Florida Department of Law Enforcement
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2009)|
|Florida Department of Law Enforcement|
Patch of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement
Logo of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement
Badge of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
|Operations jurisdiction*||State of Florida, USA|
|Agency executive||Rick Swearingen, Commissioner|
|Regional Operation Centers||7|
|* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.|
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is a Florida government agency. The department formally coordinates eight boards, councils, and commissions. FDLE's duties, responsibilities and procedures are mandated through Chapter 943, Florida Statutes, and Chapter 11, Florida Administrative Code. FDLE is headed by a commissioner (executive director) who reports to Florida Cabinet which is composed of the Governor, the Attorney General, the Chief Financial Officer and the Commissioner of Agriculture. The Commissioner is appointed to his position by the Governor and Cabinet and confirmed by the Florida Senate.
The department is headquartered in Tallahassee, the state capital, and has close to 2,000 employees statewide. The department maintains seven regional operations centers, 12 field offices and seven crime laboratories.
FDLE's "four fundamental values" are "service, integrity, respect, and quality."
FDLE's five "program areas" are:
- Executive Direction and Business Support Program,
- Criminal Investigations and Forensic Science Program,
- Florida Capitol Police Program,
- Criminal Justice Information Program, and
- Criminal Justice Professionalism Program.
- Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies,
- American Society of Crime Lab Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board, and
- The Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation.
FDLE Special Agents handle a wide variety of crimes and assist local police and Sheriff's Offices with limited resources, to include, Homicide, Public Official misconduct, Police Misconduct,as well as Major Drug Trafficking crimes. They also provide security for the Governor of Florida and his or her families. FDLE is the State of Florida's investigative arm.FDLE is equivalent to the FBI. They are considered more of a State Police than Floridas Highway Patrol, which specializes in traffic enforcement and traffic homicide.
In 1967, the Florida Legislature merged the duties and responsibilities of several state criminal justice organizations to create the Bureau of Law Enforcement. Bringing together the resources of the Florida Sheriffs Bureau, the State Narcotics Bureau, and the law enforcement activities of the Anti-Bookie Squad of the Attorney General's Office, the original Bureau of Law Enforcement had 94 positions and a $1.5 million budget for its first year of operation. The bureau was headed by a commissioner who reported to a board composed of the Governor of Florida, specified members of the Cabinet, two sheriffs, and one chief of police. The agency had five divisions: Administration, Intelligence and Investigation, Technical Services, Administrative Intelligence, and Planning and Research.
As a result of Florida governmental restructuring in July 1969, the bureau became the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, or FDLE. As a department of the executive branch of government, FDLE was headed by the Governor and Cabinet. The FDLE commissioner was appointed by the Governor with the approval of three members of the Cabinet and subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate. At the time, the department consisted of four divisions – Operations, Administrative Intelligence, Criminal Identification and Information, and Training and Inspection.
The agency permanently decentralized many services offered previously only through Headquarters, and rolling them out to the newly defined Regional Operations Centers (ROC). They assumed responsibility for human resource and business functions and began to offer information systems support, training, and increased analytical assistance directly to the surrounding region. The restructuring placed authority at the regional level, with members of the ROCs reporting to a regional director (special agent in charge) instead of the Tallahassee headquarters. The traditional investigative role of the ROCs expanded significantly, allowing them to offer more specialized assistance.
In July 1990, FDLE was the first state law enforcement agency in the nation to be accredited by CALEA. The agency successfully attained CALEA reaccreditation status in 1995, 2000, 2003 and 2006. In October 1996, FDLE was the first statewide law enforcement agency to be accredited by CFA. The agency was jointly reaccredited in 2000, 2003 and 2006 by both CALEA and CFA. FDLE also received initial accreditation by ASCLD/LAB in 1990 and has achieved reaccreditation during each subsequent five-year reaccreditation period.
In the late 1990s, FDLE's Executive Policy Board was formally organized. Composed of program directors, regional special agents in charge, and other headquarters leadership, the EPB provides a frequent forum for the review of department-wide issues and policy-level decision making.
In 2000, the Legislature transferred the Division of Public Assistance Fraud from the Auditor General to FDLE. The following year, the Department of Community Affairs' Office of Criminal Justice Grants was legislatively transferred to FDLE. Following the events of September 11, 2001, FDLE assumed responsibility as the state's domestic security coordinator and partnering with Florida Sheriffs to lead the state's seven Regional Domestic Security Task Forces. The Florida Capitol Police, with its responsibility for providing law enforcement and security services to the state Capitol, was legislatively transferred to FDLE in 2002.
Headquartered in Tallahassee, the FDLE employs nearly 2,000 members statewide who work at headquarters, the department's 7 regional operations centers, 15 field offices and 7 crime laboratories.
Office of Executive Director
- Executive Investigations
- General Counsel
- Inspector General
- Legislative Affairs
- External Affairs
Public Safety Services
- Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS)
- Business Support Program
- Professionalism Program
- Information Technology Services
- Florida Capitol Police
Investigations & Forensic Science
- Domestic Security and Investigations
- Forensic Services
Regional Operations Centers and Field Offices
- Ft. Myers Operations Center with Sarasota and Sebring
- Jacksonville Operations Center with Gainesville and St. Augustine
- Miami Operations Center with Key West and West Palm Beach
- Orlando Operations Center with Ft. Pierce, and Melbourne
- Pensacola Operations Center with Panama City.
- Tallahassee Operations Center with Live Oak
- Tampa Bay Operations Center with Brooksville and Lakeland
Regional Crime Laboratories
- Ft. Myers
The FDLE maintains the following Hotline Programs:
- Sexual Predator 1-888-FL PREDATOR (1-888-357-7332) (24 hours a day)
- Missing Children Information Clearinghouse 1-888-FL MISSING (1-888-356-4774) (24 hours a day)
Notable FDLE Members
- State Bureau of Investigation
- List of law enforcement agencies in Florida
- List of U.S. state and local law enforcement agencies
- "FDLE Commonly Requested Contacts." Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Retrieved on March 7, 2010. "Florida Department of Law Enforcement 2331 Phillips Road Tallahassee, FL 32308"