In October of 2009, the unthinkable happened in my life – my father was robbed, shot, and killed in the middle of the day while working alone on the Southside of Jacksonville. I, and thousands of other Florida families, suffer everyday not knowing the identity of the assailants, despite a competent and engaged law enforcement team. In the time since this tragedy I have taken countless hours to research unsolved murder case statistics and I’m constantly shocked, depressed and discouraged by what I find. The information is generally unavailable – at best, scattered and never thorough. But I am hopeful. Other states have successful systems in place to consolidate, catalog, and manage information about unresolved homicides, volunteer task forces aimed to assist law enforcement with reviewing cold cases and legislation to ensure the accountability of local and state level jurisdictions to provide these services to the public.
The citizens of the State of Florida and the families of unsolved homicide victims deserve access to basic information regarding unresolved homicide cases, and proof of the accountability of law enforcement to ensure that these cases are not forgotten.
The goal of this petition is to ask Florida lawmakers to form a Cold Case Task Force to study, implement, and train law enforcement agencies with cold case strategies and best practices. To develop a statewide database of all unsolved homicides for both public and law enforcement use. And to establish a Cold Case Review Team made up of representatives from around the state from varying agencies and backgrounds (Attorney General, State Attorneys, Sheriffs, Medical Examiners, Crime Scene Technicians, Crime Analysts, Victims Advocates, Victim Family Members) to review submitted cases and offer ideas and suggestions in an effort to resolve these cases.
The purpose is to provide a safer community by apprehending and prosecuting violent fugitives that have not yet faced the judicial process for crimes they have committed. To show the families of victims of unsolved homicides that their loved ones are not forgotten. And ultimately to resolve as many of the unsolved homicides in Florida as possible.
Today I ask for your help. I can’t change the status of unsolved homicides in Florida by myself, but together we can show the Florida legislators that this information matters. The safety of our communities, the transparency of our government, and the accountability of our law enforcement and law-makers matter to us. Please sign my petition and stand with me.