Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw clearly did not get the memo about local cops hating Gov. Rick Scott.
While the Broward County Police Benevolent Association is organizing a massive party for its members to protest Scott and ditch the Florida Republican Party, Bradshaw is singing Scott's praises.
Bradshaw, a registered Democrat, hosted a news conference today for Scott to sign a new bill that streamlines the Silver Alert system, designed to help find elderly people with dementia who go missing. When introducing Scott, Bradshaw said the governor was "so supportive of law enforcement."
Really? Scott recently approved legislation that
requires police officers to contribute more to their pensions and make it tougher for cops to collect union dues. He also signed a law that will privatize nearly all of the prisons in the southern part of Florida. Local prison guards expect to be laid off, or at least take a pay cut, says John Kazanjian, president of the Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association.
But Bradshaw draws a distinction between prison guards and other law enforcement officials. "Corrections people may have some issues with what he's doing," Bradshaw said of Scott after the ceremony. But, "he's been very good at giving us the tools we need."
By "tools," Bradshaw explained, he meant laws, such as the one streamlining the Silver Alert system.
During today's signing ceremony, a gray-haired couple stood onstage behind Scott, smiling and looking adorable for the cameras. Blanche and Sidney Lanier are members of the Republican Club of the Palm Beaches. They said a party committeewoman asked them to attend the event. Sidney wore a red suit jacket, while Blanche had on a red, white, and blue blouse that offset her lipstick.
Sidney Lanier, 77, also happens to be a retired state trooper. Although he supports the governor, he says he isn't thrilled by Scott's decision to privatize prisons.
Private prison guards "don't meet the same standards as the state guards," he said. However, this loss of quality employees might be offset if the massive outsourcing plan saves the state money. Or at least, "I would hope so," he added.