943.1395 Certification for employment or appointment; concurrent certification; reemployment or reappointment; inactive status; revocation; suspension; investigation.—
(1) The commission shall certify, under procedures established by rule, any person for employment or appointment as an officer if:
(a) The person complies with s. 943.13(1)-(10); and
(b) The employing agency complies with s. 943.133(2) and (3).
(2) An officer who is certified in one discipline and who complies with s. 943.13 in another discipline shall hold concurrent certification and may be assigned in either discipline within his or her employing agency.
(3) Any certified officer who has separated from employment or appointment and who is not reemployed or reappointed by an employing agency within 4 years after the date of separation must meet the minimum qualifications described in s. 943.13, except for the requirement found in s. 943.13(9). Further, such officer must complete any training required by the commission by rule in compliance with s. 943.131(2). Any such officer who fails to comply with the requirements provided in s. 943.131(2) must meet the minimum qualifications described in s. 943.13, to include the requirement of s. 943.13(9).
(4) The certification of an officer who fails to comply with s. 943.135(1) shall be inactive, and the officer may not be employed or appointed as an officer until he or she complies with the provisions of s. 943.135(1).
(5) The employing agency must conduct an internal investigation if it has cause to suspect that an officer is not in compliance with, or has failed to maintain compliance with, s. 943.13(4) or (7). If an officer is not in compliance with, or has failed to maintain compliance with, s. 943.13(4) or (7), the employing agency must submit the investigative findings and supporting information and documentation to the commission in accordance with rules adopted by the commission. The commission may inspect and copy an employing agency’s records to ensure compliance with this subsection.
(6) The commission shall revoke the certification of any officer who is not in compliance with the provisions of s. 943.13(4) or who intentionally executes a false affidavit established in s. 943.13(8), s. 943.133(2), or s. 943.139(2).
(a) The commission shall cause to be investigated any ground for revocation from the employing agency pursuant to s. 943.139 or from the Governor, and the commission may investigate verifiable complaints. Any investigation initiated by the commission pursuant to this section must be completed within 6 months after receipt of the completed report of the disciplinary or internal affairs investigation from the employing agency or Governor’s office. A verifiable complaint shall be completed within 1 year after receipt of the complaint. An investigation shall be considered completed upon a finding by a probable cause panel of the commission. These time periods shall be tolled during the appeal of a termination or other disciplinary action through the administrative or judicial process or during the period of any criminal prosecution of the officer.
(b)1. The report of misconduct and all records or information provided to or developed by the commission during the course of an investigation conducted by the commission are exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution and, except as otherwise provided by law, such information shall be subject to public disclosure only after a determination as to probable cause has been made or until the investigation becomes inactive.
2. However, not more than 30 days before the results of an investigation are to be presented to a probable cause panel, an officer who is being investigated, or the officer’s attorney, may review any documents or other information regarding the investigation which was developed by or provided to the commission.
(c) When an officer’s certification is revoked in any discipline, his or her certification in any other discipline shall simultaneously be revoked.
(7) Upon a finding by the commission that a certified officer has not maintained good moral character, the definition of which has been adopted by rule and is established as a statewide standard, as required by s. 943.13(7), the commission may enter an order imposing one or more of the following penalties:
(a) Revocation of certification.
(b) Suspension of certification for a period not to exceed 2 years.
(c) Placement on a probationary status for a period not to exceed 2 years, subject to terms and conditions imposed by the commission. Upon the violation of such terms and conditions, the commission may revoke certification or impose additional penalties as enumerated in this subsection.
(d) Successful completion by the officer of any basic recruit, advanced, or career development training or such retraining deemed appropriate by the commission.
(e) Issuance of a reprimand.
(8)(a) The commission shall, by rule, adopt disciplinary guidelines and procedures to administer the penalties provided in subsections (6) and (7). The commission may, by rule, prescribe penalties for certain offenses. The commission shall, by rule, set forth aggravating and mitigating circumstances to be considered when imposing the penalties provided in subsection (7).
(b)1. The disciplinary guidelines and prescribed penalties must be based upon the severity of specific offenses. The guidelines must provide reasonable and meaningful notice to officers and to the public of penalties that may be imposed for prohibited conduct. The penalties must be consistently applied by the commission.
2. On or before July 1 of each odd-numbered year, the commission shall conduct a workshop to receive public comment and evaluate disciplinary guidelines and penalties. The commission chair shall appoint a 12-member advisory panel, composed of six officers and six representatives of criminal justice management positions, to make recommendations to the commission concerning disciplinary guidelines.
(c) For the purpose of implementing the penalties provided in subsections (6) and (7), the chair of the commission may appoint one or more panels of three commissioners each to determine probable cause. In lieu of a finding of probable cause, the probable cause panel may issue a letter of guidance to the officer.
(d) When an employing agency disciplines an officer and the officer’s employment is continued or reinstated by the agency, the Criminal Justice Professionalism Program shall review the sustained disciplinary charges and disciplinary penalty to determine whether the penalty conforms to the disciplinary penalties prescribed by commission rule, and, in writing, notify the employing agency and officer of the results of the review. If the penalty conforms to the disciplinary penalty provided by rule, the officer and employing agency shall be notified, by a letter of acknowledgment, that no further action shall be taken. If the penalty does not conform to such disciplinary penalty prescribed by rule, the officer and employer shall be notified, in writing, of further action to be taken. The commission shall adopt rules establishing procedures for administering this subsection.
(e) An administrative law judge assigned to conduct a hearing under ss. 120.569 and 120.57(1) regarding allegations that an officer is not in compliance with, or has failed to maintain compliance with, s. 943.13(4) or (7) must, in his or her recommended order:
1. Adhere to the disciplinary guidelines and penalties set forth in subsections (6) and (7) and the rules adopted by the commission for the type of offense committed.
2. Specify, in writing, any aggravating or mitigating circumstance that he or she considered in determining the recommended penalty.
Any deviation from the disciplinary guidelines or prescribed penalty must be based upon circumstances or factors that reasonably justify the aggravation or mitigation of the penalty. Any deviation from the disciplinary guidelines or prescribed penalty must be explained, in writing, by the administrative law judge.
(9) Each person employed pursuant to s. 943.131 is subject to discipline by the commission. Persons who have been subject to disciplinary action pursuant to this subsection are ineligible for employment or appointment under s. 943.131.
(a) The commission shall cause to be investigated any conduct defined in subsection (6) or subsection (7) by a person employed under s. 943.131 and shall set disciplinary guidelines and penalties prescribed in rules applicable to such noncertified persons.
(b) The disciplinary guidelines and prescribed penalties must be based upon the severity of specific offenses. The guidelines must provide reasonable and meaningful notice to officers and to the public of penalties that may be imposed for prohibited conduct. The penalties must be consistently applied by the commission.
(c) In addition, the commission may establish violations and disciplinary penalties for intentional abuse of the employment option provided by s. 943.131 by an individual or employing agency.
(10) An officer whose certification has been revoked pursuant to this section shall be ineligible for employment or appointment under s. 943.131.
History.—s. 12, ch. 84-258; s. 8, ch. 85-224; s. 10, ch. 86-187; s. 2, ch. 86-286; ss. 2, 5, 6, ch. 87-186; s. 2, ch. 88-51; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 5, ch. 92-131; s. 12, ch. 93-252; s. 1, ch. 94-252; s. 3, ch. 95-408; s. 445, ch. 96-406; s. 319, ch. 96-410; s. 1850, ch. 97-102; s. 4, ch. 2003-278; s. 2, ch. 2004-289; s. 6, ch. 2010-62.