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Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw asks Legislature for $3 million for violence prevention unit

by Dara Kam | March 20th, 2013

Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw made a $3 million pitch for a violence prevention unit and hotline he believes could help avert tragedies like Sandy Hook and Aurora by identifying potentially violent citizens before they act out.

Bradshaw needs the money for a 15-person “prevention intervention” unit, including five deputies, five mental health professionals and five caseworkers and to fund a 24-hour hotline where citizens can report neighbors, friends or family members they fear may harm themselves or others. Bradshaw said his office can identify whether the person or the residence has a history of violence and wants to be able to send “low-key” teams out to determine if they need help.

“At least we can put this person on our radar screen,” Bradshaw said. “It’s not about arrest. We cannot arrest our way out of this. This is about prevention intervention.”

At least one committee member expressed concern about attaching a mental health stigma to individuals and about ensuring that, once identified, the individuals get follow-up care. The sheriff said local mental health agencies support his proposal. But the majority of the panel, including Palm Beach County Sens. Jeff Clemens of Lake Worth and Joseph Abruzzo of Wellington, praised Bradshaw.

Bradshaw pointed to several incidents in Palm Beach County he said may have been averted if his teams had been in place.

“A young man stabbed his mother to death. Three days before that, the deputies had been to that house. But the kid knew enough to say the right things…the deputies didn’t have enough to Baker Act him.
If that team of professionals had gone there with him, he couldn’t have talked long enough to talk his way out of it. We had a guy that guy fired from work, went home, killed his live-in boyfriend, shot himself. Two days before that, his coworkers knew that he’d bought a gun and was angry. If they’d had this system to call, we could have gone to that house, talked to that person and maybe we would have stopped that,” he said. “There’s all these people in the community that know things are going on. We’ve got to give them an avenue to get to us and feel comfortable about the fact that we’re going there to help these people.”

Bradshaw said he hopes his program will become a model for the state as did his gang prevention and pill mill units.

“The emphasis is to prevent these things from happening so I don’t have somebody go to a school and kill 25 people, I don’t have somebody go back to their workplace and shoot everybody there or I don’t have something happen that almost happened at the University of Central Florida,” he said. “The information is out there. This will work…This is a first of its kind. And I believe we have an opportunity here to make a difference in preventing violence.”

But committee Chairman Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, told Bradshaw that he supports his idea but made no promises about funding it.

“The purpose, as I expressed it, was to get this conversation started. I’m not sure we’re going to be able to fund this in this year’s budget,” Bradley said. “But because this is such an issue that is on the forefront of our citizens’ minds, on our minds, I think it’s imiportant that this committee address this issue.”

Bradshaw said later he intends to get the program off the ground with or without the Legislature’s help.

“We ask for the best, and if it’s less than that then we’ll scale it down. Instead of having it 24 hours a day, maybe we’ll have it 12 hours a day and they would be on call,” he said. “I’m pretty hopeful that I’m going to get some assistance. If it doesn’t work here, then we’ll try other sources. But I’m not going to give up.”

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47 Responses to “Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw asks Legislature for $3 million for violence prevention unit”

  1. Princessjovigirl Says:

    Is he seriously asking for more money? Seriously?

  2. clarity Says:

    So the resources are already in place, of course, as referenced by the examples given: report, contact, baker act potential. What would be different in the proposed scenario, apart from Ric wanting to further inflate PBSO’s budget? Referencing Sandy Hook to justify the funding is grandstanding. How about using the existing funds to train deputies to refrain from shooting unarmed citizens, on their own private property no less; or using less than deadly force on a kid with a pair of sheers in his hand, on his own property no less!

  3. The flip side Says:

    Let’s just make Bradshaw the King and Supreme Ruler of Palm Beach County.

  4. Rich Says:

    Let’s say half of the $3 million is spent for non-personnel cost, though I can’t imagine what that will be spent on. That leaves $1.5 million to hire 15 people, or $100K per head. Where can I apply? If he wants this, he needs to find money in his existing budget to fund it. Enough spending already.

  5. TrafficAvenger Says:

    As much as it gulls me to say this. i agree with Mr. Bradshaw on this one.
    I do know just such a person this would have stopped from shooting four and killing two in a bar in Key West. He was from Wellington and well, lets just say now if I had had the chance use such a hotline on this man chances are these people would not have been shot. After having worked with this man for over a period of about nine months it was very obvious this man was a danger to the public and needed much help.
    The fact that he is doing two life sentences is probably little comfort to the ones he left mourning the deceased.

    Senseless and preventable deaths had such a program been around then.

  6. Dale Says:

    Ric should sell his 1.5 million dollar home in the Western section of Palm Beach County, This guy will spend the sh*t out of hark working people’s money!!! Needs to spend 3 million on training the cops to not kill unarmed people like Seth Adams…..cops are more violent than the criminals.

  7. Louie Says:

    Wow, they’ll be soliciting anonymous calls from people against their neighbors.
    Excuse me while I go back to watching the History Channel to see how that all worked out in the past.

  8. Ann Berg Says:

    I strongly agree that SOMETHING is needed, but I’m not sure that this is the right way to handle it. Why not create special public health units with tip lines; social workers could be sent (with a deputy if necessary) to interview family members, etc., to see if a court order should be immediately requested to Baker Act the person.

    I was a volunteer on a crisis switchboard many years ago, in another state. We were required to notify the sheriff if anyone called who sounded suicidal. When we did, what happened was a deputy was authorized to trace the call, go to the home and bring the person in — where they were put in a drunk tank till they ‘calmed down’. If the person wasn’t really suicidal or violent before, that could be enough to push them over the edge.

  9. Greg Says:

    a great idea….the only problem is, handing money over to a government agency is like setting it on fire. it will never be seen again and nothing positive will come of it….

  10. Had Enough Says:

    Bradshaw consumes half the PBC budget now. He’s looking for more? He’s still in office not because of the people that voted for him, but because of the people to lazy or ignorant to get off the couch and do their civic duty. Post #2 & 6 couldn’t agree more.

  11. D Simpson Says:

    Could sheriff Dik Just Leave My Money Alone and lets ask our Mental Health Agencys to do their Jobs.
    Or Maybe just take my Assault Rifle.
    Hmm Yeah that outa do the trick
    I Thought Police were already There to Protect and Serve?????

  12. timtopper Says:

    Ok, lets stop the cops and other office personnel from taking home their cars. That will save the tax payers millions. I am tired of seeing off duty cop cars parked on driveways, and shoping center parking lots.

  13. gethefax Says:

    How can the PBCC afford this when the PBSO has had a multitude of lawsuits from Employess and Inmates claiming discrimination???????????????

  14. You're All Clueless Says:

    You people have NO idea what you are talking about. There are so many other issues, propagated by the taxpayers, that waste money. You think taking cars is the answer?? Ha!

  15. CommishOfCommonSense Says:

    No. No. No. Hell No. Do not use my tax dollars to line the pockets of one more over paid, over pensioned, over benefited, over protected, over -over timed police officer. I’m OVER it!

  16. Soylent Green Says:

    You need double the money for Belle Glade alone !

    Ask the deputies who work the midnight shift on the weekends !

  17. budget watcher Says:

    Bradshaw needs to retire. All he wants to do is spend and NEVER complies with accounting of where the money goes. I bet he still has his tank.

    Bloated pensions and DROP program are bankrupting the rest of us. Get rid of the unions and stop taking the cop cars home 20-40 miles everyday, stop using them for errands.

    We cannot be everything to everybody. If he does not have the resources for this already take donations. STOP spending my retirement pay. Oh wait we do not have that…

    How about deporting all the illegals in pbc that do a HUGE part of the crime filling up our jails and cops time. THAT would save taxpayers…

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  19. Toni Says:

    Let’s see isn’t this the same Sheriff’s Office that took more than 40 minutes to respond to a man threatening a day care center a couple of weeks ago. Bradshaw looks and now sounds like Adolph Hitler as the article says he wants to “fund a 24-hour hotline where citizens can report neighbors, friends or family members they fear may harm themselves or others. Bradshaw said his office can identify whether the person or the residence has a history of violence and wants to be able to send “low-key” teams out to determine if they need help.”

  20. shaner Says:

    So he wants to monitor people who have not committed a crime ? How many ways does this violate the Constitution ?

  21. shaner Says:

    @ TrafficAvenger….. Yes it’s all your fault those people died.

  22. ELC Says:

    I wish he’d stop picking our pockets. He gets enough money. If he’s so anxious for his latest project-I suggest he delve into his own pockets and leave ours alone.

  23. nonsense Says:

    Bradshaw needs to clean from around his own doorstep. This is nonsense and the money will be used for something else. He has a lot of employees suffering from mental health conditions and a lot of problems within his agency.

  24. senselessness Says:

    Bradshaw needs to get rid of all those high ranking nothings that are sitting on their asses wasting and collecting paychecks doing absolutely nothing.

  25. nemo Says:

    More money? WTF

  26. Sue Says:

    Bradshaw wants more money….maybe he should answer the following questions first
    1. Since we as taxpayers pay for your Department, we want a complete accounting of every penny you receive in your budget. Other County departments have to show line by line what they are requesting money for, however Bradshaw just says I want and he getseverything he wants without any questions asked. NO MORE.
    2. Why are you asking for more money when you seem to have enough money to give your employees very nice raises and Christmas bonuses. Other County Departments haven’t had a raise in over 5 years.
    3. Maybe you can explain why an employee of the Sheriffs Department is allowed to use a vehicle no. 58778, plate ZEU46 to run his personal errands each morning at Publix on Summit Boulevard. Whose paying for the gas so this guy can buy his coffee and lottery ticket?
    We, the taxpayers want answers…

  27. Midori Says:

    He and his deputies have no idea what mental health is all about. Trust me I know, I work there.

  28. jwk70 Says:

    Here’s a thought! Stand on any corner in the county and count the number of Sheriff’s cars whizzing by. You’ll count more PB Sheriff’s cars than Toyota’s and Honda’s combined!! Sell enough of his “mega fleet”, stop wasting tax payer money letting Deputies take their cars home so they can go grocery shopping and get rid of Bradshaw’s Escalade. Make him drive around in one of those Fords. The concept is noble but let’s see him exercise fiscal control for once

  29. LicenseToSteal Says:

    Yes. Pump more money into the black hole.

  30. Ted the Nimble Says:

    I LOVE IT!! For Once on here everyone seems to be in agreement! NO MORE WASTED SPENDING!!! Bradshaw opened up a can of worms on this. He is clearly financially inefficient at running the office.
    GET RID of Waste and you will find your 3 Million Bradshaw!

  31. Money Police Says:

    Stop the take home cars and you will save $100 million per year your crooked organization has been passing on to taxpayers.

  32. Toni Says:

    We have to remember one thing – Bradshaw gets away with financial mismanagement because the County Administrator and County Commissioners are in bed with him and never even bother to question why his budget goes up each year. After all it is only the taxpayer’s money not theirs. And last but certainly not least he gets away with wasting our money because some of you keep voting for him, you mine as well give him your ATM Password.

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  34. Ric Says:

    You know I kept looking at that photo of Bradshaw with his pants pulled up to his neck and it finally dawned on me – he looks like a much older Pee Wee Herman.

  35. John Says:

    To those numwits that think getting rid of take home cars will “solve all problems” let me educate you. You WILL NOT save 100 million a year! Period.. I have done extensive studies on this and take home programs actually SAVE yes save taxpayers money. Most cars last 6-9 years as compared to 1-3 for a hot seated car. You do the math. They don’t drive the cars for FREE they do pay for fuel use. I agree w/ most here that Rick has opened a can of worms. This is nothing but a publicity stunt gone bad. There are so may constitutional issues here. Also PBSO has not had any merit/cola raises in over 4 years get your facts straight, (and what the heck is a BONUS? You are kidding me right?) That is the PBC Fire Rescue that get the increases, Everybody loves them. Take care!

  36. Govgal Says:

    You provide 3 deputies to test the waters so to speak. They in turn join a strike force of sorts made up of social workers etc loaned from their respective agencies. THEIR agencies pay THEIR wages, health insurance etc. Twelve hours is plenty of time and adjust as this service is utilized. Rethink and play nice with other professionals in Palm Beach County that also are interested in this type of service.

  37. Standby Says:

    Most of the money’s probably going to the hotline. Imagine the number of people that think others are a little wacko. Here’s hoping that it’s a felony with stiff prison time for filing a false report. Give it a try and if nothing pans out the first year scrap it. None of what the unit does behind closed doors should ever be made public. 5 officers in the same room with 5 mental health professionals?! Sure would like to that fly on the wall. What a hoot!

  38. jac Says:

    Take it out of your salaries and entitlements. I more worried about those that work for you threatening the citizens in our HOA”S when they don’t get their way than a random shooter like what happened Sandy Hook. Your time should be spent with the legislators making better gun laws.

  39. gethefax Says:

    Every law abiding citizen make a one time investment in a weapon for protection, and we wont need to beg for tax dollars anymore.

  40. ElLoco Says:

    His budget is well over HALF A BILLION now and he wants more? Need more $ Bradshaw, how about selling some of your BBQ grills, boats, helicopters, horses, airplanes, and take home Tahoes for most all your overpaid employees. And maybe you could consider getting rid of your double dipping “Event planner” @ $110,000/yr. Take a peek at
    if you really want to see govt waste gone wild.

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  42. OBIWAN Says:

    Are we surprised the ‘sheriff’ never has any requests to reduce any costs at that LEO?

    How about endorsing the simple $12 Cruise Control chip to allow receiving traffic control signals? Automajically limit speed to not exceed 5 mph over posted? Automajically prevent the vehicle from 2-3 mph rolling thru a stop sign?

    Do we really care about SAFETY? Don’t pretend we don’t already have BIG BROTHER everywhere – the silliness is over 80% of our LEO are involved in the revenue side of traffic control!

    They could be freed up to actually do their jobs and prevent crime. BUT, is 15 more ‘professionals’ {costing over $100,000 each} needed?

    How about busting the Illegal Aliens making up 50% of gangs that do over 50% of our violence? Oakland CA claims over 85% out there? Can’t we simple round up those Illegals and deport them out of our territory they occupy illegally?

    Baker Act stats can be deceiving and clarity is needed but not being sought by our ‘journalists’. Of those 115,000 Baker Acted last year, half were by MD and half were by Shrinks. Only 1% received involuntary treatment. How many were released as the professionals doing a 72 hour eval couldn’t determine any problems? But the good ‘sheriff’ will do so talking at their home?

    This isn’t a good idea. Just more attempt to distort the current lack of effectiveness to pump up the princedom failing from its own weight?

  43. Hillbilly Says:

    Sad thing here is out of 40 or so comments there’s only 3 or 4 that even mention the assault on our constitutional rights…Gestapo?..SS??.. Medical info is supposed to be private..unlawful search is a violation of your rights…what happens when some “case worker” doesn’t think your sane? You get to take a trip to the funny farm to be evaluated because they didnt agree with your demeanor. There are plenty of angry, distant,weird not “social” people out there that have never or will never commit a crime but were just going to round them up and put them in a padded room.??? The Baker Act is already available to deal with the few that are ” a few fries short of a happy meal”. ANYONE with half a brain can see the possibilities of wrong doing, abuse and corruption with this violation of our rights WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!!!!

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  45. SAY "NO" 2 FASCISM Says:

    $3 MILLION MORE???





  46. nemomania Says:

    The guy that has made himself a MILLIONAIRE from “public service” employment, and who collects (or will be collecting) TWO pensions off the backs of taxpayers from pbc and the city of wpb, and other undeserving “benefits” from taxpayers now wants MORE (or your) MONEY ?? !!!




  47. GunnyG Says:

    Wow, Bradshaw’s a real Nazi. He even LOOKS like Herr Himmler! Figures he is a Democrud.

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