The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is marking its 50th year in existence. In 1967, the Florida legislature merged the duties and responsibilities of several state criminal justice organizations to create the Bureau of Law Enforcement—its former name. FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen says at the time, the agency had more than 90 members and a budget of $1.5 million.
“Bringing together the resources of the Florida Sheriffs Bureau, the state Narcotics squad, and the anti-bookie squad of the Attorney General’s office, the Bureau was charged with investigating multi-jurisdictional, multi-victim crime facing the state,” he said, during Tuesday's Cabinet meeting. “In 1969, our name was changed to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and today, we stand at 1,800 members and a budget that totals almost $300 million.”
Swearingen says throughout FDLE’s history, Florida’s top law enforcement agency has filled a unique niche by supporting its law enforcement partners and establishing a connection with the public.
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