Don’t think so. Well, maybe and if so, yes and no.
From the post:
Two Palm Beach County police agencies will learn today whether thousands of arrests made by their officers will be overturned because the officers weren’t legally certified to carry firearms.
A Florida Department of Law Enforcement commission will meet this morning to discuss approving a permanent waiver to the Riviera Beach and Ocean Ridge police departments, after both learned that their officers did not receive their firearms training from a certified trainer, a requirement for them to patrol the streets.
The FDLE’s Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission is expected to meet and make a decision around 11 a.m. today.
The problems at both departments came about the same way, documents show. All 127 Riviera Beach officers and 24 Ocean Ridge officers took the necessary training, but their instructors were not “fully certified,” according to the agencies’ requests submitted to the FDLE commission. That violates a state requirement that officers demonstrate firearms proficiency with a certified firearms instructor every two years.
If the FDLE commission denies the waiver, 6,976 arrests made by Riviera Beach officers and about 35 made by Ocean Ridge officers during the roughly two-year period, according to Palm Beach County Jail records, could be nullified.
Ocean Ridge Police Chief Chris Yannuzzi said on Tuesday that he will travel to Ocala to be present at the commission meeting. “We hope that all goes well,” Yannuzzi said on Friday. “I have no idea what the outcome will be.”
A “yes” vote would deem the officers compliant during the 2008 and 2010 reporting cycles, Crews said. A “no” vote would reflect a break in service from July 1, 2008, through March 24 for Riviera Beach police, and July 1, 2008, through Nov. 12 for Ocean Ridge police, nullifying “all law enforcement action taken” in those periods.
The Riviera Beach Police Department declined several requests from The Palm Beach Post to discuss the issue, when the incident was first discovered.
Waiver schmaber. The analysis will go something like this:
Harmless error, substantially compliant, blah, blah blah.
Ain’t no way they are letting the “criminals” go free over some “technicality.” But why should Riviera Beach and Ocean Ridge get permanent waivers? Are they better than everyone else? Are they just expected to not be able to do the training with a certified instructor? How hard is it really to get a certified instructor to do the training?
Even in the unlikely event they “throw out” these 7000 arrests, they won’t all be thrown out. Especially the felony cases. I disagree with the assertion the effect would be “nullifying ‘all law enforcement action taken’ in those periods.”
Many times in DUI cases it comes up. You have a cop outside their jurisdiction. They are treated the same as a normal citizen regarding their powers to arrest. Generally, with a citizen’s arrest, it has to be a felony committed in their presence. Or, it could be a breach of the peace – read “DUI”. I will bet you dollars to doughnuts that many of the arrests in Riviera Beach were felonies. Some of them committed in the officer’s presence.
127 officers made almost 7,000 arrests in Riviera Beach in two years. That’s almost 28 arrests per year per cop. Looks like they need a raise. Not a good place to rear a family if you look at the statistics. Ocean Ridge, on the other hand, had 24 officers and only 35 arrests over a 2 year period. Holy cow. That’s not even one arrest per year per officer. Looks like they need to fire about 23 officers. That’ll save some money.
So, to recap, the answer is no they won’t be overturned. But, in the unlikely event they are, they will not be all thrown out.