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DeSantis appoints three to MSD Public Safety Commission | #schoolsaftey


Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed a Broward School Board member and two others to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission on Friday.

Among the new appointees are Daniel Foganholi, whom the governor first appointed to the school board in April 2022 to fill Dr. Rosalind Osgood’s District 5 seat. He is currently the District 1 member, appointed by DeSantis a second time and sworn in for a new two-year term this January.

The governor also appointed Punta Gorda Police Department Chief Pamela Davis and former Tampa Police Department Assistant Chief John Newman, who is currently the chief of Hillsborough County’s Security and Emergency Management Department.

The commission, created by the state Legislature after the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, was designed to address school safety issues that came to light in the massacre that killed 17 students and teachers and wounded another 17.

Tasked with investigating the failures that occurred on Feb. 14, 2018, and recommending solutions, the commission’s first, 458-page report completed less than a year after the shooting detailed the gunman’s background, the structure and security of the school, the law enforcement response and information of other mass shootings, among other topics.

The commission submitted a second report to the governor in November 2019, finding several flaws with the county’s 911 Regional Communications System, urging the Legislature to bolster mental health funding and mandate certain policies for active assailant drills, among many other findings and recommendations in the nearly 400-page report.

The commission consists of 16 members, with five appointed by the Senate President, five by the Speaker of the House and five by the governor and the commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Foganholi said he is filling a vacancy, but it was not immediately clear Friday evening how the vacancy was created. He said in a statement sent by text message that since joining the School Board, safety has been a top priority of his.

“I firmly believe that by prioritizing safety and implementing effective strategies, we can create an environment where everyone feels safe, nurtured and empowered,” he said. “The safety and well-being of our constituents are paramount, and I am fully committed to making a positive and lasting impact in this critical area.”

Commission members Max Schacter, father of Alex Schacter, 14, who was killed in the shooting; and Ryan Petty, father of Alaina Petty, 14, who was killed in the shooting, congratulated and praised the appointees on Twitter Friday.

“Three great appointees,” Petty wrote. “Looking forward to working with them to make a Florida schools even safer.”

 

“After 17 were murdered in Parkland, the commission was formed to investigate the tragedy and make recommendations so all Florida’s 2.3m children are safe in their schools,” Schacter wrote. “In Florida we understand that SCHOOL SAFETY COMES BEFORE EDUCATION, BECAUSE YOU CAN’T TEACH DEAD KIDS.”

It was not immediately clear Friday evening which of the previously appointed members remain on the commission. A spokesperson for the FDLE said the agency would not be able to provide updated information on the members until Monday.

Punta Gorda Chief Davis formerly served in an administrative role at the Baltimore Police Department and is currently the president of the Southwest Florida Police Chiefs Association. She earned a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and graduated from both the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy and the Police Executive Research Forum, the governor’s office said in a news release Friday.

“I am honored to be appointed by Governor DeSantis to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission,” Chief Davis said in an emailed statement through a police department spokesperson. “Protecting our children and ensuring they have a safe environment in which to learn for the future should be our highest priority. As a member of the Commission I will dedicate myself to continuing the outstanding work that has been done by this group for the people of the great State of Florida.”

Newman earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s in American studies from the University of South Florida and graduated from the Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville, the governor’s office said. In March 2014, Newman took on a role with Hillsborough County Public Schools as the new security chief, the Tampa Police Department said in a Facebook post at the time.





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