The Tampa Police Department (TPD) tracks all crimes that occur within the city limits of Tampa. This tracking is conducted so the department can identify problem areas within the City and direct patrol and investigative resources to reduce the number of victims and incidents. When a crime is investigated and shows evidence of prejudice based on race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, mental or physical disability, or advanced age of the victim, the crime can be labeled as a hate crime. This allows for re-classification of the crime and enhanced penalties when someone is convicted.
Additionally, the FBI mandates that all hate crimes are reported to them via Uniform Crime Reporting.
Hate crimes as defined by Florida Laws:
Fla. Stat. §§ 775.085(1)(a), 775.085(2), 877.19
Provides for the reclassification of any felony or misdemeanor, including property crimes, where the commission of such offense “evidences prejudice based on the race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, mental or physical disability, or advanced age of the victim.” Fla. Stat. § 775.085(1)(a).
Creates a civil remedy allowing treble damages. Fla. Stat. § 775.085(2).
Mandates collection and dissemination by the governor of data on “incidents of criminal acts that evidence prejudice based on race, religion, ethnicity, color, ancestry, sexual orientation or national origin.” Fla. Stat. § 877.19.