SPECIAL BRIEFING FROM THE FLORIDA SHERIFFS ASSOCIATION
| Florida Sheriffs and the Impact of COVID-19 |
As coronavirus continues to impact our world, the Florida Sheriffs Association wants you to know that the safety of our citizens remains our top priority. We hope you have taken the necessary precautions recommended by local health officials to ensure your well-being.
FSA and the Sheriffs have been coordinating on the COVID-19 outbreak efforts from the beginning. We have hosted calls with the White House, the Governor, and Senator Rick Scott, as well as many Florida state agencies and partners to improve law enforcement’s response to this outbreak.
The Florida Sheriffs Association has staffed the ESF-16 desk (law enforcement) of the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) since March 7. Our staff at the SEOC remains the central point of contact for any emergency activities regarding COVID-19 and any law enforcement coordination that must be done at the state level. Sheriffs operate under a mutual aid agreement that allows sheriffs to help sheriffs without any mandate from the state. And because of this independence, sheriffs have been and will continue to assist other sheriffs.
An Inside Look at Jails and COVID-19 Most sheriffs run jails, which are temporary holding facilities for people charged with crimes, those awaiting trial and persons serving time for misdemeanors. During this public health emergency, locally operated jails have stopped visitors from entering the facilities to reduce exposure to these often dense population centers. If introduced to a jail, the virus will be hard to stop – putting corrections officers’ health and safety at risk, as well as those inmates in jail. Sheriffs will continue to do what they can to protect the men and women who work in jails and the inmates in their custody. Jails have put measures in place to screen new inmates and can isolate inmates who may show early signs of the virus.
Take Action: What Sheriffs Need The orders issued by the State of Florida, guidance from the Federal Government to Stop the Spread, and any local orders should also be followed. President Trump launched the Stop the Spread campaign on March 16, which includes limiting gatherings to fewer than 10 people. Sheriffs ask that you listen to these instructions to keep you, your family and the first responders safe during this public health emergency. Everyone must to do their part to get through this. The best source of information for the COVID-19 in Florida is the Department of Health. The Centers for Disease Control has the most up to date information for the U.S. You can find the most up to date information about Florida’s sheriffs at flsheriffs.org.
Sincerely, Steve Casey
Executive Director © 2020 Florida Sheriffs Association
2617 Mahan Drive Tallahassee, FL 32308
P: (800) 877-2168
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