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Sunday, August 14, 2016

If the allegations about Vitti having children baker acted are true, how does he still have his job?

This week a former police lieutenant dropped a bomb saying that the district was having children baker acted rather than arrested to keep the arrest statistics low.

From First Coast News
A former lieutenant in the Duval School Board Police Department says a controversial mental health law they say is being misused in the district.
When he worked for the Duval School Police, he directed officers to use a controversial Florida law called the Baker Act to deal with problem students.
"I have had an officer do that before," says former lieutenant Benny Reagor. "I have made that command decision. I have said Baker Act them and don't put them in jail."
He says when a problem student is placed under the Baker Act, statistically, it's not counted as an arrest at school.
The Baker Act allows a law enforcement officer to involuntarily commit someone to a mental health facility.
"In lieu of physically arresting them for the felony, we would Baker Act the child as opposed to an arrest," he says.
Reagor worked for the department's previous police chief and retired in 2015.
Over the last 3 years, the number of Baker Act incidents reported by Duval School Police has climbed and decreased. During the 2013/14 school year there were 142. The number rose to 167 during the 2014/15 year. Last school year there were 126.

You know I don’t think there is a smoking gun email or memo or Vitti even said, Baker act kids instead of arresting them when you can. I do however think he exerted such pressure on the police staff to keep numbers low that it was easy to make the choice to Baker act rather than arrest.

Here is the thing even if he didn't say it directly, he created the environment where it happened.

When people are put in a position where it is feed their family or do right by children more than a few are going to pick putting food on the table and unfortunately that’s the district we have and that this board has allowed the superintendent to create.

We can and should be doing better than this.

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