According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) no longer has the funds to help local police agencies with major gang and drug investigations. During the current fiscal year, which ends in June, the FDLE cut $6 million from its $340 budget and dropped 96 positions. The budget cuts have led to backlogs in Florida’s criminal records systems and local police agencies receiving less guidance on complex cases.
For over ten years, the FDLE has focused on specialized fields such as criminal profiling and online databases, including a public list of all Florida sex offenders. Under proposals to Florida’s 2009-2010 budget, all of those functions could be cut, as well as hundreds of jobs. The proposal would close almost all of FDLE’s field offices, including those in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.
However, local police agencies in South Florida say that the changes will have a greater impact on law operations elsewhere in the state, because they are already equipped to handle high-profile investigations on their own. In Broward and Palm Beach counties, the Sheriff’s offices run their own labs.
A spokesmen for the Broward Sheriff’s office said “we are really not dependent on FDLE for anything.”
Florida Department of Law Enforcement faces large budget cuts, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, April 12, 2009
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, then contact the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert to discuss your legal options with a Broward County criminal lawyer.