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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Chapter 943
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F.S. 943.61
943.61 Powers and duties of the Capitol Police.
(1) There is created the Capitol Police within the Department of Law Enforcement, to serve the safety and security needs of both the legislative and executive branches of state government. It is the intent of the Legislature that the Capitol Police serve as a specially trained and highly effective security and law enforcement agency serving the Capitol Complex and the state. It shall be the primary responsibility of the Capitol Police to protect the security of the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the members of the Cabinet, and the members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives, and those employees assigned to assist such state officials in the performance of their official duties, and to ensure their access to buildings and premises within the Capitol Complex, thereby providing for the continuous operation of the government of the State of Florida.
(2) The Capitol Police shall also provide security and protection for other state officials, employees, and visitors to the Capitol Complex and shall maintain a reasonable degree of safety and security within the Capitol Complex while ensuring reasonable access to buildings and premises within the Capitol Complex by state officials, employees, and visitors. The Capitol Police shall also ensure that adequate signs and personnel are in place to inform and assist the occupants of and visitors to buildings within the Capitol Complex.
(3) Nothing herein limits the ability of the Capitol Police to provide mutual aid to other law enforcement agencies as authorized by law unless such a limitation is expressly included in the operational security plans provided for herein.
(4) The Capitol Police shall have the following responsibilities, powers, and duties:
(a) To develop, in consultation with the Governor, Cabinet officers, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, written operational plans for basic and enhanced security measures and actions related to the Capitol Complex. Such plans and any changes or amendments thereto shall not be implemented unless presented in writing in final form to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives and all three grant their approval in writing. The approval of any officer required herein shall expire 60 days after such officer vacates his or her office, and the written approval of the successor in office must be obtained prior to the continuation of operations under such plans. Upon the request of the Governor, a Cabinet officer, the President of the Senate, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Capitol Police shall activate previously approved enhanced security measures and actions in accordance with the approved operational plans specific to the requesting officer’s responsibilities and to the facilities occupied by such officer and employees responsible to such officer. Upon an emergency threatening the immediate safety and security of occupants of the Capitol Complex, so declared by the Governor, plans not approved as required by this paragraph may be implemented for a period not to exceed 15 days, provided such plans do not substantially interfere with the ability of the Senate and the House of Representatives to assemble for any constitutional purpose.
(b) To provide and maintain the security of all property located in the Capitol Complex in a manner consistent with the security plans developed and approved under paragraph (a) and, in consultation with the State Fire Marshal, to provide for evacuations, information, and training required for firesafety on such property in a manner consistent with s. 633.218.
(c) To develop plans for reporting incidents involving buildings and property within the Capitol Complex, emergency procedures and evacuation routes in the event of fire, security threats, incidents prompting a need for evacuation, acts of terrorism, or natural or manmade disaster and to make such procedures and routes known to those persons occupying such buildings.
(d) To employ officers who hold certification as law enforcement officers in accordance with the minimum standards and qualifications as set forth in s. 943.13 and the provisions of chapter 110, and who have the authority to bear arms, make arrests, except as may be limited in the security plans established under paragraph (a), and apply for arrest warrants.
(e) To hire guards and administrative, clerical, technical, and other personnel as may be required.
(f) To train all officers and other employees in fire prevention, firesafety, emergency medical procedures, and preventing and responding to acts of terrorism.
(g) To respond to all complaints relating to criminal activity or security threats within the Capitol Complex, or against the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, a member of the Cabinet, a member of the Senate or of the House of Representatives, or an employee assisting such official.
(h) As provided by the security plans developed and approved under paragraph (a), upon request of the presiding officer of either house of the Legislature, the director may assign one or more officers for the protection of a member of the house served by such presiding officer. Per diem and subsistence allowance for department employees traveling with a member of the Legislature away from Tallahassee shall be computed by payment of a sum up to the amounts permitted in s. 112.061 for meals, plus actual expenses for lodging to be substantiated by paid bills therefor.
(i) To enforce rules of the Department of Management Services governing the regulation of traffic and parking within the Capitol Complex and to impound illegally or wrongfully parked vehicles.
(j) To establish policies for the organizational structure, principles of command, and internal operations of the Capitol Police, provided that such policies are not inconsistent with the provisions of ss. 943.61-943.68 or the security plans developed and approved under paragraph (a).
(k) To carry out the transportation and protective services functions described in s. 943.68.
(5) Officers of the Capitol Police may make lawful arrests, consistent with the purposes, responsibilities, and limitations set forth in ss. 943.60-943.68. However, except with the prior approval of the appropriate presiding officer, officers of the Capitol Police shall have no power to prevent the convening or continuation of any meeting of the Legislature, legislative committees, or staff, nor shall they have the power to interfere with the legislative duties or rights of a member of the Legislature, or to interfere with the constitutional duties or rights of the Governor or a member of the Cabinet, except as may be necessary to protect the health and safety of any person from a clear and present danger, or as may be otherwise provided in the security plans developed and approved for fire prevention, firesafety, and emergency medical procedures under paragraph (4)(a). No employee of the Capitol Police shall be permitted in either legislative chamber without the specific permission of the presiding officer of that house of the Legislature, but may enter in the case of an emergency when the presiding officer is not able or available to consent.
History.s. 14, ch. 2002-21; s. 1, ch. 2005-120; s. 58, ch. 2005-152; s. 155, ch. 2013-183.