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

Department of Law Enforcement

Criminal Justice Professionalism Services

What is the purpose of the program?

The Criminal Justice Professionalism Division provides staff support to the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission, the Florida Medical Examiners Commission, and the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation. In addition, the professionalism division is responsible for the Criminal Justice Executive Institute, the Leadership Center, the Florida Alcohol Testing Program, training of sworn Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) personnel, and the Florida Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) Program.

What services does the program provide?

Staff supports the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission. Established under s. 943.11, Florida Statutes, the commission is an independent policy making body that ensures that Florida's criminal justice officers are ethical, qualified, and well-trained. The commission creates and maintains instructional curricula for training certified law enforcement, correctional and correctional probation officers. The commission also is responsible for testing Florida criminal justice officers, establishing minimum standards for employment and certification, and revoking the certification of officers who fail to maintain these minimum standards of conduct. In Fiscal Year 2018-19, 7,277 prospective officers passed the basic professional certification examination while 6,831 prospective officers passed the examination in the previous year.  The passage rate (76.9%) in Fiscal Year 2018-19 is similar to the 76.4% passage rate in Fiscal Year 2017-18. The commission reported taking disciplinary action against 482 officers in Fiscal Year 2018-19.

What are the minimum qualifications to become a certified officer in Florida?

To become a certified law enforcement officer or correctional probation in Florida, individuals must be at least 19 years of age or 18 years of age to become a correctional officer, and a citizen of the United States, not have been convicted of a felony or received a dishonorable discharge from the military, pass a physical exam, and have good moral character as determined by a background investigation. Certification as a law enforcement officer or correctional officer requires a high school diploma or equivalent (GED). Certification as a correctional probation officer requires a bachelor's degree. These standards and training requirements are explained in more detail on the FDLE website.

When can the Professional Compliance Section initiate a case against a certified officer?

The Professional Compliance Section of the Criminal Justice Professional Program will initiate an officer misconduct case in several situations in which an officer's compliance with the professional standards have come into question. For example, if the paperwork for an officer's termination of employment indicates that the officer was terminated for a violation of moral character standards or for a violation of law, or that the officer resigned or retired voluntarily while being investigated for such, the section may initiate a misconduct case. Similarly, if an agency's internal investigation indicates that an officer violated professional standards, and that officer remains employed, the section may initiate an investigation. Other triggers for the initiation of a misconduct investigation include the receipt of a signed verifiable complaint that contains specific allegations of non-compliance by an officer, the receipt of other information that an officer has been arrested, has violated other moral character standards, or has violated commission-ordered probation, or a request by the Governor for an investigation.

How are these activities funded?

Fiscal Year: 2020-21
Fund Dollars Positions
PROGRAM: CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROFESSIONALISM
LAW ENFORCEMENT STANDARDS COMPLIANCE
10,909,199
50.00
LAW ENFORCEMENT TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION SERVICES
6,078,783
54.00
TOTAL
16,987,982
104.00

Updates

Administration of Justice. The 2019 Legislature enacted Ch. 2019-167, Laws of Florida, which specifies that a person who holds or held an active certification from the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission as a law enforcement or correctional officer meets the definition of 'qualified law enforcement officer' found in the United States Code, thereby authorizing the person to carry a concealed firearm in Florida in accordance with federal requirements.

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

 

Review of Department of Corrections and Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission Processes for Correctional Officer Misconduct, Report 15-08, October 2015

Where can I get more information?

Other Reports
Criminal Justice Agency Profile Survey Results, Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Drug Abuse Resistance Education, 2018 Annual Report, Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Publications, Criminal Justice Professionalism Services

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

Website of Interest
D.A.R.E. America
International Association Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training

Performance Information 


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

What are the applicable statutes?

Section 943.09, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Criminal Justice Professionalism Program, 850-410-8600

Website