Florida’s police chiefs are wisely prohibited by the state Legislature from running their departments on money obtained from the sale of locally confiscated property. The Miami Herald mistakenly reported that I question the use of these forfeiture moneys by the South Miami Police Department to purchase parts needed to convert automatic assault weapons to semi-automatic ( Officer trains teachers in survival scenarios, Neighbors, Feb. 10). Not so. I question the misuse of these funds to buy parts needed for "the standard maintenance program for Glocks" that was bundled into the same purchase.
No standard maintenance program meets the legal definition of "extraordinary programs and purposes, beyond what is usual, normal, regular, or established", as demanded by the Legislature in Section 932.7055(5) of the Florida Statutes.
Funding regular department operations with local forfeiture moneys, in this routine expense and others like it, provides financial incentive to confiscate private property and ultimately erodes civil rights of citizens that the Legislature took pains to protect.
Mayor Philip K. Stoddard, South Miami