Like many, I hate Big Goverment and lousy service. So it is with great pleasure that I have to report that the Division of Licensing of Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is just top frigging notch.
About a couple of weeks ago I was reading this hit piece in the Philadelphia Enquirer against Florida’s Out of State Concealed Weapons Licenses. It is your usual crap about how our shall issue licenses are helping the criminal element up there, but what caught my attention was this:
Seventy Florida permit-holders list addresses in West Philadelphia’s zip code 19143, which includes the Cobbs Creek and Kingsessing neighborhoods. In 2005, there were three Florida permits in that zip code.
I was dumbfounded at the fact that Zip Code info was being released in a newspaper knowing that Florida Law is pretty strict about releasing personal info on who has a CWL. I wrote a letter to the Division of Licensing requesting to know if the Philly Enquirer asked for licensing info and what kind of was given plus the same for any Philly LEO, expecting a reply sometime next year. To my surprise, about a week later I got a very explicative letter from Whitney Shiver who took her time and patience explain that Zip Codes are not considered personal information and can be released as information (We might have to look into that at Legislature level, I am not even comfortable with that but that is not the Division’s fault) and assuring me that they take the privacy of Licensees very seriously and answering all the questions I had.
Silly me I had misplaced the envelope and found it again some 15 minutes ago. I gave Ms. Shiver a call and thanked her for all her attentions and apologizing for giving her extra work. She was again very helpful and thankful for me taking the time to contact her which was the least I could do.
My wife also had a great interaction with the Division of Licensing. She went to the Regional Office of Division of Licensing in downtown Miami and applied in person (you just have to take your certificate and the checkbook since they do the rest electronically) and came out singing the praises of the ladies working the office for their utmost professionalism and politeness.
And cherry on top, I just renewed my CWL via mail and it was back in less than two weeks. Now that is service!
Can we make this type of behavior contagious with the rest of the State & local services?