ORLANDO, Fla. – After two recent attacks on police officers, Orlando’s police chief is bringing attention to the issue of keeping repeat criminal offenders off the streets.
During a news conference on Tuesday, Chief Orlando Rolon said two of the three suspects accused of opening fire on officers last week have been arrested several times on felony charges. William McClish, who is accused of attacking an officer with a brick on Saturday, was also previously arrested 40 times on felony charges.
“There seems to be a pattern that, unfortunately, is showing that individuals who commit offenses may not be subject to sentencing or even being convicted,” Rolon said.
According to Orlando Police, 10 of the department’s most often repeat criminal offenders have been convicted on only 8% of felony arrests.
“346 felony arrests (with) 28 convictions and some of these individuals have been arrested for homicide,” Rolon said.
While presenting the problem on Tuesday, Rolon didn’t place blame on the state attorney’s office for the lack of convictions.
“I’m not going to be here to point the finger at the state attorney,” Rolon said. “As a matter of fact, State Attorney Worrell, was one of the first phone calls I received as soon as these (attacks) occurred.”
The chief said monitoring of local cases should continue, but the community should also demand repeat criminal offenders not be allowed to constantly walk free.
Rolon said the city is working on a program designed to give a fresh start to at-risk individuals while also holding them accountable for future actions. Details on the program are expected to be announced in the next few weeks.