The Leon County Grand Jury released a report on March 13, 2013 addressing a January 12, 2013 incident in which two subjects shot at an unmarked police vehicle driven by a Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) officer. The Grand Jury recommended that the State Attorney prosecute the two persons that shot at the police officer and also elected to further review the circumstances that led to the shooting.
More specifically, the Grand Jury investigated whether, when this incident occurred, TPD officers were outside their jurisdiction in violation of the Mutual Aid Agreement between TPD and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO).
The incident occurred on the night of January 12, 2013 and involved the investigation of a burglary that resulted in 25 shots being fired, with 12 hitting a TPD officer’s car. The investigation and shooting took place outside of the city limits.
The report stated that the “TPD was negligent in their failure to comply with the Mutual Aid Agreement. And the result is that a police officer was almost killed and a community was unnecessarily put in danger. TPD should have requested mutual aid before they set foot outside their jurisdiction.”
In addition, the Grand Jury was less than impressed with TPD’s internal response when notified it would take over 45 days to render any findings. “It is astonishing we (Grand Jury) could conduct an investigation and render this Presentment after less than twelve hours work, yet an agency that specializes in investigations cannot get the job done in four months. It appears…that the union contract between TPD and the Police Benevolent Association is at least partly to blame for this delay.” The Grand Jury goes on to describe TPD’s review of this matter as “careless, uncaring, cavalier, and incompetent.”
The report made several recommendations that would make the Mutual Aid Agreement more workable. However, their final recommendation, “the consolidation of TPD and LCSO into one agency led by the Leon County Sheriff” reflects the Grand Jury’s final finding: “we have little confidence that the issues articulated in this report will be properly addressed by TPD.”
View Report: GJ Presentment 2013
You read this and think okay…plausible, uh huh, interesting…and then the consolidation thing is listed and you realize the presentment is just another editorial. Its like finding out half way through the party it’s an Amway recruiting gimmick.
Does anybody think a jury, who can take weeks to decide on a one word or two word verdict, could have created this without direct and demanding input from Meggs? Well we could compare the actual testimony to the presentment….oh wait, its all sealed and even the jurors are sworn to secrecy. Meggs can write anything he wants in the presentment and since there is no criminal trial to follow it will never be fact checked.
I have seen where other cities have had metro units where specific officers were trained by each agency which created a metro unit where those officers could then patrol either in the county or city and aid officers from each agency as needed. Officers from the metro unit worked on every shift, this allowed for backup and extra manpower when needed without these mutual aid agreements.