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FDLE Looking For Counterterrorism Funding

September 20th, 2016 by flanews

Getting help for counterterrorism efforts in the state is at the top of wish list for the state’s law enforcement agency. Matt Galka tells us more about the request.

After a summer that saw the Florida Department of Law Enforcement respond to the Pulse nightclub massacre, the department’s commissioner is making stopping future terrorist attacks a top priority.

“I was in Orlando after the Pulse shooting, the morning after the shooting and I was there for that entire week. I went to many funerals with the Governor. I went to the morgue. We can never let that happen again in Florida,” said FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen.

He requested an additional $6.2 million dollars from the General Revenue fund in next year’s budget.  He also cited the recent bombings in the New York City area over the weekend to stress the need.

“We’re seeking funding for 46 new counterteorrism positions which will help us establish a counterterrorism squad in each of our regions,” he said.

And both the commissioner and the Governor stressed the need for the community’s help.

“We all have to start watching out. Anything that looks unusual we need to report it to law enforcement, that’s their job,” said Gov. Rick Scott (R-Florida).

But FDLE will have to battle what other state agencies are also battling, a projected tight budget year.

“We all have to understand that we live in a time that people want to do harm to our country, and we’re going to have to spend more money to fight terrorism,” said Gov. Scott.

FDLE will also push for new legislation that criminalizes more terroristic activities. Swearingen said it would give the state some of the same authority that federal agencies have.

Part of the request includes raising the base salary for FDLE agents from $46,000 dollars a year to $56,000 dollars.

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