Bell Tragedy: State Rep. Says DCF Needs To Be Accountable
Published October 2nd, 2014
NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA - The Department of Children and family needs to be more accountable. That's the word from one state lawmakers after the deadly shooting in Bell. DCF released a report saying they are making improvements to prevent another tragedy.
According to the report released by DCF, there is no evidence that anyone, at any time, could have predicted that don spirit was capable of murdering his six grandchildren, his daughter and then taking his own life. DCF visited spirit's home on september 2, according to their report the children were not in imminent danger.
Donna Fagan the Executive Director for Another Way Inc., said, "Sarah Spirit in particular, it looks like was born into a lifestyle she had no choice about."
DCF is making some improvements to prevent another tragedy like this one from happening again. The investigative staff in chiefland that handled this case, will be re-trained, among other changes. State Representative Keith Perry, whose district covers Gilchrist County says DCF needs to be accountable.
"We need to compare that to what is already on the books, what was supposed to be trained and if things were supposed to have happened and they did not happen. Than it is not acceptable to you or me or anybody, that we will say we will just re-train and wait till the next tragedy and bring that back up again," Perry said.
In their report, DCF says the chiefland unit has the lowest recidivism rate in the state. Perry on the other hand, says there needs to be better communication between Law Enforcement and DCF.
"We've got to look at law enforcement, this gentleman spent three years in jail for having a gun on this accidental shooting of his son. Then there was reportedly a gun found in his home again, but no action was taken. And this is after he spent three years in jail for not being able to hold a gun," Perry said.
The report states that the workload of the Chiefland office were within "desired industry standards."
Another Way Inc. Is a domestic violence and rape crisis center serving 6 counties in North Central Florida. In light of this recent tragedy they are trying to get the word out about their services. Nancy Alfonso the Outreach Coordinator said, "I think a lot of people don't know that there's help and don't know what is okay and what is not okay. So a lot of what we do is raising that awareness and giving people the knowledge that they need to know, what's okay and what's not okay.
Lesley Hall the Program Director said, "Is there equality of power? Is there a healthy relationship? Or is that skewed? Name-calling, belittling somebody. Telling them that they can't make decisions on their own, these are all red flags and warning signs for us to be looking for."
Another Way Inc is opening an outreach center in Chiefland on Tuesday, October 28th, 2014.
624 N. Main Street Chiefland, FL 32626
Refreshments, door prizes & raffles.
RSVP by Oct 17th to: ADM@AnotherWayInc.net
Another Way Inc., is also hosting a 5K on October 18th, 2014.
Columbia County Fairgrounds
Food, entertainment, activities, resources and community education.
Price for participation: $25 (event t-shirt included)
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