Dear Members and Advocates,

The St Lucie County Sheriff’s Department and the US Marshals Service reported some great results from a two-week joint initiative dubbed “Operation Watchful Eye”… More than 97% of persons forced to register were found to be compliant and the few that were not, had benign technical violations! The results proved that “Watchful Eye” was an unnecessary waste of two weeks and two agencies’ time and the public should know that people on the registry are overwhelmingly compliant and have a very low risk of re-offense.

Ok… so yes, that was the outcome of Operation Watchful Eye, but of course that’s not the way the Law Enforcement Agencies spun the story. The headline read, “Compliance checks of sex offenders yield more than a dozen arrests in St. Lucie County”  and, of course, was accompanied by a scary press conference.  But when you dissect the information disclosed, you’ll learn that sixteen of the 555 registrants were arrested. 16 out of 555 is 2.8%. That leaves 97.2% found to be compliant!

OK, again… so yes, if Operation Watchful Eye rescued just one kid from abduction or solved a single sex crime, there would be something to brag about. “If it saves one child”, right? But of course no kids were rescued and no actual sex crimes solved. As the article continues, “The most common charge during this operation, and during the arrest phase, was failure to report a change of address or failure to report a change to the Department of Motor Vehicles with regard to a motor vehicle”.

What’s crazier is Detective Daniel Campbell described the operation as “… a swarm of people, detectives, in conjunction with U.S Marshals Service, forming teams where we go out and we just hit a whole bunch at one time”! Are you kidding me? A “swarm” of county deputies and federal agents spent two weeks busting people for “technical violations”? Things that would be non-crimes, but for someone being on the registry. It’s like the Navy sending in the SEALs to check for expired parking meters! Is it really necessary and is it really worthy of the press conference or the misleading headline?

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t waste a Weekly Update mocking another of these silly “Operations”, but just last month one of our members submitted a member submission describing how nine (yes, 9) local and federal law enforcement officers showed up in swat gear at the home that she shares with her husband (who is a registrant but who also is 80 years old and suffers with dementia). Recalling the “operation” from her perspective, as she described it, made my blood boil as I read Detective Cambell’s description.

Knowing that this lady, who is one of the sweetest people I know, was the one who had to welcome this “swarm” of officers that showed up at her doorstep at 9:30PM, makes me sick. The trauma that I know it caused her, contrasted with the insipid results that these operations consistently yield, makes me sicker. People need to know the truth. We need to do more to call out the law enforcement agencies who mislead the public and the news outlets who publish this BS!

I would love to see an op-ed exposing these operations for the money they waste and the damage they do. Better yet, I’d like another news outlet to feature an investigative report to present the true cost/benefit of them. Perhaps, if someone you care about was the unnecessary target of these gestapo tactics, you can forward this week’s update to a journalist?

Sincerely,

The Florida Action Committee


Reminders:

Housing is Needed – We receive calls daily from members looking for housing.  If you have housing to rent or purchase, please contact email [email protected]  or call 833-273-7325, option 1.  We will only share the information with the FAC Outreach team and the County Coordinator in your area.

August 12 Thursday at 8:00pm ET – New Member Orientation Call – phone 319-527-3487. Ask questions about the organization, share resources, discuss local issues and learn about volunteer opportunities.  If unable to connect, text “CALL ME” to same number to receive call back and be joined to the meeting.

August 14 Saturday – 11:00am-1:00pm ET. Therapist-led Family Support Session via Zoom. Limited participation. Email [email protected] or leave message at 833-273-7325 Option 1 for access to the Monthly group session.

Date TBD  7:00 pm – Fearless Group – Peer-led Support meeting – You are Not Alone.  Dial (727) 731-2927.  For more information, email [email protected]

Need to Talk? FAC has peer volunteers that are here to talk one-on-one, call 904-452-8322.  Volunteers are not available 24/7 but you will receive a call as soon as possible.  If you have an emergency, call 911, or helpline at 1-800-273-8255 or a crisis center (Listing of Crisis Centers and Hotlines)


SOME HEADLINES FROM THIS WEEK

International Megan’s Law – Travel issues becoming more prevalent for registrants.

In recent months we’ve seen an increase in members reporting difficulty traveling internationally. We’re also seeing countries that formerly admitted persons required to register, now turning them away. Just last month a member was denied entry into Greece, a country…

New Bureau of Justice Statistics Study: 9:10 sexual assault victimizations were committed by someone the victim knew

A new study put out by the Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, the United States’ primary source for criminal justice statistics, supports that notion that more than 9 out of 10 sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim. The study aggregates data…

NJ: Another state says you can’t move the finish line!!! Great news.

New Jersey is another in the line of State Supreme Courts to say the legislature can’t move the finish line.and impose new burdens for past crimes. Below is a link to the decision, but below that is a very informative quote from it….

Apple’s plan to scan phones for child abuse worries privacy advocates

Apple for years has focused on adding new programs to its phones, all designed to make life easier. Its systems scan emails for new calendar appointments, and its Siri voice assistant suggests to call friends on their birthdays. But Apple’s latest feature is focused…

MEMBER CALLS

General Membership Call – First Thursday of each month at 8pm ET

New Member Orientation – Second Thursday of each month at 8pm ET.

All Guests must identify their First name and County.  No Last Names.  Unknown callers will be blocked.

Listen by Phone: 

Two options are offered due to various member phone plans.

OPTION 1:  Dial (319) 527-3487   No Access code required.

OPTION 2:  Dial 605-472-5311 then Enter Show ID: 739392#  (long distance rates may apply)

If you have any trouble connecting to the call, text “CALL ME” to 319-527-3487 from your mobile phone. 

FreeConferenceCall.com will call you back and connect you to the conference.

With Unity Comes Change -Get Involved and Volunteer Today!
Florida Action Committee
www.floridaactioncommittee.org
[email protected]
833-2-REPEAL     833-273-7325

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