Question: What is FDLE?
Answer: FDLE is the abbreviation for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Simply put, think of FDLE as being the state police agency for the State
of Florida, which is different and completely separate from the Florida
Highway Patrol, as they are two different agencies.
FDLE employs approximately 1,700 people, with offices throughout the state.
Although their headquarters are located in Tallahassee, there are regional
offices in Pensacola, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa Bay, Fort Myers and
Miami. The agency has a budget of more than $300 million, yet few people
outside of the Criminal Justice field interact with FDLE on a regular basis.
FDLE was established in 1967. Today's mission statement 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." Of course, the execution of its duties is
much more complex.
Within the Criminal Justice field, FDLE is similar to what one might think
of when watching CSI on television. It is the FDLE who has crime laboratories
throughout the state which test illegal drugs to confirm the substance
present, analyze DNA or hair particles, work fingerprints and blood, etc.
Likewise, FDLE oversees the process of having one's criminal record
sealed or expunged. Having said, FDLE has more duties than simply these,
as it covers things which many do not realize in our state.
FDLE is divided into five areas, including the Executive Direction and
Business Support, Criminal Investigations and Forensic Science, Criminal
Justice Information, Criminal Justice Professionalism and Florida Capitol
Police. They protect our Governor, similar to the United States Secret
Service with the US President. Likewise, FDLE will provide security for
the Florida Supreme Court Justices.
FDLE has earned accreditation by the National Commission on Accreditation
for Law Enforcement Agencies, the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement
Accreditation, and the American Society for Crime Lab Directors. The agency
is arguably our highest regarded law enforcement agency with respect to
professionalism and integrity, the agency whom gets called-in when local
law enforcement needs a helping hand for something too complex, or crimes
covering multiple counties within Florida. Since September 11th, 2001,
FDLE has helped to protect our state from terrorism. .There are currently
seven Regional Domestic Security Task Forces strategically located throughout
our great state.
Likewise, when a law enforcement agency is involved in a shooting, or perhaps
is alleged to have committed wrongdoing, it is FDLE who will investigate
the law enforcement agency at issue. As some might say, FDLE polices the
police within our state. The agency also offers an online record of individuals
currently incarcerated in the Department of Corrections, or being supervised
by the Department of Corrections. They also have a database of Registered
Sex Offenders, something which everyone should view to check their neighborhood
for such, especially those with children or single females living without
FDLE can help all of us stay safe, while achieving justice in our Court
system. Their work ensures crimes are proven beyond a reasonable doubt
with accurate evidence, and in the alternative, can exonerate the innocent
with their criminal laboratory testing abilities. Should you or a loved
one have a criminal case which involves FDLE experts, call my office today at