FDLE is headed by a Commissioner who is appointed by the Governor, approved by the Cabinet and confirmed by the Senate. Headquartered in Tallahassee, FDLE employs about 2,000 members statewide who work at the department’s seven Regional Operations Centers (ROCs) and Crime Laboratories. Its annual budget is approximately $350 million and its responsibilities are clearly articulated in Chapter 943, Florida Statutes, and Chapter 11, Florida Administrative Code.
FDLE is structured to deliver services in the following five program areas. Additional information about the areas is contained in the Statement of Agency Organization (linked above).
History of the Department
- Executive Direction and Business Support Program
- Criminal Investigations and Forensic Science Program
- Florida Capitol Police Program
- Criminal Justice Information Program
- Criminal Justice Professionalism Program
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 comprised of the Governor, specified members of the Cabinet, two Sheriffs, and one Chief of Police. The agency was comprised of 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, the name the agency bears to this day. 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 Senate. At the time, the Department consisted of four divisions – Operations, Administrative Intelligence, Criminal Identification and Information, and Training and Inspection.
Throughout its history, the Department has restructured and streamlined service delivery and maximized the use of technology in its business operations to meet and exceed the expectations of its customers. The Department is committed to operating as a performance driven organization, ensuring that each member holds the highest level of responsibility, and establishing accountability at every level of the agency.
In 1994, the Florida Legislature passed the Government Performance and Accountability Act, mandating that state agencies base their budgets on performance outcome measures. FDLE embraced the concept as an opportunity to “do business a better way,” and, in 1996, became the first agency in Florida to be fully funded under Performance Based Budgeting (PBB) guidelines. That same year, FDLE developed the Blueprint For Continued Success
calling for an organizational transition to a more integrated, horizontal structure designed to provide increased contact with both customers and members. Under the old, traditional, “pyramidal” structure, each division had specific tasks and delivered specialized services. Many statewide services were offered exclusively through the Headquarters Office, and Special Agents in Charge throughout the state reported to a Tallahassee-based Director.
FDLE's Blueprint for Continued Success
placed more focus on a regional approach. The agency turned in a new direction, permanently decentralizing many key services offered previously only through Headquarters, and rolling them out to the newly defined seven ROCs. 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 and accountability 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. The ROCs became multi-functioning facilities, offering a much wider array of FDLE’s services and providing localized “one stop shopping” for customers statewide.
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, 2006 and 2009. In October 1996, FDLE was the first statewide law enforcement agency to be accredited by CFA. The agency was jointly reaccredited in 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2009 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. Comprised 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 1996, FDLE’s Executive Policy Board developed and adopted FDLE’s agency values, Service, Integrity, Respect, and Quality, institutionalizing the ideals that serve as the very foundation of FDLE.
In 1997, FDLE initiated performance contracts for all of its supervisory members and in 1998, all of the agency’s members were included in the performance workplan system. Linked to the achievement of agency wide goals, individual workplans contain quantifiable and measurable expectations for each member. Impressed with FDLE’s performance evaluation system, in FY 99-00 the Legislature funded FDLE with a unique performance pay plan.
The turn of the century saw several new responsibilities for FDLE. 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 saw a fundamental change to its core mission, assuming 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.
Effective January 1, 2011, the Division of Public Assistance Fraud was transferred to the Department of Financial Services pursuant to legislative mandate.
On July 1, 2011, the Attorney General’s Child Predator Cyber Crime Unit merged with FDLE’s Florida Computer Crime Center. A total of 19 positions transferred from the Attorney General’s Office, all of which will be dedicated exclusively to investigating online child exploitation cases. The positions have been assigned to FDLE’s Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa Bay, and Miami Regional Operations Centers. The transfer of positions occurred as a result of the passage of House Bill 5401.