Former police homeless liaison officer discusses Florida’s controversial encampment law

A man wearing headphone in a radio studio
Daniel McDonald at WMNF in Tampa, Florida on April 5, 2024. / Photo by Ray Roa

Last month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis put his signature on HB 1365, a controversial new law that prohibits municipalities from allowing homeless individuals to camp or sleep on public property.

Enforcement of the law is unclear, and lawyer Aaron Swift argued that anyone who sues the municipality for not enforcing the bill and wins gets their attorney fees paid by the municipality.

“Private attorneys now are going to basically be stepping in the shoes of the government and suing to enforce the government regulation,” Swift, Vice Chair of the Homeless Leadership Alliance of Pinellas, told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.

Daniel McDonald, a former TPD officer who has worked on homeless issues for 23 years, joined “The Skinny” on WMNF to discuss his take on the legislation.

Margi Dawson, Director of Development at the Turning Points nonprofit which provides services to individuals and families at-risk of homelessness also joined the program.

Download audio from the show via Listen via podcast services like Apple MusicTuneInGoogle Podcasts and Spotify.


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