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Florida Department of Law Enforcement

WUSF Public Media

Attorney General Pam Bondi on Thursday said reports of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Florida prompted her to launch a statewide investigation and led to a website where people can anonymously report allegations.

The Florida Channel

A Tallahassee-area prosecutor says there is insufficient evidence to prove that former state Senator Jack Latvala traded sexual favors in order to help pass legislation.


Florida residents will soon be able get Amber Alerts in several new ways with a revised notification system on a new platform from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

FDLE Agent Named To Oversee School Safety

May 3, 2018

A longtime agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will direct the state’s Office of Safe Schools, which was created after a mass shooting in February that left 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County. 

Google Maps

Florida is upgrading the website that allows people to find out the location of sexual offenders and sexual predators.

Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday signed nine bills, including a high-profile measure requiring local law-enforcement agencies to submit "rape kits" to be tested and another allowing the creation of a needle-exchange program in Miami-Dade County.

Florida's Crime Rate Drops, But Sexual Assaults Are Rising

Nov 16, 2015

Florida's overall crime rate is dropping, but the number of reported sex offenses and sexual assaults is rising.

Nearly 11,000 rape kits have not been tested in Florida, according to statistics released by the state Tuesday, mirroring backlogs at law enforcement agencies nationwide because of a lack of funding.

Federal officials on Thursday announced Thursday more than $5 million in grants to Florida agencies dealing with a backlog of thousands of untested sexual assault forensic exams, sometimes known as “rape kits.”

Katy Hennig / USF News

UPDATE 3/18/15 10:45 a.m.
Updated headline to indicate the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will conduct "an inquiry" and not "an investigation" into USF's findings.

In an email sent to WUSF 89.7 News Wednesday morning, FDLE Communications Director Gretl Plessinger said, "We are conducting a preliminary inquiry to assess any new information from the January USF report.  If there is criminal predicate, we will open an investigation."

ORIGINAL POST 3/17/15 5 p.m.
With a single sentence, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement indicated it will look into what investigators from the University of South Florida have turned up at the Dozier School for Boys in the Panhandle town of Marianna.

The Florida Cabinet squared off again Tuesday on the issue of reviewing and replacing agency leaders.  Much of Governor Rick Scott’s plan was either thrown out or put off to a later date. 

Katy Hennig / USF News

Florida Senator Bill Nelson has asked the Department of Justice - and not Florida law enforcement officials - to open an investigation into the Dozier School for Boys.

In 2009, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement concluded there was no criminal wrongdoing at the now closed Marianna reform school, despite decades of allegations of abuse of students by school officials.

On the brink of this year's legislative session, Governor Rick Scott is dealing with a big thorn. Scott replaced former head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Gerald Bailey, saying Bailey left voluntarily.

Bailey says that's a lie. 

When Governor Scott's lawyer told Bailey to retire, Bailey did pack up his stuff and leave. A few days later, Scott said Bailey resigned. Bailey said that wasn't true and called the governor a liar in the public square. Things rapidly went down from there.

State of Florida

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is asking the head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to evaluate new findings in the history of students at the former Arthur G. Dozier school for boys.

In a letter dated Wednesday, Putnam — who is one of three members of the Florida Cabinet — cited a recent report by researchers at the University of South Florida.

M. S. Butler

Gov. Rick Scott was in Tampa Wednesday to talk about  education, particularly his push to expand funding for  STEM programs - or science, technology, engineering and math.

Surrounded by the hum of machinery and the smell of smoldering solder, Gov. Scott touted his plan to expand funding for STEM education and to expand his four-year, $10,000 community college degree program.

But still on the minds of many was the firing of former head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

WFSU

Gov. Rick Scott has rejected a request from Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater to consider a search for a new head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Scott wants the cabinet to consider changes at the departments of insurance regulation, financial regulation, and revenue. The exchange comes as Democratic lawmakers call for an investigation into the ouster of former FDLE head Gerald Bailey.

A former Florida Department of Law Enforcement official is accusing Governor Rick Scott of political payback after he removed Gerald Bailey as head of FDLE. It’s not unusual for a governor to shuffle agency heads at the start of a second term, but in Bailey’s case, the issue is about how and why his departure occurred.

Two of Governor Rick Scott’s new agency leaders earned cabinet-level approval Tuesday, but Scott still isn’t saying why he let go of one his longest-serving agency secretaries.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey has been replaced by Rick Swearingen.  Scott was twice asked by reporters Tuesday why Bailey was let go but didn’t answer the question.

Some Florida lawmakers are questioning whether the state’s prison agency plagued by allegations of inmate abuse can be trusted to accurately report suspicious inmate deaths. That issue arose in a Senate Criminal Justice Committee hearing Monday.

 State prison officials did some major house cleaning this week, firing 13 people in the wake of widespread abuse allegations.

The Florida Department of Corrections on Friday announced the dismissal of three officers and two sergeants for punching and kicking a prisoner at Lancaster Correctional Institution.

Another officer was fired for a DUI arrest and another for driving with a suspended license.

This morning, Florida officials recognized the 16th annual Missing Children’s Day at the state Capitol. Last year, Florida law enforcement officers received more than 35,000 missing-child reports.

Arrest Warrant Scam Hits Tampa Bay

Jun 2, 2014

In recent months, an arrest warrant scam has stirred up trouble in Tampa Bay. The scam involves a phone call from somebody posing as a law enforcement officer, insisting that the recipient of the call post a bond for missing jury duty. Victims are instructed to buy a "Green Dot" pre-paid card worth the amount that they owe, in order to avoid arrest. According to Mike Puetz of the St. Petersburg Police Department, one 84-year-old victim was taken for $12,000.

Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement

UPDATED 6:25 a.m. 2/26/14: According to a press release sent just before 2 a.m. by the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, 15 year old Zach Brown returned safely on his own to his Land O ' Lakes home.

ORIGINAL POST 12:15 a.m. 2/26/14: Authorities are looking for a missing teenage boy who may be in danger after he apparently walked away from his Land O' Lakes home Tuesday afternoon.

According to a release from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, 15 year old Zach Brown left around 5:20 p.m. after an argument over being banned from Facebook.

Bay News 9

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced Saturday it is investigating 2,600 cases handled by a Pensacola-based agency chemist after discovering dozens of instances where prescription pain pills that were seized by police and tested as evidence were swapped with over-the-counter pills.

FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey said the chemist handled cases involving 80 law enforcement agencies from 35 counties since he was hired in 2006. Most, but not all, of the cases involved testing drug evidence, though it was not immediately clear how many cases might be compromised.

FDLE Operation Arrests 15 for Solicitation

Oct 21, 2013
http://swfpca.org

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Operation e-Guardian ended this morning with the arrest of 15 people.

The operation e-Guardian was launched last Wednesday to try and find predators that use the internet to harm children.

The 15 men were charged with the online solicitation of a minor for sex. Those charged ranged in age from 23 to 68 years old.

Special Agent Chuck McMullen says this is the first of its kind.