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Pay Raises Sought For FDLE Officers

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) - Under a proposal that it sure to face scrutiny from lawmakers, many state law enforcement officers would get a bump in pay.

As part of his agency's legislative proposals for 2017, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen said this week he will seek a $10,000 hike in the base pay for officers. Starting pay is currently $46,000.

The proposal would also incrementally adjust the salaries of agents who have been with FDLE from two to eight years, Swearingen said.

State lawmakers received a report last week that projected a budget surplus of just $7.5 million next year. The law enforcement agency's spending proposal would require an additional $20 million to its current $293 million budget.

"I ask for what we need," Swearingen said. "Where the money comes from falls on the Legislature."

Almost half of the request would come from money set aside in trust funds rather than from general revenue, he said. Among other proposals, Swearingen is seeking 46 new officers to form seven anti-terrorism squads that would be set up throughout the state.
That would be projected to cost $6 million in the first year and $4 million a year to operate annually.

The annual legislative session starts in March, with the fiscal 2017-2018 budget taking effect July 1.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.


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