TALLAHASSEE, Fla. /Florida Newswire/ -â€“ Governor Charlie Crist today signed House Bill 271, also known as Rachelâ€™s Law, which creates guidelines for law enforcement agenciesâ€™ use of confidential informants. Today marks the one-year anniversary of the death of Rachel Hoffman, who was murdered while being a confidential informant for the Tallahassee Police Department.
â€œRachelâ€™s Law is a good example of our democracy at work, where consensus is often necessary to achieve progress for a greater good,â€ said Governor Crist. â€œI applaud our law enforcement agencies for recognizing the need to provide more protections to confidential informants and supporting this legislation.â€
Sponsored by Senators Mike Fasano and Representative Peter Nehr, the bill requires law enforcement agencies that use confidential informants to do the following:
â€¢ Inform each person being asked to serve as a confidential informant of the following:
o The agencyâ€™s inability to offer inducements.
o The informantâ€™s opportunity to consult with an attorney, among other things.
â€¢ Establish policies and procedures addressing the recruitment and use of confidential informants and ensure that all appropriate personnel receive training about those policies and procedures.
â€¢ Establish written security procedures relating to files identifying a confidential informant.
â€¢ Review the agencyâ€™s confidential informant practices periodically to ensure the agencyâ€™s policies and procedures are being followed.
In addition to the billâ€™s sponsors, Rachelâ€™s parents, Irv Hoffman and Margie Weiss, also attended the bill signing ceremony.