ORLANDO, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that he will propose $5.8 million in funding for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to add 46 counterterrorism agents as part of his 2017-2018 recommended budget. The agents will specialize in counterterrorism and intelligence and will be organized into counterterrorism squads that are stationed in each of FDLE’s seven regions. Counterterrorism agents will work hand-in-hand with local, state and federal intelligence agencies to establish a planned, deliberate and comprehensive effort in support of domestic security.
Governor Scott said, “Today, I am proud to announce that I will include $5.8 million in funding for FDLE to strengthen their counterterrorism and intelligence efforts as part of my 2017-18 recommended budget. Terror is a threat to our state and nation and we need specialists that are solely dedicated to identifying these terrorists and stopping them before they attack.
“Just last year, Florida came under attack when a terrorist, inspired by ISIS and filled with hate, stormed into Pulse Nightclub and killed 49 innocent people. Following the attack, I spoke to many of the victims’ families and mourned with them at funerals. Their lives will never be the same, and as the father of two daughters the same age as many of the victims, I cannot imagine the pain these families are going through. This recommended funding is a critical investment in our state’s counterterrorism operations that will work to ensure that our law enforcement officers have the resources they need to curb this senseless violence.”
FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen said, “Governor Scott recognizes that we all have a role to play in defeating the terror which fueled the attack on Pulse Nightclub. I applaud the Governor for his leadership in recommending this funding which will allow FDLE to integrate additional specialized agents into existing counterterrorism intelligence networks. The 46 counterterrorism positions funded by the Governor’s recommended budget will serve a critical role in protecting Florida families from the evil of terrorism.”