Jacksonville, FL - A tool law enforcement has used to crack down on drug related crime could be up for review.
State Senator Aaron Bean is crafting legislation aiming to restrict access to Florida’s prescription drug database.
“I’m looking for a balance of how we can have reasonable safeguards of our privacy but yet still go after bad guys,” Bean says.
His first proposal sought to require a court order every time law enforcement wanted to access the database. He has pulled that bill from committee per the request of a fellow state Senator, but intends to bring a similar bill back up during committee meetings in February.
“I’m tired of the government spying on us, and I want to stand up to it,” he says.
Bean was inspired to action after the Florida Department of Health last year gave defense attorneys the prescription drug histories of more than 3300 people following a drug sting. Bean says this was outside of the scope of what should have been handed out.
“That’s inexcusable, and that’s something that needs to be addressed and will be addressed this legislative session,” he says.
Any changes are meeting protest from law enforcement, who argue requiring a court order would backlog the court system. Attorney General Pam Bondi has also joined opposition to any changes, saying it would slow down the inroads Florida is making at fighting certain drug crimes.
Bean says his intention is not to shut down the database or impeded investigations, because he says this is a valuable tool for fighting crime.