The City of Key West, Florida

The Southernmost City in the Continental United States

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Florida Criminal Justice Standards & Training Commission Disciplinary Functions

Criminal Justice Standards & Training Commission Information and Links to Its Web Pages 

The foregoing information is drawn directly from the Commission's web pages and can be viewed at  http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/cjst/commission/index.html
 
Mission:
 
To ensure that all citizens of Florida are served by criminal justice officers who are ethical, qualified, and well-trained. 
 
Primary Responsibilities of the Commission:
  • Establish uniform minimum standards for the employment and training of full-time, part-time, and auxiliary law enforcement, and correctional and correctional probation officers.
  • Establish and maintain officer training programs, curricula requirements, and certification of training schools and training school instructors.
  • Certify officers who complete a Florida Basic Recruit Training Program, or who are diversely qualified through experience and training, and who meet minimum employment standards.
  • Review and administer appropriate administrative sanctions in instances when an officer, a training school instructor, or a training school is found in violation of Florida Statutes and Commission standards.
  • Promulgate rules and procedures to administer the requirements of Chapter 943.085 - 943.257, F.S.
  • Conduct studies of compensation, education, and training for the correctional, correctional probation, and law enforcement disciplines.
  • Maintain a central repository of records of all certified officers.
  • Conduct quarterly meetings to discuss issues and approve rules that relate to officer standards and training.
  • Develop, maintain, and administer the State Officer Certification Examination for criminal justice officers. 
Click Here to Review statistics on Florida State Law Enforcement Departments like pay scale, ratio of officers to population, profiles criminal justice agency's salaries, compensation packages, programs, training requirements, pre-employment requirements and officer demographic across the state of Florida.  
 
Initiation of Officer Misconduct Cases by Commission

The Professional Compliance Section May Initiate Officer Misconduct Cases When:

  • Requested by the Governor; or
  • As a result of an Affidavit of Separation form CJSTC-61t that reflects the following unfavorable misconduct "reason of separation":
    • Voluntary Separation or Retirement while being investigated for violation of Section 943.13(4), F.S., or
    • A violation of Moral Character standards defined by Rule 11B-27.0011,F.A.C., or
    • Terminated for Violation of Section 943.13(4), F.S.; or
    • Violation of Moral Character standards defined by 11B-27.0011, F.A.C, or
  • As a result of an Internal Investigation Report form CJSTC-78, when the investigation report indicates violations of Section 943.13(4) or (7), F.S., which have been sustained, and the officer is not separated from employment; or
  • Receipt of a signed verifiable complaint that contains specific allegations of non-compliance by an officer, pursuant to Section 943.13(4) or (7), F.S., to include the complainant's name and return address; or
  • Receipt of newspaper articles indicating an arrest or violation of moral character by an officer; or
  • When a Field Specialist determines ineligibility due to a non-favorable inspection of documents discovered during an audit or review of files; or
  • Information developed by the Professional Compliance Section indicating that an officer has been arrested or is in violation of Commission-ordered probation.

 


The Professional Compliance Section shall evaluate the case information to determine if grounds for disciplinary action exist.

If the information received is not sufficient, the Professional Compliance Section shall request additional information that includes, but is not limited to:
  • Report summary (synopsis of investigation).
  • Internal affairs reports.
  • Criminal investigations.
  • Depositions or statements.
  • Physical evidence or description of same.
  • Tape recordings (video or audio).
  • Certified judgments and sentencing documents.
  • Witness list (name, address, and telephone number of individuals involved in the case).
  • Arrest Reports

Disciplinary Process

  • Finding of Probable Cause

The first step of the disciplinary process shall begin when the Probable Cause Determination Panel determines that an officer has failed to maintain compliance with Section 943.13 (4) or (7), F.S., and, therefore, enters a Finding of Probable Cause. After a Finding of Probable Cause has been entered, the officer shall receive the following documents from the Commission:

  • Administrative Complaint

An Administrative Complaintis the "official charging document" by the Commission that contains specific allegation(s) against the officer, and statutory and Commission Rule cites forming the basis for Commission action.

  • Election of Rights Document

The Election of Rights form, which is enclosed with the Administrative Complaint, allows the officer to proceed with a formal or informal hearing, or allows the officer to voluntarily relinquish his/her criminal justice certification.

  • Formal Hearing
  • If the officer disputes the facts recorded in the Administrative Complaint, the officer is required to choose a formal hearing. If the officer requests a formal hearing, CJST Commission Staff shall notify the Department of Management Services, Division of Administrative Hearings, which shall schedule an Administrative Law Judge to conduct the hearing.
  • The officer is given the opportunity to be represented by legal counsel, or he/she can represent him/herself and to present witnesses. CJST Commission shall be represented by legal counsel, and has the right to present witnesses on its behalf.
  • The Administrative Law Judge shall render a decision on the case after presentation of all evidence, which is issued in the form of a "Recommended Order," and the Administrative Law Judge shall distribute copies of the Recommended Order to the officer and Commission Staff.
  • The Professional Compliance Section shall then present the "Recommended Order" for final Commission action. The Commission shall decide at one of its quarterly Commission meetings, whether to accept in whole or in part, the "Recommended Order" of the Administrative Law Judge as the final decision in the case.
  • The officer shall receive formal notice of the Commission's decision through the issuance of a Final Order.
  • If either side disagrees with the findings of the Administrative Law Judge, they may file "Exceptions to the Recommended Order" to be considered by the Commission.
  • Informal Hearing
  • An Informal Hearing provides the officer the opportunity to appear before the full Commission and present any mitigating factors prior to the Commission determining what disciplinary action to impose for the misconduct. However, there can be no dispute of a material fact as presented in the Administrative Complaint. If an officer disputes the material facts in the Administrative Complaint during an informal hearing, the Commission shall advise the officer that the informal hearing is not the proper venue to hear disputed facts, and shall direct Commission staff to proceed to a formal hearing on the case.
  • As in a formal hearing, the officer has the right to be represented by him/herself or counsel and to present witnesses. After hearing and reviewing all information presented, the Commission shall determine the disciplinary penalty, if any.
  • The officer shall receive formal notice of the Commission's decision in the form of a Final Order.
  • Voluntary Relinquishment

In the case of a voluntary relinquishment, the officer can either agree with or dispute the facts as they are presented in the Administrative Complaint. In either case, the officer shall agree to voluntarily give up criminal justice certification. Voluntary relinquishment shall also be presented to the Commission for acceptance. The officer shall receive formal notice of the Commission's decision in the form of a Final Order.

  • Default

An officer has thirty (30) days from the date of receipt of the Administrative Complaint to return the Election of Rights document to the Professional Compliance Section. If the officer fails to respond within thirty (30) days, the disciplinary case is presented to the Commission as a Default.

  • Stipulation and Settlement Agreements

Commission staff and the Respondent may enter into an agreement regarding final disciplinary action regarding his/her officer certification.  This agreement is presented by Commission staff for approval by the Commission.

  • Issuance of a Final Order
The Commission shall review all information regarding formal and informal hearings, voluntary relinquishments, and defaults to determine if disciplinary action is required. The officer, the officer's legal representative, and the current or last employing agency administrator shall be notified of the final Commission action by a FINAL ORDER. All Commission actions are final; however, an officer may appeal a Final Order to the District Court of Appeal.
 
The foregoing information is drawn directly from the Commission's web pages and can be viewed at  http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/cjst/commission/index.html