The Florida Law Enforcement Property Recovery Unit, more colloquially known as FLEPRU (FLEE-proo), is a non-profit entity that was started in the Tampa Bay area in 1987 by a group of detectives whose mission was to aid victims in the recovery of their stolen property and increase the effective prosecution of the perpetrators.
FLEPRU provides information, networking, and education not only for sworn law enforcement, but retail, commercial, and recycling industries as well. Additionally, FLEPRU works to enact legislation, and better the statutes already on the books, by lobbying in Tallahassee on behalf of crime victims and cops.
Toward that end, FLEPRU has directed much of its lobbying efforts at tightening Florida State Statutes 538 (Secondhand dealers and secondary metals recyclers) and 539 (Pawnbrokering). The experienced people at FLEPRU have been staunch gatekeepers, attempting to keep the pawn and secondhand dealers from becoming “state-sponsored fencing operations.”
Each year, FLEPRU holds a three day conference in Orlando which becomes and information clearing house and a training seminar for property crimes detectives from all over the state. Having recently settled back into our detective division, I attended this year’s conference along with two rookie detectives from my agency.
Topics for the 2013 FLEPRU convention included:
- Identity Theft Investigation
- Pawn Shop Inspection
- SunPass Operations
- Officer Survival and Interviewing
- EBT Card Fraud
- Smart Phones and Continue reading
Press release from LaserLyte:
COTTONWOOD, AZ (November 2013) – LaserLyte®, innovators in firearms laser technologies, is proud to introduce the innovative and entertaining Laser-Plinking-Can. When hit with a laser from any of the LaserLyte® training cartridges or other laser trainer tools, the cans react by jumping up and falling over just as a real can would. This reaction is all powered by a 9V battery (included) and a spring loaded plunger released by a solenoid. To reset the cans, simply stand them up and depress the plunger.
The LaserLyte® laser reactive Laser Plinking Can Set provides hours of training and entertainment indoors or outdoors without the cost of ammunition or the clean-up of cans after the fact! Laser Plinking Can Set is sold in a three-pack with three 9V batteries included. One battery will tip the can over about 8,000 times.
The LaserLyte® Laser Plinker Can gets sport shooters and professionals on the target faster, increasing accuracy and overall hits. For more information visit www.laserlyte.com.
LaserLyte® Tip Over Can (TLB-BWC) Specifications:
Weight: 4.25 ounces/.12kg
Length: 3.82 inch/9.7 cm
Diameter: 2.00 inch/5.1cm
Battery Life: 8,000 Tip Overs
It just seems like good old-fashioned fun in the living room!
I kept seeing flashes and smoke at the west end of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Range at SWAT Round-Up International. At the far north end of vendor row, I got to speak to Andrew Mahwhinney of Firebird Tactical. He showed us some of the cool metal target discs that react when hit by bullets.
Firebird Tactical, a division of Firebird Reactive Targets, Ltd., was started to introduce their parent company’s products to the Military and Law Enforcement. SWAT Round-Up International is the U.S. launch of the brand. Firebird Tactical markets 40mm and 65mm-sized targets called either SniperFire Standard or SniperFire Mil-spec. SniperFire Standard targets affix to a backer with high tack double-sided tape and are specifically designed for high power rifle fire. They allow for instant hit recognition at long distances.
Firebird’s SniperFire Mil-spec targets are designed to be water-resistant and have magnetic backing in addition to the high tack tape. They are luminous and can be used in the dark, adding to their versatility. Mil-spec discs’ increased visibility can be seen from distances out to 3000 meters. Both the Standard and Mil-Spec ignite with a shimmering pop and not a loud bang.
As I was finishing a half lap of SWAT Round-Up International’s vendor area, I had spied my old friend, an Orange County Sheriff’s Office Master Deputy. My friend introduced me to Dr. William Brooks at the Advanced Trauma Specialties display. Dr. Brooks was demonstrating some new Celox RAPID hemostatic gauzes. The Celox RAPID gauzes come in Z-folded 3″ X 5′ and 1″ X 5′ lengths, the latter of which is called Celox RAPID Ribbon gauze.
Celox granules are laminated to the high density gauze material to provide easy packing into a wound for quick bleeding control. Celox is made with Chito-R™ (chitosan from shrimp shells) that binds to red blood cells to seal severe wounds caused by gunshot, stabs, or blast fragmentation. Allergic to shellfish? No problem, it is not reactive.
Dr. Brooks showed me a graphic video of Celox RAPID staunching a femoral artery bleed in an animal test subject. It was from a Navy study in which Celox outperformed Continue reading
In addition to watching last Tuesday’s event at SWAT Round-Up International 2013, I trolled the vendors’ show looking for new things. I ran across Todd Garrett at the Venture Ballistic Composites booth. Mr. Garrett chose to introduce their new line of Active Shooter shields at this year’s SRI.
Named an AS-3 or AS-3A, Venture Ballistics’ new models are either NIJ Level III or IIIa. They come in 16″ X 20″ (short) or 16″ X 28″ (regular). These shields are very mobile and afford good coverage to the user’s torso. The AS-3A short is specifically designed to give protection in or out of a vehicle.
I am in Orlando this week for the Florida Law Enforcement Property Recovery Unit (FLEPRU) conference. On my way over, I just had to stop at the Orange County Sheriff’s Sheriff’s Office Range for the annual SWAT Round-Up International. I competed here in the 1990′s and again one last time in 2006.
I visited the vendors and will post some photos of some cool stuff I saw. In the meantime, I was able to see an old friend from my Academy days some 26 years ago. He works out here and is doing well.
It was my first week back in Detective Bureau. I was getting a slice with some of the guys when I got a call from my lieutenant. “Yeah, Boss?” “You better check on Wheaten and Milner; they requested uniformed back-up,” he said. Day two in DB and I hadn’t even programmed all the investigators’ numbers into my phone. Figured. “Right away, Boss.”
Just before lunch, Wheaten told me he and Milner were going to interview and arrest a grand theft suspect for whom he had probable cause at a particular nursing home. At least I knew where they were. I reached Milner on the phone. “All good?” She said, “We got in a fight, but have just a few scrapes.” “Okay, see me back in the Bay.”
I spent nearly seven years as a plain clothed detective. It never escaped me that I had traded in a ballistic vest for a silk tie. As a dick, you arrest the same bad people, but have fewer tools at your disposal than a road officer. Your empty hand techniques and officer safety awareness need to be better than average. Good training and mindset are critical.
I met my folks back at the office to write up some injury reports. Fortunately, we could joke because the damage was minor–an abrasion to Milner’s Continue reading
Yesterday, I discovered a very old photograph of my grandfather on my mother’s side. I do not know much about him and he passed away long ago. In the picture I found of him, he was in uniform. I had never seen the photograph before. He fought in the Pacific in World War II. And he was wearing sergeant stripes… I smiled and shared it with my wife. My dad was a Navy PO2 and his father was an infantry sergeant in WWI.
I appreciate their service and that of all our military veterans. We owe them all a great debt of gratitude on this Veterans Day.
Daytona Beach Police Department released this video of their officers engaging a hostage taker on September 25, 2013. The officer involved shooting was captured on a body camera worn by one of the officers. Former New York Giants player Jermaine Lanier Green, 32, was holding his girlfriend at knife point when the officers entered the home.
In reviewing the video of the Daytona Beach OIS, I noted a few things. At the outset, the officers assess the situation from witnesses on scene. The first responders take immediate action based on there being an armed, mentally ill (“Signal 0 with a knife, Signal 20.”) person holding a hostage inside the residence. One witness tells Continue reading
Morphix Technologies is releasing a new explosives detector kit, which is made to test for home made explosives (HME) and improvised explosive devices (IED). I received a Morphix Chameleon Chemical Detector kit, which I reviewed in April of 2012. It is good basic technology for the rank and file. The Morphix TraceX HME kit tests for nine different explosive families in under three minutes with a single swabbing. The results are clearly indicated in the window of the test box. The kit is rugged and sealed in its own protective plastic case, which fits in a cargo pocket. No word on pricing for the TraceX, but the Chameleon was running just $200.00 per unit online…
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (November 2013) – Morphix Technologies®, an innovator in the science of detection devices for dangerous chemicals, is pleased to announce its new solution in the detection of Home Made Explosives (HMEs) and precursors, the TraceX® Explosives Kit, has received a National Stock Number (665-01-623-0153). The National Stock Number was issued by NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support allowing the TraceX® Explosives Kit to be purchased by all U.S. Government military and federal agencies under approved acquisition Continue reading
The Florida Attorney General’s Office announced a settlement in the qui tam fraud complaint filed against the Florida Retirement System’s custodian financial institution, the Bank of New York Mellon. BNYM is accused of overcharging the FRS by millions of dollars. This should be a relief for those of you in FRS. According to a statement released by AG Pam Bondi:
“Every penny that state and local employees entrust to Florida’s pension fund is hard-earned. Today, we announced that we reached a $28 million settlement with Florida’s custodian bank, the Bank of New York Mellon, resolving allegations that the bank overcharged the Florida Retirement System Trust Fund by millions of dollars in its handling of foreign currency transactions. This agreement provides full compensation for the State’s past foreign currency trades and ensures complete transparency on the pricing of future trades.
The settlement reached today also resolves allegations involving investments made by the Bank of New York Mellon on behalf of the Florida Retirement System Trust Fund in medium-term notes issued by Sigma Finance, Inc. Sigma defaulted on certain notes in late September 2008 and subsequently went into receivership.
“This case began as a whistleblower complaint that alleged the bank improperly reported the State’s foreign currency transactions and kept the difference between that inflated price and the actual execution price. In 2011, my office intervened in the case and filed an amended complaint.
“We worked hard to achieve this substantial recovery on behalf of Florida’s retirement fund.”
Posted in Legal
Tagged Pam Bondi
In September, the Florida Medical Examiners and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement disseminated the Drugs Identified in Deceased Persons Report for 2012. The report identified 8,330 drug-caused and/or drug-related deaths in the 178,000 Floridians who died in 2012, as reported to the Office of Vital Statistics.
The report cited 17.7% fewer drug-caused deaths in 2012 verses 2011, a decrease of 2,090 persons. Drug-related deaths, where at least one legal or illegal drug was present in the decedent’s body but was not necessarily the cause of death, dropped 9.9% to 4,944. Oxycodone killed 41.1% fewer Floridians in 2012. Deaths attributed to alprazolam, diazepam, hydrocodone, and methadone decreased as well.
Said Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, “When I took office, there were more than 7 Floridians dying a day from prescription drug overdoses….of the top 100 oxycodone dispensers, these are doctors, 98 of them lived in Florida. Now we’re down to zero…There used to be pill mills on every corner and now they’re virtually gone.”
Under AG Bondi’s watch, seven regional Drug Enforcement Strike Forces had closed 254 clinics and arrested 76 doctors from Continue reading
The guys were loading up the van for a full blown SWAT call a few weeks ago. I was
still a street supervisor and working the evening shift. Thinking I might be of some use,
I hovered around the equipment room to help. As we collected gas, less lethal, long
guns, tools, and the rest of the gear, I told each one of them to “Be careful,” or “Watch
your buddies.” Just before the van was pulling out, I waved and told the last pair
aboard, “Have fun stormin’ the castle!”
Something special to me about serving on SWAT was the camaraderie and shared
experiences that unfolded under serious pressure. For decades, I rode in the van while
en route to high risk situations. It was the job of the senior shooters to keep the junior
guys from stressing out over all the things the could happen when we dumped out. Thus, the van became a place of brutal humor. Who the hell picks on Continue reading
About a year and a half ago, I wrote an article about the StarChase Pursuit Management System. StarChase fires a GPS loaded projectile at a fleeing vehicle. Once the projectile is attached, it allows the police to back off the pursuit and electronically follow the vehicle in hopes of a less volatile ending.
Assistant Chief Melanie Bevans has said that the St. Petersburg Police will be trying out the StarChase technology because, “This is something that we have found that we think will make (pursuits) just a little less dangerous.” Police chases resulted in 17 crashes in 2012 for the St. Petersburg Police. St. Pete will be the first police agency in Florida to evaluate StarChase.
Chief Bevan stated, “We’re in the evaluation stage. We are willing at the police department to try something new. If it works, we are willing to add a new and valuable tool to our tool chest. If it doesn’t, then we go back and try something better.”
I was in downtown Tampa over the weekend and I just had to stop at the Tampa Police Department’s Fallen Officers Memorial in front of One Police Center at 411 N. Franklin Street. I took a few quick photographs.
I am always humbled by the sacrifices made by our law enforcement officers. I know a memorial is just a dedicated place, but I am proud that the memorial lives on in our hearts and remembrance. I have a special feeling for this memorial and the one in St. Petersburg because I knew some of the men whose names are engraved on each plaque.
There are a total of 31 names inscribed in Tampa’s granite…