governor Rick Scott is weighing in on the troubles surrounding the state’s prison system. The Florida Department of Corrections has been in the news lately for prison firings, allegations of inmate abuse, and the latest: threatening to cancel their contract with private inmate health care provider.

During a recent stop in Jacksonville, Scott told reporters he’s aware of the problems in the system and he says Corrections’ Secretary Mike Crews is taking care of it.

fingerprinting station
Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

This morning, Florida officials recognized the 16th annual Missing Children’s Day at the state Capitol. Last year, Florida law enforcement officers received more than 35,000 missing-child reports.

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