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Florida's sheriffs proclamation: Support of Second Amendment to the United States Constitution
We can assure you that the sheriffs of Florida support a citizen's right to keep and bear arms as outlined in the U.S. and Florida Constitutions. Sheriffs also are concerned with gun violence and will work hard to ensure that criminals who use guns to commit crime are held fully accountable and prosecuted to the fullest extent if the law. In addition, sheriffs are concerned with the overall lack of mental health services available to the citizens in our state and across the nation. Because funding for mental health services has declined over the years, jails have become the default mental health centers of last resort. Mental health assessments and treatment should be available to the public and the Florida Sheriffs Association will advocate this situation be addressed at all levels of government.
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Highlands County's Benton among sheriffs elected to NSA board
National Sheriffs' Association
The National Sheriffs' Association Board of Directors appointed and swore-in three sheriffs during the NSA Winter Conference Board Meeting on Feb. 2 in Washington, D.C. Appointed were Sheriff Susan Benton, Highlands County, Fla.; Sheriff Scott L. Jay, Beckham County, Okla.; and Sheriff Christopher C. Kirk, Brazos County, Texas. Each will be placed on the ballot at the NSA Annual Conference in Charlotte, N.C., on June 25 to determine their continued position on the board, as well as the length of the term. At this time, there are four board positions open with varying terms of one, two or three years.
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Frank Messersmith made honorary sheriff
The Florida Sheriffs Association bestowed its highest award on former lawman, lawmaker and government consultant, Frank Messersmith, at the annual winter conference. This rare award only has been presented eight times in FSA's 120-year history. In his political career, Frank was hailed as "the GOP's point man," and "a rising star among Republican ranks." But what gave him the staying power was his ability to find the middle ground among his fellow lawmakers. And very often those issues involved the sheriffs. For his loyalty, Frank was awarded the contract to represent the sheriffs in the legislature when he became a governmental consultant in 2000.
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Fewer felons are re-offending in Florida
Department of Corrections Secretary Michael Crews recently announced that the number of felons who committee new crimes has fallen from 33 percent to 27 percent. "We are making some progress with them right now through the programs and education that we have so that when they get out, the first thing they have to do is not recommitted crime, but they can go get a job," Crews said. For every 1 percent drop in the recidivism rate the state saves $19 million, and society gains taxpayers. The declining recidivism rate has saved the state $44 million. It also could mean bonuses for some Florida correctional officers.
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FSA honors Gov. Rick Scott
Sunshine State News
The Florida Sheriffs Association was honored to recognize Gov. Rick Scott for his common-sense approach to public safety and for his efforts to get to work with Florida's sheriffs to reduce crime, maintain a 41-year-low crime rate, and to protect the citizens of Florida. The staff of FSA applauds this governor for his open door and his support of our most crucial issues. This is the first time a governor has received this award.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Florida's prostitution buster: Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd (The Daily Beast)
FSA honors Cpl. James Ris as 2013 Corrections Officer of the Year (FSA)
DNA tagging pistol and rifle launched for non-lethal law enforcement (
Monroe County sheriff to hold Citizen Police Academy (Monroe County Sheriff's Office)
Law enforcement cracks down on synthetic drugs (Volusia County Sheriff's Office)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

Volusia County Sheriff's Office honors employees of the year
Volusia County Sheriff's Office
Each year, four Volusia County Sheriff's Office employees and one volunteer carefully are chosen out of an outstanding pool of more than 1,000 people for their exceptional work performance. The five demonstrated superior work ethic and achievement, not only during the past year, but also throughout their careers serving the county's citizens. Sheriff Ben Johnson honored these top-performing Employees of the Year 2012 during a recent ceremony at the Deputy Stephen Saboda Training Center in Daytona Beach.
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Officer Down Memorial Page: Remembering all of law enforcement's heroes
Officer Down Memorial Page
The Officer Down Memorial Page is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring America's fallen law enforcement heroes. More than 20,000 officers have made the ultimate sacrifice in the United States and it is with great honor that the ODMP pays a lasting tribute to each of these officers by preserving their memories within its pages. All who visit the ODMP will be deeply moved by the countless stories of selfless courage and heroism exhibited by officers who lost their lives while serving and protecting the citizens of this great nation.
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Florida attempts to ban texting and driving
Naples Daily News
Stay Alive ... Just Drive has joined the Florida Sheriff's Association and endorsed S.B. 74, sponsored by state Sen. Maria Sachs. The Delray Beach Democrat announced her sponsorship of a bill in the upcoming Legislature that would outlaw texting or cell phone conversations while driving. Broward Sheriff Scott Israel, who along with the FSA supports the bill, joined Sachs at a demonstration of the effects of distracted driving at Broward College's Institute of Public Safety in Davie. Sachs' bill would make it a moving violation for drivers to use anything but hands-free devices while behind the wheel. A first offense would result in a $100 fine, with higher penalties for second and third offenses. Driver's license points would not be subtracted.
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FSA Weekly InSight

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Elizabeth Zavala, Content Editor, 469.420.2676  
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