OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol
OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

Department of Law Enforcement

Criminal Investigations and Forensic Science

What is the purpose of the program?

The Criminal Investigations and Forensic Science Program provides forensic analysis, criminal investigations, and public security to prevent, investigate, and solve crime. It conducts independent criminal investigations that target crime and criminal organizations whose illegal activities cross jurisdictional boundaries, include multiple victims, or represent a major public safety concern to the state. The program also provides forensic analysis of evidentiary materials to aid in the investigation and prosecution of criminal offenses.

What services are provided?

  • Crime Laboratory Services responds to the requests of law enforcement agencies for crime scene processing by recording, collecting, and preserving physical evidence for investigative and laboratory examinations. Through six regional crime laboratories, it provides expert and professional examination of evidentiary materials to aid in the investigation and prosecution of criminal offenses by using the latest technology and techniques in the following ten forensic disciplines: biology/DNA, chemistry, crime scene, digital evidence, DNA database, firearms, latent prints/impression evidence, questioned documents, toxicology, and trace evidence. The crime laboratories are located in Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Orlando, Pensacola, Tallahassee, and Tampa.
  • Investigative Services conducts independent investigations and coordinates multi-jurisdictional investigations with local, state, and federal authorities in six key areas: major drugs, violent crime, public integrity, fraud and economic crime, computer crime, and domestic security.
  • Mutual Aid Services implements the Florida Mutual Aid Plan, which provides for the coordination of emergency state and local law enforcement responses during a declared state of emergency or a natural or man-made mass disaster. The program also works closely with the Governor's Division of Emergency Management to implement Florida's Domestic Security program.

How many requests for lab service were completed?

For Fiscal Year 2018-19, FDLE's crime labs completed 85,338 service requests, compared to 88,508 service requests in Fiscal Year 2017-18.

What is the DNA database?

The Florida Convicted Felon DNA Database is a statewide automated personal identification system capable of classifying, matching and storing analyses of DNA molecules. The database uses DNA samples (oral swabs) from individuals convicted of crimes as mandated under s. 943.325, Florida Statutes, including, but not limited to, sexual assault, murder, robberies, kidnapping, forcible felonies, burglary, felony firearm violations, and thefts. FDLE uses the database to compare these samples to DNA from unresolved cases in an attempt to identify the perpetrators.

In Fiscal Year 2018-19, FDLE added 79,426 samples to the database and reported 5,012 matches, compared to the 74,806 samples added to the database and 5,431 matches reported in Fiscal Year 2017-18.

How many criminal investigations were conducted?

In Fiscal Year 2018-19, FDLE program staff conducted 2,100 criminal investigations, compared to 2,247 criminal investigations in Fiscal Year 2017-18.

How are these activities funded?

Fiscal Year: 2020-21
Fund Dollars Positions
PROGRAM: INVESTIGATIONS AND FORENSIC SCIENCE PROGRAM
CRIME LAB SERVICES
61,695,179
446.00
INVESTIGATIVE SERVICES
93,426,333
710.00
MUTUAL AID AND PREVENTION SERVICES
1,905,599
17.00
TOTAL
157,027,111
1,173.00

Updates

DNA Database. The 2019 Florida Legislature enacted Ch. 2019-91, Laws of Florida, which makes it possible to use a match between casework evidence DNA samples from a criminal investigation and DNA samples from a state or federal DNA database to establish probable cause to obtain an arrest warrant. A judge must still determine that the initial DNA match is sufficient probable cause for an arrest, and has the option to issue a search warrant to acquire a second sample when deemed necessary.

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website.

Where can I get more information?

Other Reports
DNA Database Brochure, Florida Department of Law Enforcement
Crime Laboratory Services Brochure, Florida Department of Law Enforcement

The Auditor General reports on department operations are available on its website.

Websites of Interest
American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors
Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies

Performance Information


Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan.

What are the applicable statutes?

Chapter 943, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?