|Between what the sheriff's office unilaterally did with making requests directly on our BCC agenda, and what the commissioners discussed and accepted yesterday at the COW--it looks as if a new and workable LETF process has been born!|
At Thursday's Committee of the Whole meeting, a brief discussion on the Law Enforcement Trust Fund approval/disbursement process was placed on the agenda by administrator Jack Brown.
The brief discussion focused on the process: Administrator Brown stated that the way the sheriff submitted his requests for the last regular meeting could be folded into the new process going forward, and this met with support from the majority of the commissioners. I know I certainly support this method because it more closely comports with the statutes and it allows us to vote on expenditures before they are made--not after the fact as has been the previous method.
Commissioner Robinson advocated for us submitting an application to the Sheriff for LET funds to be utilized to offset School Resource Officer program costs--which would save money from the Sheriff's general fund budget. This also appeared to meet with support from a majority of the board. (Although I think the likelihood of the Sheriff approving this is not high...if he chose to do this--he could do this already without anyone asking)
Commissioner May wanted to see us submit requests to the Sheriff for BCC identified youth development programs--and this met with unanimous support from the BCC.
We also decided to have the corrections department submit an application to the sheriff for funding for Drug Patches to be worn by offenders who are sentenced to wear these by judges in our circuit.
(Funding has been running low for these effective, cost-saving devices)
So, to summarize, it appears as though the Sheriff's change in process combined with what commissioners have decided = problem solved and case closed on this matter--as the process will apparently go forward as follows:
The Sheriff ,via his CFO Henrique Dias, will place any requests for LETF disbursal (that his internal ECSO process has already green-lighted) on the BCC agenda of their choice for our consideration
and an up or down vote by the BCC (we are the approval authority under statute). This will be the new process going forward. This is not the perfect process, because there is no deliberate collaboration between the BCC and ECSO in developing initiatives that are worthy of support from the LETF as the Broward County Sheriff's Office has--but at least if we do it this way--it is very close to what the statute 932.7055 stipulates. And if we decide we think something is a worthy recipient of LETF dollars (As Commissioner Robinson and Commissioner May discussed) we (BCC) will make applications directly to the sheriff for such funds utilizing his application form.
Because of all of this, so far as I'm concerned, this issue is behind us as long as we stick to this new routine and everyone remains pleased with it. This is a good thing.