Story By Martyn Linton
This was the day my trip would properly kick off in terms of my US law enforcement culture learning.
I travelled to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office which was located around ten miles north of my hotel. Here I met Ricky who is their Community Programs Manager. We had spoken by email a couple of weeks prior to me arriving.
After introductions , a chat about the structure of the organisation and the IPA tradition of exchanging gifts I was taken on a tour of their HQ.
We entered the yard and straight away I saw a general purpose patrol vehicle which I simply found eye opening. This car was a 5.0 litre beast! I couldn’t help but to picture in my head some of the patrol cars I’ve driven and the high mileage Vauxhall Astra that wasn’t fit to keep chickens in was a shocking comparison!
I saw other vehicles but my day three blog will talk about them as they feature in an event I attended today. What did catch my eye was two military vehicles. What on earth are they for? It was explained that the Sheriff’s Office get end of line military vehicles for very low cost and they are commissioned for police use. The vehicles above are used when there is a natural disaster such as a hurricane etc.
We then went for a drive. I was taken to the County Jail. Here it was explained how the custody process pre trial and post conviction works. After this I was taken to the K9 School and Firearms Training Centre.
Whilst cruising down the highway I got sight of a Florida Highway Patrol car attending a collision. Their vehicle was interesting. It was far from the blue and yellow hi viz we have in the U.K. and by all accounts is a bit faster.
The time came for me to return to my hotel and the following day (today) I was due to start the training course I flew out to complete. The course being Gangs The Transnational Threat – Target The Entire Gang. More on that in my next post.
I found my visit to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office most enjoyable and I want to publicly thank my contact Ricky.