Recently, the Hallandale Beach Police Department put in place Special Order 16-003 Use of Force policy that prohibits its officers from protecting themselves against moving vehicles. The Broward County PBA maintains that not only does SO 16-003 violate Florida’s Stand Your Ground statute, but it unnecessarily places our members in harm’s way. A review of the plain meaning of Stand Your Ground would unescapably lead a disinterested party to conclude that Stand Your Ground carves out no “vehicle” exception, which is exactly what SO 16-003 unlawfully does.
“It seems that the Hallandale Beach administration continues to put political correctness before the safety of the brave men and women of the Hallandale Beach Police Department,” Broward County PBA President Jeff Marano said.
The Stand Your Ground statute, as codified in Sections 776.012, and 776.013, Florida Statutes, provides that a person is justified in the use of deadly force and has no duty to retreat if either: (1) the person reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself, or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or (2) the person acts under and according to the circumstances set forth in Section 776.013 (pertaining to the use of force in the context of a home or vehicle invasion).
As set forth, Stand Your Ground does not mandate a person “not [to] discharge a firearm at a vehicle when the vehicle is the only instrument being used as a weapon/potential weapon in a deadly force encounter.” If the Legislature had wished to address the factual scenario envisioned in SO 16-003, it would have written an exception to Stand Your Ground. In its current state, it does not. Thus, the City’s mandate is unlawful. As such, the PBA will continue to advocate for our members’ safety and advise them accordingly.
The Sunrise Police Lieutenants Bargaining Unit voted today to ratify their 2015-2018 collective bargaining agreement with the city.
Highlights of the new deal include a 2 1/2 percent raise, effective from October 1, 2015, and will increase another 1 1/2 percent on January 1, 2018. Employees may also receive additional pay step increases for continuous full-time service with the city.
“It is great to work with a municipality that values the men and women in blue who serve,” Broward County PBA President Jeff Marano said.
“We are very pleased at the decision handed down by Judge Usan this morning. All we asked was that he follow the rule of law, and he did. We want to thank PBA attorneys Eric Schwartzreich and Anthony Bruno, and their team of investigators, for the aggressive, vigorous defense of Deputy Peraza. We also want to thank our membership for their emotional and monetary support of Deputy Peraza and his family during this very difficult time. We have said from the outset this was a justifiable shooting and the Judge’s ruling confirms that fact.”
With 6,108 Correctional and Probation Officer signatures in hand, representatives of the PBA officially filed an election petition with the Florida Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC) today. The petition requests an election be held between the Florida PBA and the Teamsters to determine which organization will be the exclusive collective bargaining representative for the Department of Corrections’ bargaining unit.
Under PERC election rules, today is the first day to file our petition.
Thanks to the officers’ response in the field, we gathered more than enough signatures in a record amount of time (six weeks) to be able to file this morning. We collected an average of 1,000 petitions per week with an estimated 80% of officers we came into contact with signing on. And we will continue to visit each institution and probation office in order to speak directly with you. However, our decision to file today underscores our desire to have the election completed before the start of the next legislative session in March of 2017. Having a successful legislative session was the top priority for the officers signing petitions.
It is our opinion that dragging out an election into the new year severely undermines your legislative strategy. We plan to pursue an expedited election per PERC rules. If delays do occur, it will be a tactic by the Teamsters not from us.
We are very grateful for the support we have received since day one of the petition drive. The next step is PERC will determine if the petitions meet legal sufficiency. Please stay tuned.
Thank you for reading this email and, as always, stay safe.