Faces of the Fund: Spotlight on Katina Ferrell

The Florida Sheriffs Risk Management Fund is pleased to highlight team member Katina Ferrell, a Workers Compensation EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) Specialist, who joined us in April. Katina works with Sheriffs’ Offices to process information the state of Florida requires during claims, lost-time claims, denied claims and other important documentation. She is also responsible for the development, coordination, implementation and management of EDI-related developments for the Fund. At FSRMF, Katina’s typical day consists of reviewing claims and reporting transactions to the state of Florida. She also serves an important role in keeping individuals informed of where they are in the…

FSRMF Board of Managers Profile: Sheriff Bill Prummell, Charlotte County

The Florida Sheriffs Risk Management Fund is pleased to highlight our newest member of the Board of Managers, Sheriff Bill Prummell of Charlotte County. A 26-year law-enforcement veteran, Sheriff Prummell has been with the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office since 1992, rising through the ranks before being elected Sheriff in 2012. How did you get started in law enforcement? My family encouraged me to get involved in the law enforcement field. Before I began my career as a first responder, I was a carpenter and cabinet maker by trade. I had several relatives who thought I would be good in law…

FSRMF Launches New Survey Assessment

A very important responsibility of the Florida Sheriffs Risk Management Fund (FSRMF) is to work closely with the Sheriffs and their risk managers to identify areas that potentially pose a risk of liability, or a cause for concern for the safety of their employees. One way we accomplish this is through onsite field visits by our loss control specialists at least twice a year, or as requested. In the past, these visits have included a discussion with the risk managers regarding their loss ratios for each of the programs they participate in. Our specialists also complete an assessment survey in…

FSRMF Board of Managers Profile: Sheriff Bobby McCallum, Levy County

Sheriff Bobby McCallum was elected to the Board of Managers by the general membership to fill the seat of the late David Hobbs, former Sheriff of Jefferson County who tragically lost his battle with cancer last year. We are grateful for Sheriff McCallum’s willingness to serve and look forward to his assistance in providing the best possible service to the 59 sheriffs’ offices that participate in Fund programs. We invite you to learn a little more about Sheriff McCallum and the talents and experience he brings to the Board of Managers. How did you get started in law enforcement? Growing…

Below 100: The 5 Tenets

Below are the 5 Tenets from Below 100, an organization formed to permanently eliminate preventable line of duty deaths and injuries through innovative training and awareness.

  1. Wear Your Belt
It might sound simple to you, even unnecessary, but the truth is too many agencies don’t mandate belt wear. And even among those that do, many officers ignore policy because the culture doesn’t value it. The truth: Seatbelts save lives.
  1. Wear Your Vest
We know vests save lives. We know that bullets can fly when we least expect it. Add to that the fact that body armor can improve your…

Tips on Handling Agency-Involved Vehicle Accidents

Even as the FSRMF continues to partner with Sheriff’s Offices to reduce the frequency of vehicle accidents, it remains an unfortunate fact of life that every Sheriff’s Office in the state of Florida will continue to deal with automotive accidents involving agency personnel. This article will discuss the basic steps that should be taken when a deputy or other employee is involved in a vehicle accident. After taking all necessary life-saving measures to protect the injured or vulnerable, the first thing a deputy involved in an accident should do is notify dispatch or a supervisor of the location and nature…

Ambush Awareness and Response

According to the nonprofit Washington-based National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, the number of law enforcement officers shot to death in the line of duty rose 78% between January and July of 2016, from the same time the previous year. The leading method of those shootings was ambush-style attack. In June of 2014 a man and a woman ambushed and killed two Las Vegas police officers while they were eating lunch at a restaurant. In December of 2014, two New York City police officers were ambushed and shot to death while sitting in their marked patrol car, without warning by…

New Use-of-Force Software for Better Agency Reporting

The need for accountability and transparency in our use-of-force reporting is evident. Events occurring around the country have made that fact even more apparent, and the required reporting of use-of-force events is coming. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has recently said, “The new national database aims to gather all types of police interactions, including non-lethal confrontations like traffic stops, allowing federal law enforcers to monitor trends and any regional discrepancies.” Having the ability to accurately record and report your agency’s activities concerning use-of-force events is critical to our ability to identify training issues as well as provide an early warning…

Savings Tip: Sooner is Better Than Later

You hear or read about it all the time: Start saving, or start saving more for your retirement. For many, the reality is that it is far easier said than done. However, there is also the reality that a significant number of people, upon reaching their retirement, say, “I should have saved more.” It can be a very tough thing to find where adjustments can be made in order to start contributing or contributing more to your retirement. It may be:
  • trying to save on dining out
  • buying less at the supermarket, department stores or other retail stores
  • greater use

Workers’ Comp: A Summary of Morales v. Zenith Ins. Co.

On December 4, 2014, the Florida Supreme Court issued its opinion in Morales v. Zenith Ins. Co. Before we discuss the decision, let’s run through a brief summary of the case and how it ended up before the Florida Supreme Court. While employed by Lawns Nursery, Santana Morales, Jr. was crushed to death by a palm tree. Morales’ widow settled the workers’ compensation claim with Lawns Nursery and its workers’ compensation/ employer’s liability carrier, Zenith. The settlement included a release specifically choosing workers’ compensation as the sole remedy under Zenith’s workers’ compensation/employer’s liability policy. Morales’ estate had a separate wrongful…