News


FDLE Announces Governor’s Budget Recommendations

1/31/2008
 
TALLAHASSEE—Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Commissioner Gerald Bailey today announced Governor Charlie Crist and Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp’s fiscal year 2008-09 budget recommendations for the agency. The Crist/Kottkamp budget recommendations include $7 million and five new positions to bolster public safety and improve the department’s ability to serve Florida’s citizens and criminal justice community.

“The Governor’s recommended budget provides new tools to fight gangs, expands our capacity for DNA analysis, advances our intelligence and information sharing, and delivers ongoing critical support and resources to protect the state’s citizens and families,” said FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey.

The Crist/Kottkamp budget recommendations include:

DNA Analysis in FDLE’s Daytona Beach Crime Lab, $214,000 – The use of DNA analysis in investigations has exploded in recent years. Funding and three positions would equip FDLE’s Daytona Beach Lab to process DNA samples and ensure that Central Florida law enforcement receives critical DNA evidence in a timely manner. This expansion would enable FDLE to provide DNA services in all seven of its crime labs.

Sexual Offender/Predator Registry, $482,000 – Funding will provide programming support to Florida’s Sex Offender/Predator Registry and Web site. The registry contains information on more than 45,000 registrants and is accessed by millions of citizens each year. The registry has seen tremendous growth in size and demand since its inception in 1997, and funding will ensure FDLE can continue to respond promptly to Florida families and law enforcement agencies when requests for information and assistance are made.

Initiatives to Combat Gangs, $3 million – Funding will provide grant dollars to assist local efforts to thwart gangs and gang violence. Programs selected must incorporate elements of prevention, law enforcement and prosecution. FDLE’s recently completed statewide gang assessment indicated 1,500 criminal street gangs are active in Florida.

Project FALCON, $4 million – Funding for this multi-year state-of-the-art data-sharing system will expand the rapid identification system currently used in the state’s sheriff’s offices and probation offices. Rapid identification allows criminal justice customers to biometrically confirm the identity of offenders from locations other than booking facilities, including courtrooms, patrol cars, and jails. Funding will also support image storage (mug shots, scars, marks, tattoos, and digital signatures), and provide greater search capabilities for latent finger and palm prints. Additionally, it will provide for management of retained applicant fingerprints and expansion of arrest notifications on criminal and applicant records.

Missing Children Information Clearinghouse Expansion to Include Young Adults, $124,000 - The Clearinghouse currently assists families and law enforcement in searching for missing children age 17 and under. Funding and two positions will expand the responsibilities of the state’s central repository to include missing persons between ages 18 and 25, as well as missing persons age 26 and older who are endangered or a potential victim of criminal activity.

Florida Law Enforcement eXchange (FLEX), $500,000 – This emerging and sophisticated intelligence and information sharing system will provide law enforcement across the state with the ability to quickly and easily access and analyze the huge store of criminal justice information (such as traffic citations, pawn data, dispatch records and local warrants) found in currently disparate individual city, county and state law enforcement agencies’ records management systems. Four regional data sharing systems are currently in place; the recommended funding will complete the remaining three regional projects and the state data portion and provide statewide connectivity.

For more information on the Crist/Kottkamp budget recommendations, please visit www.thepeoplesbudget.state.fl.us. For more information on FDLE, please visit www.fdle.state.fl.us

For more information, contact:

Heather Smith or Kristen Perezluha
FDLE Public Information Office
(850) 410-7001