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

Department of Law Enforcement

What is the purpose of the department?

The mission of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is to promote public safety and strengthen domestic security by providing services in partnership with local, state, and federal criminal justice agencies to prevent, investigate, and solve crimes while protecting Florida's citizens and visitors.

What services does the department provide?

Through its seven regional operations centers and six crime laboratories, FDLE delivers investigative, forensic, and information services to Florida's criminal justice community. The department is composed of five divisions.
  • Criminal Investigations and Forensic Science manages, coordinates, and provides investigative and forensic laboratory services. The division also has a role in domestic security through its administration of the Florida Mutual Aid Plan, which coordinates state and local law enforcement during a declared state of emergency or a natural or man-made mass disaster.
  • Criminal Justice Information provides screening services to criminal justice agencies, non-criminal justice agencies, and private citizens to identify persons with criminal warrants, arrests, and convictions. The program also provides the information technology infrastructure for FDLE's systems and networks, which support all criminal justice agencies in Florida.
  • Criminal Justice Professionalism promotes the competency and professional conduct of Florida criminal justice officers. It works with criminal justice agencies to provide entry-level and in-service officer training and maintain disciplinary standards and it assists law enforcement agencies in their accreditation efforts.
  • Florida Capitol Police provides specially trained law enforcement officers to protect the security of the Governor's Office, the Cabinet, the Legislature, visiting dignitaries, and other state officials, employees, and visitors to the Capitol Complex.
  • Executive Direction and Business Support integrates the management, coordination, and business functions of FDLE, including the offices of the Executive Director, Inspector General, General Counsel, and External Affairs.

How is the department structured?

FDLE is headed by the Governor and Florida Cabinet, which is comprised of the Attorney General, the Chief Financial Officer and the Commissioner of Agriculture. The Governor appoints a Commissioner (Executive Director) with the approval of the Cabinet and subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

What department crime information data bases are open to the public?

How are these activities funded?

Fiscal Year: 2020-21
Fund Dollars Positions
LAW ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF
PROGRAM: CRIMINAL JUSTICE INFORMATION PROGRAM
INFORMATION NETWORK SERVICES TO THE LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMUNITY
30,407,877
121.00
PREVENTION AND CRIME INFORMATION SERVICES
35,465,214
320.00
PROGRAM: CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROFESSIONALISM
LAW ENFORCEMENT STANDARDS COMPLIANCE
10,909,143
50.00
LAW ENFORCEMENT TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION SERVICES
6,078,725
54.00
PROGRAM: EXECUTIVE DIRECTION AND SUPPORT
AVIATION SERVICES
3,444,695
4.00
EXECUTIVE DIRECTION AND SUPPORT SERVICES
40,930,531
139.00
PROGRAM: FLORIDA CAPITOL POLICE PROGRAM
CAPITOL POLICE SERVICES
7,473,800
88.00
PROGRAM: INVESTIGATIONS AND FORENSIC SCIENCE PROGRAM
CRIME LAB SERVICES
61,695,074
446.00
INVESTIGATIVE SERVICES
87,397,887
710.00
MUTUAL AID AND PREVENTION SERVICES
1,905,595
17.00
TOTAL
285,708,541
1,949.00

Updates

Uniform Criminal Justice Data Collection. The 2018 Legislature enacted Ch. 2018-127, Laws of Florida, with the intent of creating a model of uniform data collection by requiring local and state criminal justice agencies to report complete, accurate, and timely data, and making such data available to the public to promote criminal justice data transparency. Specifically, the law requires the clerks of court, state attorneys, public defenders, county detention facility administrators, and the Department of Corrections to collect specified data on a biweekly basis and report it to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) on a monthly basis.  FDLE is required to publish the data collected on their website and make it searchable and accessible to the public by January 1, 2020. 
The 2019 Legislature enacted Chapter 2019-167, Laws of Florida, which amended this law to define new data elements and revise existing ones, and require certain state agencies or local entities to collect and report these elements in an effort to help ensure accurate and comprehensive collection.

Backlog of Sexual Assault Kits.  In a study authorized by the Florida Legislature, FDLE reported in January 2016 that 13,435 sexual assault kits that had never been submitted to a crime laboratory for testing were being held in local law enforcement evidence rooms.  A sexual assault kit is a package that contains items collected from the body of a sexual assault victim that can be processed by a laboratory to aid law enforcement and the courts in the prosecution of offenders. The FDLE study identified several reasons why a kit may not have been submitted, including that the victim decided not to proceed with the investigation, the State Attorney's office declined to prosecute the case, or the suspect pled guilty.
The 2016 Legislature created s. 943.326, Florida Statutes, requiring that sexual assault kits be submitted to the statewide criminal laboratory system within 30 days after the evidence is received by local law enforcement if a sexual offense is reported or the victim requests that the evidence be tested.  In addition, the Legislature authorized FDLE to use appropriated funds and federal funds to process the backlogged kits.
The FDLE has provided progress reports on the processing of these kits. The September 2019 report shows that between October 2014 and June 2019, testing was completed on 8,023 previously unsubmitted kits.  Of these, 1,814 received a hit Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). This system blends forensic science and computer technology to enable federal, state, and local forensic laboratories to exchange and compare DNA profiles electronically, thereby linking crimes to each other and to known offenders. A CODIS hit occurs when DNA evidence obtained through sexual assault kit analysis is matched to a sample in the DNA system.

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
Review of Cabinet and Long-Range Program Plan Performance Measures, FDLE Inspector General, Project Number PM-1718-01, September 2018.
Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and Publications, Florida Department of Law Enforcement
Department of Law Enforcement - Firearm Purchase Program Prior Audit Follow-Up, Auditor General Report No. 2017-034, October 2016.
The Auditor General reports on department operations are available on its website.
Websites of Interest
U. S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
FBI National Crime Information Center
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website
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?

Ron Draa, External Affairs Director, 850-410-7001
Website