My Florida C F O

Dear Fellow Floridians:

CFO puts Oregon's tag in place. This week Oregon, an 18-month old German Shepherd, officially joined my office’s Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations (BFAI) Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) Unit. I had the honor of swearing him into office at a meeting of the Governor and Florida Cabinet.

Oregon’s partner, Detective Monty Taylor, has more than 15 years of experience as a K9 handler and has served with DFS’ EOD Units for nine years. Together, Oregon and Detective Taylor will support local law enforcement agencies across Florida, predominately in rural regions of the state, where explosive detecting resources may not be readily available.

The BFAI is a law enforcement branch of my office that conducts fire, arson, and explosives investigations as well as other related criminal investigations statewide. Their mission is to enhance the life safety of all Floridians. Amplifying that mission, BFAI works diligently to investigate arson cases and ensure an accurate and speedy resolution. I’m proud to say that since July 1, 2017, the BFAI had a clearance rate (the rate of cases closed resulting in an arrest) of 41 percent, beating the national rate of 20 percent. Explosives detection canine teams are an asset in the arsenal of the BFAI and I’m proud to have these two protecting Floridians.

Sincerely,

Jimmy Patronis
Jimmy Patronis
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida


Patronis Swears In New Explosive Detecting K9CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis Swears In New Explosive Detecting K9

From left: Governor Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Detective Monty Taylor, Oregon, CFO Jimmy Patronis, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

Oregon, an 18-month old German Shepard, joined DFS’ EOD Units through Southern Coast K9 located in New Smyrna Beach. Southern Coast K9 is a recognized canine vendor specializing in training canines for law enforcement patrol work as well as canines specializing in scent discrimination for narcotics and explosives.

Detective Taylor recently retired his previous explosive detecting canine, Bella, after more than eight years of service and hundreds of requests for assistance with the detection of explosive devices and compounds.

Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis Sponsors Resolution For Children’s Home Society of Florida

During today’s meeting of the Governor and Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis sponsored a resolution highlighting the Children’s Home Society of Florida’s tireless efforts supporting the growth, protection and success of Florida’s foster children. Childrens' Home Society resolution at Cabinet meeting

"Florida’s children are the future fabric of our communities and it is imperative that we continue to provide all children with as many opportunities for success that we can," said CFO Jimmy Patronis. "I applaud the Children’s Home Society of Florida and their 115-year commitment to ensuring Florida’s foster children have the support they need to rise above life’s challenges and reach their full potential."

The Children’s Home Society of Florida has been the leader in enacting change for children, from driving policy establishing child labor laws and compulsory education laws to fiercely advocating for children’s rights in foster care and developing innovative solutions such as community partnership schools to turn odds into opportunities for kids.

The Children’s Home Society of Florida first opened its doors on November 17, 1902, as an orphanage, providing a safe home to the growing population of abandoned and homeless children in Jacksonville. Since 1902, the Children’s Home Society of Florida has grown from a team of two caring for 24 children to a team of nearly 2,000 empowering more than 50,000 children and family members every year.

State Fire Marshal Patronis: Prevent a Holiday Fire with These Top Five Safety Tips

Christmas tree safety video

Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is reminding Floridians to take steps to prevent a fire during the holidays. According to the National Fire Protection Association, an annual average of 200 home structure fires start with a Christmas tree resulting in an average of six deaths, 16 injuries and nearly $15 million in damages. In addition, 58 percent of Christmas tree fires occur in January and February when a tree is often neglected and becomes dry.

"In the midst of our holiday traditions, we tend to forget the dangers that a dry and improperly placed Christmas tree can pose to the safety of our families and neighbors," said CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis. "It only takes a matter of seconds for a dry Christmas tree and its surrounding furnishings to catch fire. Keep your trees watered, placed in a safe area and have them immediately removed from the home following your holiday festivities."

Be sure to remember these top five fire safety tips to help prevent a Christmas tree fire from ruining your holiday:

1. Make sure your tree is healthy. Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.

2. Keep the tree away from sources of heat within the home. Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any fireplaces, radiators, candles or heat sources.

3. Keep your tree hydrated. After your tree is up, add water to the tree stand and be sure to add water daily.

4. Decorate the tree with the proper lighting. Never use lit candles to decorate the tree and inspect your lights and accessories to make sure there aren’t any broken bulbs or damaged wiring.

5. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Don’t exceed the recommended number of light strands that can be connected to one another and make sure you are using indoor and outdoor lights when appropriate.

CFO Patronis Meets With Fire Service Community to Increase Cancer and PTSD Benefits for FirefightersFort Lauderdale Fire Rescue

CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis joined local fire service professionals in Fort Lauderdale to announce he will be fighting to increase cancer and PTSD benefits for firefighters. Over the next several  State Fire Marshal Patronis met with members of the fire service communityweeks, CFO Patronis will tour the state meeting with firefighters and their families to learn first-hand how these issues have impacted them.

Earlier this week, State Fire Marshal Patronis met with members of the fire service community in West Palm Beach, Tampa and Sarasota prior to visiting with the firefighter community in Fort Lauderdale.

Florida Economic Briefs

Florida ranks well for small business friendliness
Florida has maintained its ranking as the 5th best state in the nation in the Small Business Policy Index. It scored well due to its low business taxes, low government spending growth, and private property rights.
Source: Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council

Small business optimism at record highs
The Small Business Optimism Index has reached its highest level since the Reagan administration, at 107.5 in November. This represents an increase of 3.7 points, driven primarily by massive increases in expectations for economic growth and increase in sales.
Source: National Federation of Independent Business