February 20, 2009
This week we did consumers, licensees and unlicensed individuals a favor. Although we did not disclose the exact locations and dates, we announced our statewide sweep to fight unlicensed activity ahead of time. This announcement was strategic and in accord with our philosophy to combat unlicensed activity through education, prevention and enforcement.
With my 30 years of experience in law enforcement, I liken the advanced notice to a police department announcing DUI checkpoints before holidays or weekends. By announcing compliance checks in advance of enforcement, we raise public awareness. Those who are considering breaking the law may give it a second thought. Those considering hiring an unlicensed individual to save a couple of bucks may think twice.
As many of you know, we are increasing our efforts to stop unlicensed activity in response to concerns from both citizens and licensed professionals. Unlicensed activity can threaten the financial and personal safety of consumers, as well as the livelihood of state-licensed professionals.
Education and prevention efforts include a public awareness campaign consisting of public service announcements, educational brochures, Google Ad Words, online advertising, and a soon-to-be unveiled unlicensed activity Web page.
Overall, the goal at DBPR is to bring people into compliance with state laws, not to put people out of work. Ultimately, our efforts to stop unlicensed activity will strengthen Florida's economy and protect consumers.
Charles W. Drago