Spanking children has been outlawed in dozens of countries, but it's still legal in all 50 states—and in Florida, you can apparently request a police presence. Police in Okeechobee County say father Dale Garcia asked a deputy to stand by and make sure he was obeying the law as he spanked his 12-year-old daughter with a paddle, WPTV reports. According to the deputy's incident report from Dec. 29, he stood by as the father spanked the girl, who had been fighting with her sister, "four times on her buttocks." Since no crime was committed, "this case is closed," the deputy wrote.
A police spokesman tells USA Today that after the girl told her father it was illegal for him to spank her, he called the sheriff's office to make sure he was within his rights. Such requests are rare but not unheard of, the officer says. "I'm starting my 28th year here, and that's been the 12th time I've heard of it during my career," he says. He explains that officers asked to oversee spankings use their "professional and personal judgment to determine if it's adequate or not" and that it would be considered too severe if the punishment left visible bruises.