Florida Department of Law Enforcement

A bill has cleared its first stop in the Florida Legislature that would block law enforcement officers from seizing personal electronic devices, like cell phones, without a search warrant. But, opponents say moving the bill forward is a bit premature, while the very same matter is being looked at in the courts.

Under Florida law, law enforcement officers are allowed to search the property of a person who has been arrested without a search warrant.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is encouraging citizens to sign up for AMBER Alerts.  The push comes in connection with National Amber Alert Awareness Day.

The AMBER Alert system was established in 1996 after nine year old Amber Hagerman was abducted and brutally murdered in Arlington, Texas.  Florida adopted the AMBER Alert program in 2000.  Special Agent Supervisor Carol Frederick with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said when an AMBER Alert is sent out, every pair of eyes helps.

Updated 1:05 a.m.

Below is a statement from Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam regarding Florida Department of Law Enforcement's update on Dozier:

I am grateful that FDLE has started to address some of the issues raised by the USF report. The state has an obligation to provide the families involved insight and a meaningful explanation regarding the final resting places of their loved ones. This is a complex and difficult task that will take time.  I'm committed to seeing that we get it right, after decades of failing to do just that.

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson is calling on the U.S. Justice Department to continue a probe into the Infamous Dozier School for Boys, after recent findings show there were at least 50 graves at the North Florida reform school----that’s 19 more than were found when the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigated two years ago. Some say the involvement of federal officials is key to addressing what really happened to prevent the state’s “cover-up of the truth.”

Florida’s Silver Alert Plan turned four-years-old Tuesday. It’s similar to an Amber Alert, but instead of missing children, it’s sent out all across the state to help find missing senior citizens mainly suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. And, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Spokesman Keith Kameg says since the program’s existence, it’s benefited hundreds of seniors statewide:

A total of 11 correctional employees who work at Union Correctional Institution have now been suspended. That’s after a further probe into an ongoing investigation over the possible use of excessive force on several inmates, including one who died at the facility.

Just days ago, the Florida Department of Corrections suspended five of its correctional officers working at Union Correctional Institution, including the Assistant Warden Nan Jeffcoat.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has concluded its investigation into the finances of the Florida A&M University’s marching band. The investigation was launched following the hazing death of school band drum major Robert Champion last November. The probe found several instances of missing money and duplicate payments to band members and others who traveled with the Marching 100.

Sascha Cordner

Governor Rick Scott joined several law enforcement officers and parents of missing kids during Florida Missing Children’s Day on Monday. Officials are using the event as an opportunity to recognize the state’s efforts to protect Florida’s most vulnerable and educate Floridians on child safety and abduction prevention.

“Let’s give a round of applause to our two special heroes," exclaimed Donna Uzzell, the director of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Criminal Justice Information Services.

Florida A&M University’s events director is facing eight misdemeanor charges for filing fraudulent travel expenses.

FAMU events director Tammy Hamlet is accused of falsifying mileage reports and departure times for trips she took between September 2010 and May 2011. Investigators say she then submitted those reports for reimbursement from the university, resulting in $1,821 worth of fraudulent charges.  Florida Department of Law Enforcement Spokesman Steve Arthur says this investigation is one of many that began after the death of band drum major Robert Champion.

Florida Solves Cold Cases with New DNA Test

Jul 25, 2012

Florida violent crime investigators are now solving cold cases with the help of a more advanced DNA test. The state has recently started using a test that can zero in on just male genetic material.

Four years ago, a woman was raped early one morning in suburban Gainesville. Despite several leads and tips called in to the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, investigators had given up hope of finding her attacker and closed the case. Then, a few months ago, state labs began offering a new type of DNA analysis called a Y-STR test.

Charges won’t be filed against three Florida Supreme Court judges who use court employees to notarize their elections paperwork. Earlier in the year the court put a hearing on hold to allow the justices to turn those documents in. A court employee notarized those filings. An FDLE report called the practice “common”, but the state attorney’s office says the infraction is minor.

Regan McCarthy

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has cleared Governor Rick Scott and his transition staff of any wrongdoing related to the loss team’s transition emails. The investigation led to the recovery of more than 30-thousand pages of documents, which are now available online.

The Panhandle town of Crestview is looking for a new police chief. As Sascha Cordner reports, the city's mayor fired Police Chief Brian Mitchell Wednesday.

Mayor David Cadle says an ongoing investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement led to the indictment and arrest of former police Major Joseph Floyd. He’s been charged with racketeering for allegedly abusing and intimidating residents and officers, while working directly under former police chief Brian Mitchell. So, Cadle suspended both in March, and decided to conduct his own investigation into the department.

A Columbia County Correctional officer has died. Regan McCarthy reports the officer was allegedly stabbed to death by an inmate while on duty at the Columbia Correctional Facility.

Convicted murderer Richard Franklin is accused of killing an officer who was working on duty as a prison guard at the Columbia Correctional Institution Annex. Department of Corrections spokeswoman Jo Ellyn Rackleff says witnesses say Franklin stabbed 24-year old Sergeant Ruben Thomas in the neck with a “handmade weapon.” She says another officer, William Brewer, was also hurt in the incident.