(1) It is the intent of the Legislature that seaports in the state be able to mitigate operational security costs without reducing security levels by employing a combination of certified law enforcement officers and certified private security service officers. In order to accomplish this intent, seaports shall have the option to recruit and employ seaport security officers who are trained and certified pursuant to the provisions of this section. The Department of Law Enforcement shall adhere to this intent in the approval and certification process for seaport security required under s. 311.12. (2) The authority or governing board of each seaport identified under s. 311.09 that is subject to the statewide minimum seaport security standards established in s. 311.12 shall require that a candidate for certification as a seaport security officer:
(a) Has received a Class D license as a security officer under chapter 493.
(b) Has successfully completed the certified training curriculum for a Class D license or has been determined by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to have equivalent experience as established by rule of the department.
(c) Has completed the training or training equivalency and testing process established by this section for becoming a certified seaport security officer.
(3) The Seaport Security Officer Qualification, Training, and Standards Coordinating Council is created under the Department of Law Enforcement. (a) The executive director of the Department of Law Enforcement shall appoint 11 members to the council, to include:
1. The seaport administrator of the Department of Law Enforcement.
2. The Commissioner of Education or his or her designee.
3. The director of the Division of Licensing of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
4. The administrator of the Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic Development Council.
5. Two seaport security directors from seaports designated under s. 311.09.
6. One director of a state law enforcement academy.
7. One representative of a local law enforcement agency.
8. Two representatives of contract security services.
9. One representative of the Division of Driver Licenses of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
(b) In addition to the members designated in paragraph (a), the executive director may invite a representative of the United States Coast Guard to attend and participate in council meetings as an ex officio, nonvoting member of the council.
(c) Council members designated under subparagraphs (a)1.-4. shall serve for the duration of their employment or appointment. Council members designated under subparagraphs (a)5.-9. shall be appointed for 4-year terms.
(d) The Commissioner of Education or his or her designee shall serve as chair of the council.
(e) The council shall meet upon the call of the chair, and at least once a year to update or modify curriculum recommendations.
(f) Council members shall serve without pay; however, per diem and travel allowances may be claimed for attendance of officially called meetings as provided by s. 112.061. (g) The council shall identify the qualifications, training, and standards for seaport security officer certification and recommend a curriculum for the seaport security officer training program that includes at least 218 hours of initial certification training and that conforms to or exceeds model courses approved under s. 109 of the federal Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 for facility personnel with specific security duties.
1. The council may recommend training equivalencies that may be substituted for portions of the required training.
2. The council shall recommend a continuing education curriculum of at least 8 hours of additional training for each annual licensing period.
(4)(a) The Department of Education shall develop the curriculum recommendations and classroom-hour specifications of the Seaport Security Officer Qualifications, Training, and Standards Coordinating Council into initial and continuing education and training programs for seaport security officer certification.
(b) Such training programs shall be used by schools licensed under s. 493.6304, and each instructor providing training must hold a Class D license pursuant to s. 493.6301. (c) A seaport authority or other organization involved in seaport-related activities may apply to become a school licensed under s. 493.6304.
(d) The training programs shall include proficiency examinations that must be passed by each candidate for certification who successfully completes the required hours of training or provides proof of authorized training equivalencies.
(e) A candidate for certification must be provided with a list of authorized training equivalencies in advance of training; however, each candidate for certification must successfully complete 20 hours of study specific to Florida Maritime Security and pass the related portion of the proficiency examination.
(5) Seaport security officer certificates shall be provided by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for issuance by a school licensed under s. 493.6304, and such school may issue the certificate to an applicant who has successfully completed the training program. A school shall notify the Division of Licensing within the department upon the issuance of each certificate. The notification must include the name and Class D license number of the certificate holder and a copy of the certificate. The department shall place the notification with the licensee’s file. Notification may be provided by electronic or paper format pursuant to instruction of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. (6)(a) Upon completion of the certification process, a person holding a Class D license must apply for a revised license pursuant to s. 493.6107(2), which license shall state that the licensee is certified as a seaport security officer.
(b) A person who has been issued a seaport security officer certificate is authorized to perform duties specifically required of a seaport security officer.
(c) The certificate is valid for the duration of the seaport security officer’s Class D license and shall be renewed upon renewal of the license.
(d) The certificate shall become void if the seaport security officer’s Class D license is revoked or allowed to lapse for more than 1 year or if the licensee fails to complete the annual continuing education requirement prior to expiration of the Class D license.
(e) Renewal of certification following licensure revocation or a lapse of longer than 1 year requires, at a minimum, 20 hours of recertification training and reexamination of the applicant.