Florida Law Enforcement Leaders Praise DeSantis Budget Prioritizing Public Safety

by Bethany Blankley   Leaders from Florida law enforcement agencies are praising Gov. Ron DeSantis’ fiscal 2023-2024 budget, which prioritizes public safety to the tune of several hundred million dollars. The budget allocates salary increases for correctional officers, enhancements to officer safety, and additional mechanisms to combat the fentanyl crisis stemming from the southern border. Over the last year, law enforcement leaders statewide have acknowledged that Florida is benefiting from a 50-year record-low crime rate. Year-over-year crime in Florida is also down nearly 10%, according to state data. Florida’s new “Framework for Freedom Budget” allocates an additional $20 million for a second round of $5,000 recruitment bonuses for new recruits and those who relocate from out of state. The budget also allocates $110 million to provide one-time recognition bonuses for eligible local first responders and nearly $100 million to boost pay for correctional and probation officers. Since last July, when the Law Enforcement Recruitment Bonus Program was launched, over 2,000 people have joined Florida law enforcement agencies. Among them are nearly 600 new recruits from out of state with over 200 relocating from New York, California, Texas and Pennsylvania. Florida Sheriffs Association president and Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis said…

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More Than 200 People Arrested in Human Sex Trafficking Ring in Florida

A multiagency operation led to the arrest of more than 200 people allegedly engaging in human trafficking in Polk County, Florida. More than half of the victims were smuggled into the U.S. illegally through the southern border, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.

Of the 24 victims identified as being trafficked, “14 of these females are illegally in this country,” Judd said. “Did you hear that? Did you hear clearly what I said?

“Fourteen of them are here illegally in the country. To me the bombshell is 13 of them are Cuban, one is Mexican, all of them came to us through the southern border.”

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Democrat Running for Grassley’s Iowa GOP Senate Seat Removed from Primary for Lacking Signatures

An Iowa judge ruled has ruled that Democratic candidate and former Rep. Abby Finkenauer cannot run in her party’s June 7 primary to unseat seven-term incumbent GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley.

Polk County district Judge Scott Beattie said late on Sunday that Finkenauer lacked the valid signatures she needed on her nominating petition. The judge said Finkenauer failed to submit a petition with enough signatures after two Republicans challenged her signature collection.

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‘Operation Dirty Water’ Leads to Major Drug Bust in Florida’s Polk County

The Polk County sheriff’s office along with the U.S. Border Control and other federal agencies have seized 120 gallons of liquid methamphetamine and other narcotics as a result of a transnational investigation named “Operation Dirty Water.” Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County says that the operation was ran by “mastermind” Brian Stanton out of the U.S. Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta with connection to the Juarez drug cartel in Mexico.

Operation Dirty Water began in January after a shipment from Ontario, Canada containing 2,500 Xanax pills was intercepted by law enforcement on its way to Winter Haven, Florida where detectives then determined and arrested Amber Cayson as the individual who was suppose to receive the shipment. In her home, law enforcement officials found 24 pounds worth of marijuana edibles, 2.4 pounds of marijuana flower, and a pound of methamphetamine.

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Commission Declares Polk County to Be Gun Sanctuary to Protect Second Amendment Rights

Polk County has declared itself to be a sanctuary – not for illegal immigrants, but for law-abiding gun owners. At Thursday evening’s Polk County Commission meeting, the County Commission voted 8-1 to adopt a resolution declaring Polk a gun sanctuary to protect citizens’ Second Amendment rights, according to a story by the Cleveland Daily Banner. The county is the first in the state to do so. The resolution is based on one passed by in neighboring Cherokee County, North Carolina in March. More than 200 counties in nine states have vowed not to enforce new state measures that restrict gun access, and 132  have voted to become gun sanctuaries despite questions of the measure’s constitutionality. [pdf-embedder url=”https://tennesseestar.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/REYNOLDS_Polk-County-Gun.pdf” title=”REYNOLDS_Polk County Gun”]   Polk County Sheriff Steve Ross, who supported the resolution, spoke to Chattanooga’s NewsChannel 9. “The vast majority of America feels that we have a second amendment right to bear arms, and we have a right to protect our family and our homes,” Ross said. “We don’t feel the government has a right to come in and take guns from law abiding people that have done nothing wrong.” The resolution does not protect law-breaking citizens with guns, but instead protects…

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JC Bowman Commentary: The Role of a School Board

Tennessee Star

Local school boards reflect the needs and aspirations of the communities as well as the interests and concerns of professional and nonprofessional employees. We believe non-partisan control is what is best for our communities. This is best ensured when educational policy is made by representatives vested in the community they live, and whose undivided attention and interests are devoted strictly to education of the children in that district. What we stress in a nutshell: Public education is a federal concern, a state responsibility, and a local operation.

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