March 6, 2002
Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Shanley, (863) 534-6631 or
Sheriff Crow To Present Governor Bush With Commendation For "10-20-Life" Initiative
In recognition of
Governor Jeb Bush's outstanding crime-fighting initiatives, Polk County
Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr., will present a Sheriff's Commendation to
Governor Bush in special recognition of the "10-20-Life" initiative. The
presentation will be held at noon tomorrow (Thursday, Mar. 7, 2002) at the
Lakeland City Hall, located at 228 South Massachusetts Avenue in Lakeland.
Media is encouraged to attend the event. Photo opportunities of Sheriff
Crow and Governor Bush will be made available.
There were over 31,600 reported violent gun crimes in Florida during 1998.
Legislative reform was needed to strengthen the criminal justice system
and to prevent the early release of criminals, especially those who
committed violent crimes. Governor Bush advocated and successfully
promoted the "10-20-Life" initiative to mandate tough prison
terms for criminals who use firearms in the commission of a violent
felony. Since enactment of this initiative in 1999 violent gun crimes have
dropped dramatically statewide. Polk County has realized a 44% reduction
in the violent gun crime rate in the three year period of 1998 - 2000.
One recent example of how this legislation will ensure the safety of Polk
County residents by locking up violent criminals is the case of Kithanie
Fullwiley, the suspect arrested for the senseless and violent shooting of
a Winter Haven bank employee in January 2002. Thanks to
"10-20-Life," Fullwiley is facing a life sentence once convicted. The
legislation mandates that if a convicted suspect uses a firearm during a
crime and injures a victim, that criminal faces up to life in prison.
"We take inspiration from Bush's commitment to enhance the quality of life
within the State of Florida," said Sheriff Crow.
As Florida's governor, Bush has tirelessly supported quality state and
local law enforcement. Under his leadership, Florida has enacted some of
the toughest and most meaningful anti-crime laws in the nation. His
outstanding crime-fighting initiatives have set the tone in Florida: "If
you commit the crime, you will do the time."
"On behalf of the Polk County Sheriff's Office and the citizens of Polk
County, I commend your progressive and effective leadership on criminal
justice issues for the people of Florida," Crow states in the
Commendation. "Crime is lower. There are many fewer victims. And those who
commit crimes are receiving more meaningful and serious punishment. Thank
you for making a difference."