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Governor Crist Directs State Agencies to Create "Officer Down" Alert

Governor Crist Directs State Agencies to Create “Officer Down” Alert

 ~ Will use AMBER Alert technology to enlist public’s help in locating alleged offenders ~

Governor Charlie Crist today signed an Executive Order directing the immediate broadcast of information to the public relating to offenders who have allegedly killed or seriously injured a law enforcement officer in the line of duty.  Governor Crist signed Executive Order 08-81 today during the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service held in the Capitol Courtyard.  The broadcast information will appear on highway message signs and other advisories, alerting the public to report information about suspects.

Today we honor the fallen officers who have given their lives in service to the people of Florida, as well as their families who bravely face each new day without their loved one,” Governor Crist said.  “I am honored to sign this Executive Order to help ensure that those who would seek to do harm to our officers are brought to justice.”

The Executive Order directs the Department of Transportation, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and Florida Highway Patrol to coordinate with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to use technology similar to what is already being used for AMBER Alerts, which notify the public when a child is reported missing. As a result of the alerts, the public has played a vital role in helping law enforcement to safely recover children.

Today’s ceremony, hosted by Florida State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police, honored the 16 Florida law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty during 2007.  Fallen officers honored during the memorial service are as follows:

    * Sergeant Nicholas G. Sottile, Florida Highway Patrol
      End of Watch: Friday, January 12, 2007; Cause of Death: Gunfire

    * Deputy Sheriff Harold Michael (Mike) Altman, Jackson County Sheriff's Department
      End of Watch: Tuesday, January 30, 2007; Cause of Death: Gunfire

    * Lieutenant Corey Dahlem, Gainesville Police Department
      End of Watch: Wednesday, April 4, 2007; Cause of Death: Vehicular assault

    * Lieutenant Delmar Teagan, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
      End of Watch: Friday, April 13, 2007; Cause of Death: Automobile accident

    * Sergeant Karl Strohsal, Longwood Police Department (Volusia County)
      End of Watch: Saturday, July 14, 2007; Cause of Death: Struck by vehicle 

    * Sergeant Christopher Reyka, Broward County Sheriff's Office
      End of Watch: Friday, August 10, 2007; Cause of Death: Gunfire

    * Sergeant Ron Harrison, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
      End of Watch: Wednesday, August 15, 2007; Cause of Death: Gunfire

    * Reserve Deputy Joe Bill Galloway, Holmes County Sheriff's Office
      End of Watch: Monday, August 20, 2007; Cause of Death: Vehicle pursuit

    * Police Officer Jose Somohano, Miami-Dade Police Department
      End of Watch: Thursday, September 13, 2007; Cause of Death: Gunfire

    * Police Officer Alfred L. Gordon Sr., Orlando Police Department
      End of Watch: Thursday, October 4, 2007; Cause of Death: Gunfire

    * Officer Scott Eric Bell, Jacksonville Sheriff's Office
      End of Watch: Friday, October 12, 2007; Cause of Death: Vehicular assault

    * Wildlife Officer Michelle A. Lawless, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
      End of Watch: Saturday, October 27, 2007; Cause of Death: Accidental

    * Deputy Sheriff Paul Rein, Broward County Sheriff's Office
      End of Watch: Wednesday, November 7, 2007; Cause of Death: Gunfire

    * Deputy Sheriff Donta J. Manuel, Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office
      End of Watch: Wednesday, November 28, 2007; Cause of Death: Struck by vehicle

    * Deputy Sheriff Jonathan D. Wallace, Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office
      End of Watch: Wednesday, November 28, 2007; Cause of Death: Struck by vehicle

    * Deputy Sheriff Robin Tanner, Monroe County Sheriff's Office
      End of Watch: Thursday, December 13, 2007; Cause of Death: Automobile accident


STATE OF FLORIDA

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
EXECUTIVE ORDER NUMBER 08-81

 

WHEREAS, law enforcement officers provide unselfish service to the State; and

WHEREAS, in 2007, sixteen law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in Florida; and

WHEREAS, criminals who have committed these heinous crimes frequently take flight and pose a substantial risk to the community; and

WHEREAS, a coordinated law enforcement response coupled with the prompt and widespread sharing of information during these incidents is critical; and

WHEREAS, one of the best ways to protect our citizens is through the coordinated partnership of state agencies;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, CHARLIE CRIST, Governor of Florida, pursuant to the Constitution and laws of the State of Florida, do hereby promulgate the following Executive Order, effective immediately:

Section 1.

The Department of Transportation and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Florida Highway Patrol are directed to coordinate with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to immediately broadcast critical information about an offender or offenders who have killed or seriously injured a law enforcement officer to the general public via dynamic highway message signs and other advisory methods as deemed appropriate and available to these agencies.      

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have  hereunto set my hand and have caused the Great Seal of the State of Florida to be affixed at Tallahassee, the Capitol, this 5th day of May 2008.
 

_________________________________________

                  GOVERNOR

 
ATTEST:

  
_________________________________

SECRETARY OF STATE

- Governor's Press Office


This article originally published on May 5, 2008.

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