Law and public safety

Alachua County makes history with approval of equitable criminal sentencing technology

Alachua County made the joint-effort of state attorney Brian Kramer and public defender Stacy Scott a historic reality: Florida’s Eighth Judicial Circuit will become Florida’s first judicial circuit to integrate equitable sentencing software as an official part of its case management system and plea-bargaining process. Roughly 95% of cases are settled in plea negotiations. Known as the Equity in Sentencing Analysis System (ESAS), this fairly new software provides legal practitioners with a searchable database of statewide sentencing data from the Florida Department of Corrections going back to 1998.

Read More »

Cape Coral residents deal with limited food and water supplies after Hurricane Ian devastated the area

CAPE CORAL, Fla. – Those impacted by Hurricane Ian on the Gulf Coast were hit hard by flooding and other storm damage, now they’re also facing the prospect of dwindling food and water supplies. The Lee County government announced Saturday that they have opened 8 Points of Distribution (PODS) where residents …

Read More »

Lifelines after landfall: Southwest Florida grapples with Hurricane Ian’s impact

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Gulf of Mexico swallowed driftwood, stray shoes, split skim boards and the last vestige of Crystal Edge’s mother’s memory in the days following Hurricane Ian’s devastation. The 28-year-old sailboat – a family heirloom – remained trapped below piled debris at a marina under the Fort …

Read More »

How to help Florida disaster victims

Hurricane Ian has left thousands of Florida residents struggling with basic needs, and many organizations are making donation and volunteer opportunities available to the public. Gov. Ron DeSantis encourages the public to make monetary donations to enable relief organizations to do their work. Within the last 24 hours, people have donated more than $2 million to Florida hurricane relief efforts. The Category 4 hurricane shifted its course to the east before making landfall just after 3 p.m. Wednesday, catching residents off guard. Many people who could not evacuate are experiencing flooding and infrastructure failure.

Read More »

Florida National Guard aids in Hurricane Ian response

The Florida National Guard is among several federal and state agencies aiding in response efforts after Hurricane Ian made landfall as a Category 4 storm on Florida’s western coast late Wednesday afternoon. The Florida National Guard announced Wednesday that it has 4,611 Guardsmen activated and ready to help with search and rescue operations, route clearance, aviation and law enforcement support and communication and humanitarian support, including distributing food and water to those in need.

Read More »

Need sandbags? Here’s a map

Sandbag information is subject to change based on a multitude of factors including restricted hours and component availability. While we will do our best to keep this information as accurate as possible, please verify the provided information with your local municipality, county or local public safety agency. As Hurricane Ian …

Read More »