Gov. Rick Scott, Legislature turn cost-cutting attention to law enforcement
After eliminating thousands of rank-and-file jobs from the state work force, Gov. Rick Scott and the Legislature are turning their cost-cutting attention to a more politically sensitive area: law enforcement.
A little-noticed bill the governor signed last month creates a task force on law enforcement consolidation — an idea likely to send shivers up the spines of police officers in a time of double-digit unemployment.
The legislation directs the task force to "evaluate any duplication of law enforcement functions," including training, legal services, cars, airplanes and the regional deployment of police officers.
The idea comes from Sen. Jack Latvala, a Clearwater Republican, who says he was motivated by hearing that 11 state agencies have police officers, which he said is bound to create duplication.
"I thought it was a good idea to look at what consolidation could be done and maybe save the taxpayers a little money," Latvala said. "Let the chips fall where they may."