A proposal sponsored by Senator Shevrin Jones (West Park) would establish a new task force to study violence in Florida’s urban areas and recommend solutions to decrease crime.
Senate Bill 1196 (SB 1196) would create the Community Violence Task Force within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The task force would be set to review system failures and the causes of high crime rates and violence in urban core neighborhoods and communities.
The task force would be comprised of 15 members, including 4 members appointed by the Governor, of which one would serve as chair of the task force, 4 members appointed by the President of the Senate, two of whom must be members of the Legislative Black Caucus of the Florida House of Representatives, and a member representative from both the Florida Sheriffs Association and the Florida Police Chiefs Association.
“For the last 3 years, I have worked with my Republican colleagues to get the right langue to establish the Community Violence Task Force,” said Jones. “It has received bipartisan support over the years because everyone agrees that we must look at the root cause of issues of violence that’s happening in our communities. Our children in communities deserve to grow up in safe neighborhoods, with parents not having to worry about if their child will be the next target. It is my hope that we can finally get this across the finish line and onto the Governors desk.”
If passed, members must be appointed no later than August 1, 2022, and would work in tandem with Florida Department of Law Enforcement officials, who would assist in providing staffing and administrative duties.
In an instance of intervention, the Community Violence Task Force would be required to submit a report on its findings and recommendations to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the President of the House of Representatives.
Various community task forces have been implemented in many states at a city-wide level, though Jones’ proposal seeks to create a system that has state oversight with direct reporting to governmental authorities.
If voted through legislation during the upcoming January session, the Community Violence Taskforce would be actualized on July 1st, 2022.