|Physical Abuse||Sexual Abuse||Emotional Abuse|
After an arrest for domestic violence has been made, the suspected abuser is brought before a judge at that is called a “first appearance hearing.” The judge will determine whether there was a legal basis for the arrest. If so, the judge will consider the seriousness of the crime, the suspect’s past criminal history and the suspect’s ties to the community. Based on these factors, the judge will either set a bond or release the suspect subject to certain conditions. Your input is very important to the judge. If you want your opinions heard about the release of the suspect please call the domestic violence advocate at (727) 844-7780. The court times vary, but your advocate can accompany you to this hearing, appear on your behalf if you are unable, and can provide you with the outcome of the hearing.
A person who has been arrested on domestic violence charges may be eligible to participate in the State Attorney’s Office Domestic Violence Diversion Program. This is a deferred prosecution treatment program available to some offenders upon approval of the State Attorney’s Office. Participants pay fees for processing and weekly group treatment sessions. Upon successful completion of the program, the case will be dismissed. You can call the State Attorney’s Office for details, at (727) 847-8158 for west Pasco, or (352) 521-4333 for east Pasco.
If the suspect is not eligible for the Diversion Program, the next court appearance will be in about 2-3 weeks at the arraignment. You do not need to be at this hearing unless you so choose. At the arraignment, the suspect will announce a plea. In some instances the judge may accept a “no-contest” plea or a “guilty” plea, and sentence the offender at this point. If the plea announced is “not guilty,” the next court appearance will be a pretrial approximately three weeks later. After the pre-trial, a trial date will be set. Your domestic violence advocate can keep you updated on the court schedules and the outcome at each stage, or will accompany you to court.
You have the right to go to court and file a petition requesting an injunction for protection from domestic violence which may include, but is not limited to, provisions which restrain the abuser from further acts of abuse; direct the abuser to leave your household; prevent the abuser from entering your residence, school, business, or place of employment; award you temporary custody of minor children; and direct the abuser to pay support to you and the minor children if the abuser has a legal obligation to do so.
We will assist you with filing a petition to obtain an injunction for protection. You can ask even if you cannot afford to pay court fees. The court clerk will help you complete the appropriate forms. Even if you have left your home, you can still apply for an injunction for protection. If you called law enforcement, and no arrest was made, a report will be filed with the State Attorney’s Office for review. An investigator will be contacting you, so it is important all agencies involved have a current address for you, or information on where you can be contacted, which will remain confidential.
After you file your petition, the judge can sign a temporary injunction, which can be obtained on the same day, without a hearing and without the abuser knowing first. A temporary injunction lasts for a stated period of time not to exceed 15 days and is given to you by the judge when you are in immediate danger of being hurt. A permanent injunction can go into effect later. This injunction is for a stated period of time not to exceed one year, unless extended by the court. The judge may want to hold a hearing before signing the permanent injunction.
A person who refuses to follow a judge’s order can be put in jail. If the abuser disobeys the judge’s order, contact the police or Sheriff’s Office and show them the certified copy of the injunction. In some cases the officer will arrest the abuser. Also, you can ask the judge to hold the abuser responsible for not following the judge’s order.
The Pasco Sheriff’s Office and Pasco School’s personnel actively plan and train together to respond to any incidents at schools that could impact the safety and welfare of the children or school staff. This could be potential incidents or circumstances such as:
You can keep up to date with what is going on near your child’s school as it pertains to safety, nearby incidents, or activations of our school’s crisis plan by following the Pasco Sheriff’s School Safety Page on FaceBook or by following us on Twitter @PSOSchoolSafety. You can also stay up to date by following the Pasco Sheriff’s Office and Pasco Schools on Facebook, or Following us on Twitter.
Be safe when home alone in the new "COVID" reality.
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ATP concepts to help keep them safe should the need ever arise. We refer to these principles as The ABC’s of School Safety!
“ABC” STANDS FOR:
A. ALERT/AVOID – Escape
B. BARRICADE / LOCKDOWN
C. COUNTER (defend, distract, and look for another way to get to safety)
That is a great segway for us to talk a little about some of the different layers of the crisis plan to help allay concerns, and improve your understanding of what may be occurring on campus.
Here are some other VERY IMPORTANT things to keep in mind during a crisis situation that prompts the activation of the Active Threat Plan at a school. These points and are designed to minimize confusion, and ensure the safety of our students and staff.
Student safety and that of our teachers and staff are the utmost priority of The Pasco Sheriff’s Office and Pasco Schools. We work together to best ensure every child’s safety on campus, and we ask all parents and guardians to have patience and trust during these uncertain and often frightening situations.
The Pasco Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Transportation and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) all offer the following health and safety tips and encourages all to be cautious as students return to class. The beginning of the school year is a time when children are at increased risk of transportation-related injuries from pedestrian, bicycle, school bus, and motor vehicle crashes.
Review the basic rules with your youngster(s):
In neighborhoods with higher levels of traffic, consider starting a “walking school bus,” in which an adult accompanies a group of neighborhood children walking to school.
Make sure your child’s walk to a school is a safe route with well-trained adult crossing guards at every intersection.
Be realistic about your child’s pedestrian skills. Because small children are impulsive and less cautious around traffic, carefully consider whether or not your child is ready to walk to school without adult supervision.
If your child is young or is walking to new school, walk with them the first week to make sure they know the route and can do it safely.
Bright colored clothing will make your child more visible to drivers.
Florida Statute 316.1895 section 10 states:
A person may not drive a vehicle on a roadway designated as a school zone at a speed greater than that posted in the school zone in accordance with this section. Violation of the speed limits established pursuant to this section must be cited as a moving violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318.
Fines for speeding in a school zone are doubled and can range from $154.00 – $454.00 along with 3 points on your driver’s license.
The Pasco Sheriff’s Office will be conducting enforcement efforts at school zones throughout the school year.
Statute 316.172 requires all drivers operating a vehicle on any road in the state, upon approaching any school bus which displays a stop signal, to bring their vehicle to a full stop while the bus is stopped. The vehicle cannot pass the school bus until the signal has been withdrawn. The only exceptions to this requirement is when a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction of the stopped school bus is on a divided roadway with an unpaved space of at least five feet, a raised median or a physical barrier. In these instances, the driver isn’t required to stop for the stopped school bus.
A violation for passing on the left side is a moving violation with a $269.00 fine and 3 points of your driver’s license. Passing on the right side where children load and unload is a mandatory court appearance
Free child fingerprinting/DNA kits are available for residents of Pasco County at various special events and community events attended by members of the Pasco Sheriff’s Office Community Relations Unit. These kits are kept by parents and guardians for safekeeping until needed by law enforcement personnel.
To view the guide click the link: Adult First Aid/CPR/AED Ready Reference.
If manpower is available, members of the Citizen Service Unit will make regular security checks on homes when residents are on vacation.
A limited number of speed trailers are available upon request to be placed in your neighborhood for a limited amount of time. These trailers show drivers what the official speed limit is and how fast they are traveling.
For more information about the following services, please contact the Citizen Support Services Unit at 1-800-854-2862, extension 7757
Additional Information can be found at the National Crime Prevention Council website.
The Pasco Sheriff’s Office is committed to child and infant safety and provides the following links as a starting point for parents and guardians to learn about the many dangers facing our smallest loved ones and how we can protect them.
If you suspect child abuse or child neglect for any child in Florida, please contact the Florida Abuse Hotline, at (800) 962-2873 or TDD (800) 453-5145. If you see a child in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.
Sometimes one or more crises may be going on at the same time within families. Families may be able to handle and resolve most of these problems quickly. However, sometimes families have problems that push them to the limit. These problems might include a child who often skips or misses school, runs away from home or threatens to and/or will not follow any directions and is beyond parental control.
The Florida Legislature passed a law (now Chapter 984, F.S.) that provides help to families and children who need services to improve the behaviors on the part of the child, help the family to move beyond crisis and prevent further problems. The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) funds and supports these problems to keep kids out of serious trouble.
The services under the law are called A Child In Need of Services(CINS). CINS is a child who has been found by the court to be a runaway, habitually (often) truant, or ungovernable (does not obey you). A Family In Need of Services(FINS) is the term used for a family that has a child who is displaying any of the problem behaviors above as outlined in the law.
There are local programs that can help you find ways to reduce or stop these kinds of behaviors. Most of the time families can get services in their homes or at a local program. Some solutions require families to go to court, but only as a last resort. In Florida, as a parent, you are responsible for your children and cannot deny them food, clothing, medical care or shelter. If your child often skips school (is truant), you must first work with the school and use available school resources through your local CINS program.
CALL TOLL-FREE (1-800-RUNAWAY) 800-786-2929. A trained and experienced counselor can answer your questions and direct you and your child to the Florida Network of
Youth and Family Services program nearest to you; OR call the program nearest to your home.
ANSWER the counselor’s questions so that it can be determined if your child can get the services offered through this law.
You child cannot have an open delinquency case with the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) and cannot be under the supervision of the Department of Children and Families (DCF).
TELL your story so that the counselor can understand the situation. This will help the counselor see that you get the right kind of help at the right place.
LISTEN to the suggestions and directions for getting help.
ASK questions if you do not understand.
FOLLOW-UP by going to the CINS/FINS program in your area and by making the appointments or phone calls suggested to you.
CONTINUE to work with your local CINS/FINS program and school to improve the situation.
Screening is the beginning of gathering of information about you and your child that helps decide if you are eligible to receive CINS/FINS services. You will be asked questions. You are not eligible for/cannot get services if your child is currently under supervision for delinquency or dependency (DCF). Assessment is the further review and evaluation of the information you give to help you and your child get the right services.
Your counselor will work with you, your child and others to write a plan that fits you and your child’s needs and goals, the things that will need to be done and the time it will take to finish them.
If you and your child need a break from each other, your CINS/FINS counselor may suggest that your child go to your local shelter for “time-out.” They will provide safe shelter, food, clothing, and counseling (if necessary), to your child. This short time-out will give you and your child a chance to “cool off” so that work can begin on family issues. The shelter may offer other services that will be explained to you and your child during the intake phase.
Case Management is the coordinating and monitoring of services provided to you and your child.
Your local CINS/FINS programs can refer you to other agencies in your community that may be able to help you and your child.
A Case Staffing Committee is made up of people from the CINS/FINS programs, schools, other social service agencies and you. The committee may include a representative from the State Attorney’s office or the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) attorney. The purpose of this “staffing” is to review your child’s case and the first service plan developed by you, your child and the CINS/FINS program. If too little or no progress has been made, the plan can be changed. The Case Staffing Committee will meet with you and your child if:
You, the parent(s), may ask the local program to hold a case staffing. Your request must be in writing.
Please talk to your CINS/FINS counselor before you ask for a case staffing to be scheduled.
If you ask for a case staffing in writing, it must be scheduled within 7 days after the program receives your written request. This 7-day period does not include holidays or weekends.
CINS Petition:A CINS Petition is a written request to the court to find that your child is a CINS(Child-In-Need-of-Services).
A CINS Petition is usually filed if the child refuses services or continues to exhibit problem behaviors.
The Case Staffing Committee could recommend that a CINS Petition be filed in court. Sometimes going to court may be the best way to deal with your problems.
Going to court is the last resort. The local DJJ attorney will file a CINS Petition, if recommended by the Case Staffing Committee.
Either at the case staffing or within 7 days of the case staffing, the Case Staffing Committee will send you another plan.
This plan will state if filing of a petition to the court is or is not going to happen.
If you, as a parent, do not participate, do not allow your child to participate, or you allow your child to ignore the services in this plan, you may be taken to court and a judge may:
If you wish to file your own CINS petition, the law requires that you let the local DJJ attorney know in writing of your wish to file a petition.
In your CINS petition, you must show that you have participated in or tried all the types of help that have been offered and that none of them helped you and your child with your problem. If a judge decides that your child is a CINS, the court will have oversight of your child and your family. The judge may:
New Port Richey:(727) 835-1777
Runaway Hotline: 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929)
Child Abuse Hotline:1-800-962-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873)
Missing Children Information Clearinghouse:1-888-FL-MISSING (1-888-356-4774)
Florida Network of Youth & Family Services
Florida Department of Juvenile Justice
Florida Department of Children & Families
The content of this page was developed through a contractual agreement between the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice and the Florida Network of Youth and Family Services, Inc. Tallahassee, Florida.
Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death and injury among young children, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Each year, hundreds of young lives could be saved and thousands of injuries prevented in children who were correctly protected while riding in cars.
Texting while driving is against the law in Florida, but you should be aware that any distractions while driving can be dangerous and even life-threatening! This includes eating, talking on the phone, or conversing with someone in your car so intensely to the extent that your attention is diverted away from the road and its constantly changing environment.
All front seat occupants must buckle up, even if the vehicle is equipped with an air bag.
The driver is held responsible for passengers 15 years or younger who are not buckled up.
Passengers 16 years or older can be individually fined if they are not buckled up.
All children under six years of age must be buckled up, no matter where they are sitting in the vehicle.
The law applies to all cars, pickup trucks and vans operated on Florida roads.
Children through the age of three must be secured in a federally-approved child restraint seat or safety belt.
In 2012, 596 motor vehicles were stolen in the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office’s jurisdiction (not including the city police jurisdictions).
When leaving your car, close the windows, lock the doors and take your keys with
you. About half of all vehicle thefts occur in residential neighborhoods.
If you have a garage, use it! Lock the vehicle and the garage door.
If you don’t have a garage, lock the car and turn the wheels to the left or right.
This makes a thief’s job harder. About one-third of vehicle thefts occur after dark.
Park in well-lighted areas. If you park in an attended lot or garage, leave only the ignition key with the attendant and do not tell the attendant how long you will be gone.
In 2012, 1,541 thefts occurred from motor vehicles in Pasco County Sheriff’s Office’s jurisdiction. It’s hard to believe, but 66 percent of these burglaries occurred in unlocked vehicles! One of every five larcenies involves the theft of motor vehicle accessories. In the majority of motor vehicle thefts, the victim left valuables in plain view within the vehicle.
Always remove portable electronics such as GP devices, MP3 players, and similar items before leaving the vehicle. Secure all packages in a trunk or under a seat and out of view. Consider investing in an alarm system rather than expensive options. Professional car thieves can strip your vehicle completely within minutes. Engrave your driver license number in a remote location on the radio and accessories, as well as the fenders and doors. If a theft occurs, your driver license number will make identification recovery and prosecution more likely.
The longer it takes to steal a car, the more likely a thief will look elsewhere. Automobile manufacturers regularly improve the anti-theft equipment they install in vehicles. You may want to consider an anti-theft bar that attaches to your steering wheel, an alarm system or other equipment that will slow down a thief and better protect your vehicle.
If you see a vehicle that has any of the above signs, notify the Sheriff’s Office or local law enforcement agency and provide as much of the following information as possible:
DO NOT open the doors or get inside the vehicle. You could destroy fingerprints or other evidence proving it has been stolen or used in another crime!
Join or create a Neighborhood Watch Program. The Pasco Sheriff’s Office can assist you. Please contact the Community Relations Unit for more information, at 727-844-7759.
Tax Fraud Information: Brochure
Tax Fraud Affidavit: Identity Theft Affidavit
Identity Theft Kit: Identity Theft Guide
The Pasco Sheriff’s Office is proud to offer the Juvenile Choice program.
This program is geared toward teens and demonstrates what can happen when the wrong choices in life are made.
Cpl. Ron Gardner and Deputy Tim Bullock worked closely with the inmates and developed the presentation. “We hope to reach 4,000 teens with this program,” said Cpl. Ron Gardner. “The messages of the inmates are very compelling and they talk about the bad choices they made and how they ended up behind bars.”
The program also talks about the dangers of prescription drugs and how that can lead to a life of crime. “I am excited to see this program and think it will have a positive impact on our youth in Pasco County,” said Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco. “The prescription drug epidemic is just one cause that can destroy someone’s life and lead to a life of crime. I hope our youth get a chance to see this positive message and choose good decisions in their lives.”
The Juvenile Choice Program is an hour-long power point presentation that shows stories of inmates and how students can make better choices in life. The program features recorded presentations from four inmates who talk about their choices that left them behind bars.
The Juvenile Choice Program presentation will also be shown to juveniles participating in the court mandated monthly Juvenile Arbitration program at Pasco Safety Town. In an effort to reach out to as many youth as possible, the Pasco Sheriff’s Office is working with the Pasco County Schools, YMCA, The United Way of Pasco County, Boys and Girls Club of Pasco County.
Citizens who would like to request a speaker regarding this program can go to the following link:
The Pasco Sheriff's Citizen Academy is an interactive and informative learning environment for Pasco County citizens.
Interacting with law enforcement and members of the Pasco Sheriff's Office, the participant will gain knowledge of the scope,
operation, and capabilities of your Sheriff's Office. Patrol, Investigations, Human Trafficking, K9, Mounted Unit, SWAT, Detention Center
as well as many other areas will be presented in this academy.
We invite you to register today for an upcoming academy. The participant must be 18 years of age and able to pass a criminal background check.