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Old 09-03-2016, 01:36 PM
 
2,747 posts, read 1,728,011 times
Reputation: 3023

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Information provided by:
Nancy Prafke, Punta Gorda City Council Member - District 5
3812 St. Girons Dr.
Punta Gorda, FL 33950

A message from our City Manager
On Tuesday, Aug. 30, the Charlotte Sun questioned the scope and design of the City’s two-prong investigation into the tragic incident that resulted in the loss of one of our residents. While acknowledging that “the two probes underway by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the police department are in capable hands” and that “we should be patient and await the outcome of those investigations,” the editor conjectured that without the insertion of an “outside agency…there will always be a gnawing feeling that something might have been swept under the rug.” As the Punta Gorda City Manager, and the one who is directly responsible for all City operations, we find this to be a hasty rush to judgment at best. efore jumping to this unfounded conclusion, we believe that the Sun’s readers would have been better served had the editor taken the time to ask these four key questions:


Who is on the City’s investigation team and what are their qualifications?
Lt. Terry Cochran will be the police department’s assigned investigator in accordance with Florida case law. Working with Lt. Cochran will be two external experts: Retired Cape Coral Police Chief Arnold Gibbs and Brian Koji, principal of Allen, Norton & Blue, a law firm specializing in labor and employment law. Once the examination is completed, the team will report its conclusions and recommendations to the City Manager’s office for any final disposition.

Why has a current member of the Punta Gorda Police Department been assigned as the investigator on this inquiry?
Lt. Cochran was appointed based on the fact that he was not present during the incident in question and had no involvement in the underlying circumstances leading up to the incident. Equally important, in 2015, the Third District Court of Appeal held in Miami Dade County v. Dade County Police Benevolent Association, that one agency could not investigate an officer of another agency if the purpose is to determine whether disciplinary action should be imposed without direct involvement of the employing agency.

Is there potential for additional external parties to be added to the investigation team?
Beyond the members named, the City Manager reserves the right to add members to the investigation team should information gleaned from the process warrant it.

Are the Punta Gorda Police Department’s leadership, policies and procedures regularly reviewed by external authorities?
Since 1998 the Punta Gorda Police Department has participated in the state law enforcement accreditation process through the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation, Inc. Audits, inspections and inventories are completed on varying schedules throughout each calendar year as a part of that process and reported to the Commission on an annual basis to ensure compliance with hundreds of standards. In addition, on a triennial basis, a total of six state-trained assessors spend multiple days reviewing not only the management of the agency, but the policies and practices, equipment, facility infrastructure, and all facets of the agency. The most recent assessment occurred in 2016 and on June 22, the Punta Gorda Police Chief accepted the department’s Second Excelsior Accreditation Award, the highest accreditation award the Commission offers.



The leadership of Punta Gorda remains steadfast in its commitment to see this process through and will not shy away from any recommendations for change that are likely to arise as the result of the investigations’ findings. What’s more, we will continue to share information in a timely, straight forward manner.
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Old 09-03-2016, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Florida
1,624 posts, read 2,010,158 times
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So, anyone know when the next citizen training session will be?
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Old 09-03-2016, 10:45 PM
 
186 posts, read 140,268 times
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I think it best they suspend the program for a period of time. Although the community would still support it with decent attendance, it would be better for us to have a citizens review board formed.

This is a small town, and we need to know that our police dept. is well managed and professional. The County Sheriffs office could easily take over if we asked, but I don't favor that. Better to have transparency and accountability.
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Old 09-04-2016, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Punta Gorda
2,321 posts, read 1,559,713 times
Reputation: 547
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juliekristine629 View Post
I think it best they suspend the program for a period of time. Although the community would still support it with decent attendance, it would be better for us to have a citizens review board formed.

This is a small town, and we need to know that our police dept. is well managed and professional. The County Sheriffs office could easily take over if we asked, but I don't favor that. Better to have transparency and accountability.
Wait, you are trying to say "you" can ask the Sheriffs dept to take over the PGPD and they will do this? Really?
There are residents who are 2nd, 3rd, 4th generation here, I'm sure they will continue to take care of PG without outsiders thinking they will come in and change everything.
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Old 09-04-2016, 07:17 PM
 
1,917 posts, read 1,867,377 times
Reputation: 710
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juliekristine629 View Post
I think it best they suspend the program for a period of time. Although the community would still support it with decent attendance, it would be better for us to have a citizens review board formed.

This is a small town, and we need to know that our police dept. is well managed and professional. The County Sheriffs office could easily take over if we asked, but I don't favor that. Better to have transparency and accountability.
LOL........That small town existed and had police before there was a Charlotte County.
I don't believe the county has any jurisdiction over the city and the assumption that the county could do better than a town that has one of the lowest crime rates in the state is really reaching.

Gary
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Old 09-04-2016, 09:20 PM
 
2,747 posts, read 1,728,011 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juliekristine629 View Post
I think it best they suspend the program for a period of time. Although the community would still support it with decent attendance, it would be better for us to have a citizens review board formed.

This is a small town, and we need to know that our police dept. is well managed and professional. The County Sheriffs office could easily take over if we asked, but I don't favor that. Better to have transparency and accountability.
I don't think you realize the importance of "Home Rule" to towns and cities.

Punta Gorda will not abolish their police department.
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Old 09-07-2016, 11:31 AM
 
2,747 posts, read 1,728,011 times
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2:17 minute WINK Video taken at Coffee with the Chief yesterday.

Chief applauded at public meetup following fatal gun demonstration | WINK NEWS
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Old 09-07-2016, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Punta Gorda
2,321 posts, read 1,559,713 times
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Seems to me the citizens of Punta Gorda are behind the PD and especially the chief!
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Old 09-08-2016, 10:39 PM
 
186 posts, read 140,268 times
Reputation: 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaRay35 View Post
Wait, you are trying to say "you" can ask the Sheriffs dept to take over the PGPD and they will do this? Really?
There are residents who are 2nd, 3rd, 4th generation here, I'm sure they will continue to take care of PG without outsiders thinking they will come in and change everything.
Before anyone attribute suggestions to me, I suggest you politely ask if I could clarify. No, I do not support the CCSO take over our cities duties. I like our city services, and this is the last thing I wish.

That said, Sherriff Prummel himself told our Citizens Academy that the county Could absorb the city if requested. He answered that question from another participant, not me. Right now, we share some resources. They were in a backup roll for the 7-11 case.

As for "some newcomer coming in changing things", that's ludicrous. First off, I'm a full time resident, voter and tax payer. I'm active in the community, and donate my time to help serve others. If you have a problem with that, then I'm sorry you hold that perspective.

I'm not necessarily in favor of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation politicians, are you? Fresh, as well as traditional ideas have value in business, the military, government and community.

Last edited by Juliekristine629; 09-08-2016 at 10:52 PM..
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Old 09-08-2016, 10:43 PM
 
186 posts, read 140,268 times
Reputation: 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by the searchers View Post
2:17 minute WINK Video taken at Coffee with the Chief yesterday.

Chief applauded at public meetup following fatal gun demonstration | WINK NEWS
A tragedy occurred, due to human error. I understand suspending judgement until the FDLE report and internal investigations are complete. However, this issue needs to be fully vetted and changes made.

Someone will be held accountable. I will neither applaud, nor condemn anyone at this point.
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