TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA) today announced its endorsement of Governor Rick Scott in the upcoming election for Governor of Florida. The FPCA cited the Governor’s history of supporting Florida’s law enforcement in its announcement, specifically the Governor’s commitment to 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 Jupiter Police Chief Frank Kitzerow, President of the Florida Police Chiefs Association.
Under Governor Scott’s leadership, Florida has the lowest crime rate in 43 years, based on the 2013 Uniform Crime Report. The report indicated 27,380 fewer crimes reported in 2013, a 3.8 percent improvement over the previous year. Florida’s crime rate has continued to drop since the Governor took office in 2011, due in part to his prioritization of law enforcement initiatives. Further evidence of his commitment to public safety is the April 2014 signing of four bills targeting sexual predators, including legislation that will keep the most violent sexual offenders incarcerated for longer periods of time.
“The Florida Police Chiefs are fortunate to have such a strong advocate for law enforcement in Governor Scott,” said Springfield Police Chief Philip Thorne, Immediate Past President of the FPCA. “We look forward to continuing to work with him to protect our state and our citizens.”
In May, Governor Scott signed the 2014-2015 “It’s Your Money Tax Cut” Budget, providing essential funding for law enforcement training resources. The Governor approved the funding for the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Trust Fund, raising the per officer funding level to $67 per year, nearly doubling the per officer amount from the previous year. These funds restored crucial training monies to improve law enforcement officer capabilities.
“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 Amy Mercer, Executive Director of the Florida Police Chiefs Association. “Governor Scott is the clear choice for Florida’s next Governor because he has proven he cares about our state and its citizens.”
The Governor also recently vetoed a bill that would have increased Florida’s highway speed limits to 75 miles per hour. The Governor, and the FPCA, were concerned that the higher speed limits could potentially increase the risk of dangerous accidents not only for motorists, but also for the law enforcement officers charged with patrolling Florida’s highways.
The FPCA is the fourth largest state police chiefs association in the nation and is composed of more than 750 of the state’s top law enforcement executives. FPCA serves municipal police departments, airport police, college and university police, private business and security firms, as well as federal, state and county law enforcement agencies. The FPCA has members representing every region of the state.