FDLE Cuts Could Effect Child Safety

By: Whitney Ray
By: Whitney Ray

Declining state revenues could cause Florida’s Department of Law Enforcement to cut programs that keep our kids safe. Amber Alerts and sex offender warnings could be a thing of the past if the state’s financial woes continue.

When a child is missing the Florida Department of Law Enforcement springs into action. But in Florida Amber Alerts could be a thing of the past. The Amber Alert program ended up on a list of things FDLE would get rid of if it was forced to cut its budget by 10 percent.

The sex offender registry, where 44,000 people signed up to be notified when a sex offender moves near by, is also on the cut list.

FDLE Spokeswoman Heather Smith says after two years of shrinking budgets, there are no safe places to make changes. Smith says, "we have already seen some cuts at FDLE and any additional cuts are going to be painful for us.”

Bethany Faison is a mother of three. She says parents rely on the FDLE programs to keep their kids safe from predators, saying “I think it’s probably the worst think they could cut actually.”

If FDLE has to make the full 18 million dollars in cuts, Amber Alerts and the Sex Offender registry would have to go. Cuts less than 10 percent would keep them off the chopping block.

Statistics show that crime increases when the economy tanks. Florida’s Chief Financial Officer is warning lawmakers that if FDLE was hit too hard by budget cuts, public safety would be at risk.

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