Florida Senate - 2021                                     SB 992
       By Senator Powell
       30-01215-21                                            2021992__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to minimum qualifications for law
    3         enforcement or correctional officers; amending s.
    4         943.13, F.S.; providing additional criminal history
    5         screening standards for applicants; requiring
    6         applicants to pass a psychological screening;
    7         requiring applicants to provide names of any prior law
    8         enforcement agency employers; requiring such employers
    9         in this state to provide certain information
   10         concerning applicants; prohibiting the employment of
   11         an applicant until information is provided by such
   12         prior employers; amending ss. 409.1757, 943.131,
   13         943.1395, 943.1397, 943.17296, 943.17298, 943.173,
   14         943.19, and 943.253, F.S.; conforming cross
   15         references; providing an effective date.
   17  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   19         Section 1. Present subsections (6) through (11) of section
   20  943.13, Florida Statutes, are renumbered as subsections (8)
   21  through (13), respectively, new subsections (6) and (7) are
   22  added to that section, and present subsections (4) and (8) of
   23  that section are amended, to read:
   24         943.13 Officers’ minimum qualifications for employment or
   25  appointment.—On or after October 1, 1984, any person employed or
   26  appointed as a full-time, part-time, or auxiliary law
   27  enforcement officer or correctional officer; on or after October
   28  1, 1986, any person employed as a full-time, part-time, or
   29  auxiliary correctional probation officer; and on or after
   30  October 1, 1986, any person employed as a full-time, part-time,
   31  or auxiliary correctional officer by a private entity under
   32  contract to the Department of Corrections, to a county
   33  commission, or to the Department of Management Services shall:
   34         (4) Not have been convicted of any felony or of a
   35  misdemeanor involving perjury or a false statement; been
   36  convicted of any felony or misdemeanor involving moral
   37  turpitude, including petit larceny, within the last 3 years;, or
   38  have received a dishonorable discharge from any of the Armed
   39  Forces of the United States. Any person who, after July 1, 1981,
   40  pleads guilty or nolo contendere to or is found guilty of any
   41  felony or of a misdemeanor involving perjury or a false
   42  statement is not eligible for employment or appointment as an
   43  officer, notwithstanding suspension of sentence or withholding
   44  of adjudication. Notwithstanding this subsection, any person who
   45  has pled nolo contendere to a misdemeanor involving a false
   46  statement, prior to December 1, 1985, and has had such record
   47  sealed or expunged shall not be deemed ineligible for employment
   48  or appointment as an officer.
   49         (6)Have passed a psychological examination, subsequent to
   50  a conditional offer of employment, conducted under the
   51  supervision of a licensed psychologist or other licensed mental
   52  health professional, as defined by the commission.
   53         (7)Provide the names of any law enforcement agencies that
   54  he or she has previously been employed by.
   55         (a)Any sheriff, chief of police, or other law enforcement
   56  agency in this state shall disclose to a prospective law
   57  enforcement or correctional employer any information:
   58         1.Related to an arrest or prosecution of the applicant,
   59  including expunged information.
   60         2.Related to a civil suit regarding the applicant’s
   61  employment or performance of his or her duties.
   62         3.Obtained during the course of any internal investigation
   63  related to the applicant’s alleged criminal conduct, use of
   64  excessive force, or other official misconduct in violation of
   65  the state professional standards of conduct.
   66         4.Related to the applicant’s job performance which led to
   67  dismissal, demotion, suspension, or transfer.
   68         (b)An applicant may not be employed by another law
   69  enforcement or correctional agency until the requested
   70  information is received from all prior employing agencies
   71  required to provide such information under this subsection.
   72         (10)(8) Execute and submit to the employing agency or, if a
   73  private correctional officer, submit to the appropriate
   74  governmental entity an affidavit-of-applicant form, adopted by
   75  the commission, attesting to his or her compliance with
   76  subsections (1)-(9) subsections (1)-(7). The affidavit shall be
   77  executed under oath and constitutes an official statement within
   78  the purview of s. 837.06. The affidavit shall include
   79  conspicuous language that the intentional false execution of the
   80  affidavit constitutes a misdemeanor of the second degree. The
   81  affidavit shall be retained by the employing agency.
   82         Section 2. Section 409.1757, Florida Statutes, is amended
   83  to read:
   84         409.1757 Persons not required to be refingerprinted or
   85  rescreened.—Any law to the contrary notwithstanding, human
   86  resource personnel who have been fingerprinted or screened
   87  pursuant to chapters 393, 394, 397, 402, and this chapter,
   88  teachers who have been fingerprinted pursuant to chapter 1012,
   89  and law enforcement officers who meet the requirements of s.
   90  943.13, who have not been unemployed for more than 90 days
   91  thereafter, and who under the penalty of perjury attest to the
   92  completion of such fingerprinting or screening and to compliance
   93  with this section and the standards for good moral character as
   94  contained in such provisions as ss. 110.1127(2)(c), 393.0655(1),
   95  394.457(6), 397.4073, 402.305(2), 409.175(6), and 943.13(9)
   96  943.13(7), are not required to be refingerprinted or rescreened
   97  in order to comply with any caretaker screening or
   98  fingerprinting requirements.
   99         Section 3. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) and subsection
  100  (4) of section 943.131, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  101         943.131 Temporary employment or appointment; minimum basic
  102  recruit training exemptions.—
  103         (1)(a) An employing agency may temporarily employ or
  104  appoint a person who complies with the qualifications for
  105  employment in s. 943.13(1)-(10) s. 943.13(1)-(8), but has not
  106  fulfilled the requirements of s. 943.13(11) and (12) s.
  107  943.13(9) and (10), if a critical need exists to employ or
  108  appoint the person and such person is or will be enrolled in the
  109  next approved basic recruit training program available in the
  110  geographic area or that no assigned state training program for
  111  state officers is available within a reasonable time. The
  112  employing agency must maintain documentation which demonstrates
  113  that a critical need exists to employ a person pursuant to this
  114  section. Prior to the employment or appointment of any person
  115  other than a correctional probation officer under this
  116  subsection, the person shall comply with the firearms provisions
  117  established pursuant to s. 943.17(1)(a). Any person temporarily
  118  employed or appointed as an officer under this subsection must
  119  attend the first training program offered in the geographic
  120  area, or the first assigned state training program for a state
  121  officer, subsequent to his or her employment or appointment. A
  122  person temporarily employed or appointed as an officer under
  123  this subsection must begin basic recruit training within 180
  124  consecutive days after employment. Such person must fulfill the
  125  requirements of s. 943.13(11) s. 943.13(9) within 18 months
  126  after beginning basic recruit training and must fulfill the
  127  certification examination requirements of s. 943.13(12) s.
  128  943.13(10) within 180 consecutive days after completing basic
  129  recruit training. A person hired after he or she has commenced
  130  basic recruit training or after completion of basic recruit
  131  training must fulfill the certification examination requirements
  132  of s. 943.13(12) s. 943.13(10) within 180 consecutive days after
  133  completion of basic recruit training or the commencement of
  134  employment, whichever occurs later.
  135         (4) Within 1 year after receiving an exemption, an
  136  applicant who is exempt from completing the commission-approved
  137  basic recruit training program must:
  138         (a) Complete all additional required training as required
  139  by the commission.
  140         (b) Demonstrate proficiency in the high-liability areas as
  141  defined by commission rule.
  142         (c) Complete the requirements of s. 943.13(12) s.
  143  943.13(10).
  145  If the proficiencies and requirements of s. 943.13(12) s.
  146  943.13(10) are not met within the 1-year period, the applicant
  147  must seek an additional exemption as provided in this
  148  subsection. Except as provided in subsection (1), before the
  149  employing agency may employ or appoint the applicant as an
  150  officer, the applicant must meet the minimum qualifications
  151  described in s. 943.13(1)-(10) s. 943.13(1)-(8) and must fulfill
  152  the requirements of s. 943.13(12) s. 943.13(10).
  153         Section 4. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1), subsections
  154  (3), (5), (6), and (7), and paragraph (e) of subsection (8) of
  155  section 943.1395, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  156         943.1395 Certification for employment or appointment;
  157  concurrent certification; reemployment or reappointment;
  158  inactive status; revocation; suspension; investigation.—
  159         (1) The commission shall certify, under procedures
  160  established by rule, any person for employment or appointment as
  161  an officer if:
  162         (a) The person complies with s. 943.13(1)-(12) s.
  163  943.13(1)-(10); and
  164         (3) Any certified officer who has separated from employment
  165  or appointment and who is not reemployed or reappointed by an
  166  employing agency within 4 years after the date of separation
  167  must meet the minimum qualifications described in s. 943.13,
  168  except for the requirement found in s. 943.13(11) s. 943.13(9).
  169  Further, such officer must complete any training required by the
  170  commission by rule in compliance with s. 943.131(2). Any such
  171  officer who fails to comply with the requirements provided in s.
  172  943.131(2) must meet the minimum qualifications described in s.
  173  943.13, to include the requirement of s. 943.13(11) s.
  174  943.13(9).
  175         (5) The employing agency must conduct an internal
  176  investigation if it has cause to suspect that an officer is not
  177  in compliance with, or has failed to maintain compliance with,
  178  s. 943.13(4) or (9) (7). If an officer is not in compliance
  179  with, or has failed to maintain compliance with, s. 943.13(4) or
  180  (9) (7), the employing agency must submit the investigative
  181  findings and supporting information and documentation to the
  182  commission in accordance with rules adopted by the commission.
  183  The commission may inspect and copy an employing agency’s
  184  records to ensure compliance with this subsection.
  185         (6) The commission shall revoke the certification of any
  186  officer who is not in compliance with the provisions of s.
  187  943.13(4) or who intentionally executes a false affidavit
  188  established in s. 943.13(10) s. 943.13(8), s. 943.133(2), or s.
  189  943.139(2).
  190         (a) The commission shall cause to be investigated any
  191  ground for revocation from the employing agency pursuant to s.
  192  943.139 or from the Governor, and the commission may cause
  193  verifiable complaints to be investigated. Any investigation
  194  initiated by the commission pursuant to this section must be
  195  completed within 6 months after receipt of the completed report
  196  of the disciplinary or internal affairs investigation from the
  197  employing agency or Governor’s office. A verifiable complaint
  198  shall be completed within 1 year after receipt of the complaint.
  199  An investigation shall be considered completed upon a finding by
  200  a probable cause panel of the commission. These time periods
  201  shall be tolled during the appeal of a termination or other
  202  disciplinary action through the administrative or judicial
  203  process or during the period of any criminal prosecution of the
  204  officer.
  205         (b)1. The report of misconduct and all records or
  206  information provided to or developed by the commission during
  207  the course of an investigation conducted by the commission are
  208  exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I
  209  of the State Constitution and, except as otherwise provided by
  210  law, such information shall be subject to public disclosure only
  211  after a determination as to probable cause has been made or
  212  until the investigation becomes inactive.
  213         2. However, not more than 30 days before the results of an
  214  investigation are to be presented to a probable cause panel, an
  215  officer who is being investigated, or the officer’s attorney,
  216  may review any documents or other information regarding the
  217  investigation which was developed by or provided to the
  218  commission.
  219         (c) When an officer’s certification is revoked in any
  220  discipline, his or her certification in any other discipline
  221  shall simultaneously be revoked.
  222         (7) Upon a finding by the commission that a certified
  223  officer has not maintained good moral character, the definition
  224  of which has been adopted by rule and is established as a
  225  statewide standard, as required by s. 943.13(9) s. 943.13(7),
  226  the commission may enter an order imposing one or more of the
  227  following penalties:
  228         (a) Revocation of certification.
  229         (b) Suspension of certification for a period not to exceed
  230  2 years.
  231         (c) Placement on a probationary status for a period not to
  232  exceed 2 years, subject to terms and conditions imposed by the
  233  commission. Upon the violation of such terms and conditions, the
  234  commission may revoke certification or impose additional
  235  penalties as enumerated in this subsection.
  236         (d) Successful completion by the officer of any basic
  237  recruit, advanced, or career development training or such
  238  retraining deemed appropriate by the commission.
  239         (e) Issuance of a reprimand.
  240         (8)
  241         (e) An administrative law judge assigned to conduct a
  242  hearing under ss. 120.569 and 120.57(1) regarding allegations
  243  that an officer is not in compliance with, or has failed to
  244  maintain compliance with, s. 943.13(4) or (9) (7) must, in his
  245  or her recommended order:
  246         1. Adhere to the disciplinary guidelines and penalties set
  247  forth in subsections (6) and (7) and the rules adopted by the
  248  commission for the type of offense committed.
  249         2. Specify, in writing, any aggravating or mitigating
  250  circumstance that he or she considered in determining the
  251  recommended penalty.
  253  Any deviation from the disciplinary guidelines or prescribed
  254  penalty must be based upon circumstances or factors that
  255  reasonably justify the aggravation or mitigation of the penalty.
  256  Any deviation from the disciplinary guidelines or prescribed
  257  penalty must be explained, in writing, by the administrative law
  258  judge.
  259         Section 5. Subsection (4) of section 943.1397, Florida
  260  Statutes, is amended to read:
  261         943.1397 Officer certification examinations; fee.—
  262         (4) The provisions of subsection (1) and s. 943.13(12) s.
  263  943.13(10) do not apply to an applicant who was enrolled in a
  264  commission-approved basic recruit training program prior to July
  265  1, 1993.
  266         Section 6. Section 943.17296, Florida Statutes, is amended
  267  to read:
  268         943.17296 Training in identifying and investigating elder
  269  abuse and neglect.—Each certified law enforcement officer must
  270  successfully complete training on identifying and investigating
  271  elder abuse and neglect as a part of the basic recruit training
  272  of the officer required in s. 943.13(11) s. 943.13(9) or
  273  continuing education under s. 943.135(1) before June 30, 2011.
  274  The training shall be developed in consultation with the
  275  Department of Elderly Affairs and the Department of Children and
  276  Families and must incorporate instruction on the identification
  277  of and appropriate responses for persons suffering from dementia
  278  and on identifying and investigating elder abuse and neglect. If
  279  an officer fails to complete the required training, his or her
  280  certification is inactive until the employing agency notifies
  281  the commission that the officer has completed the training.
  282         Section 7. Section 943.17298, Florida Statutes, is amended
  283  to read:
  284         943.17298 Training in the recognition of and responses to
  285  head trauma and brain injury in a child under 6 years of age.
  286  The commission shall establish standards for the instruction of
  287  law enforcement officers in the subject of recognition of and
  288  responses to head trauma and brain injury in a child under 6
  289  years of age to aid an officer in the detection of head trauma
  290  and brain injury due to child abuse. Each law enforcement
  291  officer must successfully complete the training as part of the
  292  basic recruit training for a law enforcement officer, as
  293  required under s. 943.13(11) s. 943.13(9), or as a part of
  294  continuing training or education required under s. 943.135(1),
  295  before July 1, 2022.
  296         Section 8. Subsection (3) of section 943.173, Florida
  297  Statutes, is amended to read:
  298         943.173 Examinations; administration; materials not public
  299  records; disposal of materials.—
  300         (3) All examinations, assessments, and instruments and the
  301  results of examinations, other than test scores on officer
  302  certification examinations, including developmental materials
  303  and workpapers directly related thereto, prepared, prescribed,
  304  or administered pursuant to ss. 943.13(11) or (12) ss. 943.13(9)
  305  or (10) and 943.17 are exempt from the provisions of s.
  306  119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
  307  Provisions governing access to, maintenance of, and destruction
  308  of relevant documents pursuant to this section shall be
  309  prescribed by rules adopted by the commission.
  310         Section 9. Subsection (1) of section 943.19, Florida
  311  Statutes, is amended to read:
  312         943.19 Saving clause.—
  313         (1) Any full-time, part-time, or auxiliary law enforcement
  314  or correctional officer duly certified by the commission and
  315  employed or appointed as of September 30, 1984, and any
  316  correctional probation officer employed or appointed as of
  317  September 30, 1986, and any correctional probation officer
  318  employed in an institution as of September 30, 1989, is not
  319  required to comply with s. 943.13(5) and (10) (8) as a condition
  320  of continued employment or appointment with his or her current
  321  employing agency.
  322         Section 10. Section 943.253, Florida Statutes, is amended
  323  to read:
  324         943.253 Exemption; elected officers.—Elected officers are
  325  exempt from the requirements of ss. 943.085-943.25. However, an
  326  elected officer may participate in the programs and benefits
  327  under ss. 943.085-943.25 if he or she complies with s.
  328  943.13(1)-(9) s. 943.13(1)-(7).
  329         Section 11. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.