The Phoenix Flyer

U.S. Senate candidate Val Demings touts law enforcement background in first TV campaign ad

By: - June 13, 2022 3:40 pm

U.S. Rep. Val Demings releases first campaign ad on June 13, 2022. Credit: Demings’ press campaign

With law-and-order one of many key issues in the U.S. Senate race, U.S. Rep. Val Demings on Monday outlined her extensive background in law enforcement and debunked the idea of defunding the police – a claim made by some Florida police groups backing U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

In Demings’ first television ad, she talks about her 27-year career in law enforcement, including as police chief and an Orlando police officer.

Demings, an Orlando Democrat, made history as Orlando’s first female police chief in 2007, according to Ballotpedia. She served in that position from 2007 to 2012.

She is running against Marco Rubio, who is a two-term U.S. Senator of Florida and a former state House Speaker. As previously reported by the Florida Phoenix, Rubio has received at least 55 sheriff endorsements – largely from Republican sheriffs across the state.

The 30-second ad also points to “the most dramatic decrease in violent crime” in the city when Demings served as the Orlando police chief. It also says crime was down 40 percent under Demings’ leadership.

“Protect and serve Florida? That’s what I’ve done as a police officer and as chief,” Demings said in the ad. “In the Senate, I’ll protect Florida from bad ideas like defunding the police — that’s just crazy.”

Demings added: “It’s time to send a cop on the beat to the Senate.”

During Demings’ tenure as the Orlando Police Chief, major crimes declined, according to analysis by the Florida Phoenix.

In 2007, the Orlando Police Department had seen a crime rate per 100,000 of the population as 10,232.8 in the total categories of murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft, according to data from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Uniform Crime Reports.

In 2012, that number declined to a crime rate of 7,655.6.

This first TV ad is part of a statewide digital and television buy, and the ad will run across platforms in English and Spanish, the campaign said.

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Issac Morgan
Issac Morgan

Issac Morgan is a 2009 graduate of Florida A&M University's School of Journalism, and a proud native of Tallahassee. He has covered city council and community events at the Gadsden County Times, worked as a sports news assistant at the Tallahassee Democrat, a communications specialist for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and as a proofreader at the Florida Law Weekly.

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