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The Importance of Supporting Law Enforcement Training

November 21, 2014

Law enforcement, just like any other industry, is constantly evolving with new technology, techniques and best practices for serving our citizens. Providing our law enforcement officers with training for new technology and techniques is critical to ensuring the safety of our officers and the public. Having been deeply involved with law enforcement since the early 80’s, I have experienced first-hand the rapid evolution of the tools and methods that aid in the service and protection of our citizens. I also greatly benefited from the training and education I received about these new tools and methods.  

As a young deputy sheriff, I was often dispatched to investigate cases of domestic violence. Dealing with a domestic violence case can be a matter of life and death. In fact, domestic violence is a leading cause of injury and death to women in our nation. 

In some cases the victims were cooperative, but others, out of fear, were reluctant to testify in court which allowed the assailant to avoid prosecution. This occurred in part because the evidence of the crime (i.e., busted lips, black eyes, bruised arms and legs, etc.,) would often be healed long before the trial; the jury was not able to see the damage I witnessed on the night of the crime.   

I needed the ability to preserve the evidence via photography, so I sought out advanced training and camera equipment. Armed with education, and a 35 mm camera, I was able capture the photos to secure convictions time and time again. In fact, just having the photos convinced many of the defendants to plead guilty; they did not want the judge and the jury to see the extent of the damage they had done. There is an old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words and I can tell you it is certainly in true in a domestic violence case.  

As you can see, keeping our law enforcement officers up to date is essential to public safety. Recently we have seen a sharp decline in funding for advanced and specialized training. This was an issue that we at the Florida Sheriffs Association knew we needed to address quickly.

I am proud to say that we have created a solution that will provide funding for law enforcement training at no additional cost to tax payers. During the 2014 legislative session, the Florida Sheriffs Association lobbied for a specialty license plate. The bill passed and as of October 1, 2014, the license plate is available for purchase through your local tax collectors office. Funds from the sales of the plate will be used to develop and provide important training for your local Sheriff’s offices. 

This specialty license plate not only provides another way for you to show your support for your Sheriff’s office, but also the opportunity to help provide the training necessary to keep you, your family and all Floridians safe.
For more information on how you can support law enforcement training through this specialty license plate, please visit