This is just another politician trying to make a name for himself by exploiting registrants and fear. You have probation, parole and police officers who need to do their jobs, enforce the laws. You don't need another law to create yet another "strike force" to go after those who are not obeying the draconian and unconstitutional laws!
By Bill Cotterell
A Senate committee swiftly and unanimously approved legislation Monday to create a statewide "strike force" to hunt down sex offenders who don't register with police and submit to required supervision.
Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Jacksonville, said there are 746 registered sex offenders who have absconded from parole supervision or other law enforcement oversight.
- Woah, when did Mr. Bean start making laws?
"We just don't know where they are -- or, more importantly, where they are going to strike next," he told the Senate Criminal Justice Committee. The panel voted unanimously for his bill (SB 1416, PDF) that sets up the task force.
- Oh come on... Sex offenders have the lowest recidivism rate of all other ex-felons, but that doesn't stop politicians from fear-mongering now does it?
Attorney General Pam Bondi would chair the team, with Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey serving as vice-chairman. The heads of the Departments of Children and Families, Parole Commission and Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles would also serve on the task force.
- So what does Highway Safety and motor vehicles have to do with this?
Bondi would appoint two sheriffs, two police chiefs and one state attorney to the panel, formally known as the Sexual Predator and Sexual Offender Absconder Strike Force. It would have a $101,000 appropriation to start its four-year work.
The task force would coordinate efforts of city, county and state law enforcement agencies to locate absconding sex offenders, who are required to register with local police when they get out of prison. The state would work up lists of known absconders and maintain them with all police agencies.
- You already list absconders on the online sex offender hit-list, so why do you need another list?
Bean's bill now goes to the Senate Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Subcommittee, then to the full Appropriations Committee. A companion House measure (HB 1105) by Rep. Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach, is has cleared two committees and is pending in the House Judiciary Committee.