March 24, 2011
By: James Preston, FOP State President
Brothers and Sisters
Brother Nelson Cuba has just received notification from Governor Scott that he has been removed from the CJST Commission.
Once again, Governor Scott has shown his insensitivity towards rank and file law enforcement. I am very disappointed in Brother Cuba being removed from the CJST Commission. This is just another outrageous action by our Governor. Nelson has served the commission with integrity and fairness and was the check and balance law enforcement officers needed in the process.
Brother Cuba was appointed in 2005, well before Sheriff Rutherford who was appointed in error by the logic and reasoning offered for the removal of Nelson. If two members of the same agency are not permitted to serve, Sheriff Rutherford should have been the person removed. Both are good men and serve with honor and nothing should be inferred against the Sheriff but the strong voice and opinion of our union member should have weight and bearing on the decisions from the rank and file perspective. The Commission should not be “management only”.
There are other instances of more than one from the same agency on the commission and we will be looking into how they are handled.
This appears from the surface to be a continuation of the anti-union movement coming from Governor Scott’s office. Yesterday, we tried to contact the Governor’s office when rumors of this move surfaced to no avail. We need a strong FOP union voice in the mix of commissioners to give the views from the rank and file perspective when considering issues before the commission.
Reducing the training and standards we have all fought for to keep our members safe and professional should be opposed strongly. If this is an attempt to “privatize” corrections or any law enforcement function by lowering the standards and qualifications so that private security corporations can profit, it is wrong. Public safety is not for sale. Training and high standards should not be compromised from any level.
We will work to have an FOP member replace Brother Cuba but would rather the Governor reconsider and replace Sheriff Rutherford instead. I thank Brother Cuba for his hard work on the commission and for being a voice of reason. When considering cases and revocation, Brother Cuba reviewed the evidence and circumstances presented before making an informed decision. He was fair and impartial.
Please remember the Governor’s actions at the next election.
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