Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

NORAD tracking UFO

December 24, 2018

This website tracks an airborne globe-circling craft that reappears each year around this time. One Nordic touch-down documented here. Lights and music phenomena here.


Parkland shooting review

November 22, 2018

This article reports on the commission looking into police response to the February 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. The Broward Sheriff’s on-scene commander has resigned and a sergeant has been placed on restricted administrative assignment. Both reportedly failed to take prompt action in the active-shooter situation. Additional deputies on the scene “were reported to have taken cover while Coral Springs officers ran into the building.”

Back to a sheriff in Miami-Dade

November 9, 2018

Miami-Dade County did away with its elected sheriff position in the 1960s following a scandal, replacing it with a county police department run by an appointed chief of police. But Florida voters on Tuesday approved a ballot measure that will require every county to have an elected sheriff, according to this article. The transition, which will involve 4,400 police staff, likely won’t occur until 2024, giving officials time to plan and guaranteeing lots of political maneuvering in the next few years leading up to the first sheriff election.

October 21, 2018

This article tells the story of, the free genealogical web site that has been used to identify suspects based on familial DNA in 15 murder and sexual assault cold cases since April, starting with the Golden State Killer. The site was started by a retired businessman looking into his own family tree, with technical help from a transportation engineer. Before April, users were mainly people looking into their own genealogy, including adoptees hoping to identify their biological parents. A recent study concluded that “Within three years, the DNA of nearly every American of Northern European descent — the primary users of the site — will be identifiable through cousins in GEDmatch’s database.”

How many school shootings?

August 29, 2018

This public radio segment reviewed the data behind a U.S. Department of Education report that during the 2015-2016 school year “nearly 240 schools … reported at least 1 incident involving a school-related shooting.” That figure is apparently way off. When NPR followed up, 2/3 of the schools (161) said no such incident occurred. Only 11 incidents could be verified, while another 59 could not be confirmed or disconfirmed. Many cases were mis-classified in the data, with two school systems accounting for 63 of the errors.

Policing the homeless

June 13, 2018

PERF has released a new report on the police response to homelessness, emphasizing problem solving, innovation, and partnerships as alternatives to either making arrests or doing nothing. Insights from police departments all over the country are included, as well as background information on how the problem overlaps with mental illness and substance abuse.

National standards for SROs

May 31, 2018

This article reports on proposed legislation in Congress that would establish national training standards for school resource officers. A few states have adopted specific training mandates for SROs but most have not. The proposals would also begin national data collection on SROs and develop a set of best practices.

Bad sheriffs

April 3, 2018

The U.S. has about 3,000 sheriffs, an office that goes back to colonial days and preceded the creation of police departments. This article reports numerous recent scandals, embarrassments, and shortcomings in sheriff’s offices around the country and discusses why they persist despite being an elected office that voters should be able to hold accountable.

Pulse and Parkland active shooter responses

March 9, 2018

This article compares the first few minutes of police response in the recent Parkland school mass shooting to the Pulse nightclub mass shooting that occurred in 2016, also in Florida. The circumstances differ and many details of both incidents are still not public, but in each case the officers first on the scene chose not to immediately enter the buildings. In the Pulse nightclub case the first officer, who did fire on the subject from outside before taking cover, was declared a hero, whereas in the Parkland case the first deputy was quickly labeled a coward.

Parkland school shooting

February 24, 2018

This article provides a summary of what’s known so far about how the FBI and local law enforcement handled the numerous tips and reports they received about the Parkland school shooter before the terrible events last week. This article provides some perspectives on the Broward County deputy’s apparent failure to rush in as the shooting was taking place.