FDLE cites Pulse in request for new counter-terror agents

- Gov. Rick Scott and the head of the Florida Division of Law Enforcement will ask the state legislature for $5.8 million to beef up Florida's counter-terrorism efforts.

"As the threats to our nation increase, FDLE is ready to move to the next level," said FDLE commissioner Rick Swearingen.

They hope to hire 46 special agents, spread them across seven field offices, and have them follow leads and coordinate with federal agents already on the ground.

"We do have resources currently, however we don't have enough," said Swearingen. "I typically have to pull resources now, from some other, whether they are working an economic crime, or drugs or whatever, I typically have to pull folks away from another investigative missionS."

It wasn't specifically mentioned at Wednesday's press conference, but Omar Mateen had been twice investigated by the FBI, and deemed not a threat. The hope is more boots will allow for more thorough investigations.

"If we are going to allocate this large amount of money in our budget, which I am supportive of the concept, we need to make sure it adds to the safety of Floridians and not just duplicates efforts of other agencies," said Rep. Dana Young (R-Tampa).

A map from the US House Homeland Security Committee shows 13 homegrown Jihadist cases in Florida since 9/11.

That includes Pulse, and one in Tampa in 2012, when the FBI foiled potential suicide bomber Sami Osmakac.

"We have no idea the level of terrorist threat we face today, or the level of terrorist threat we will face through 2017," said Young. "How do you put a dollar sign on that? How do you put a dollar sign on safety?"

The top Democrat in the state house, Janet Cruz of Tampa, says she backs the funding request.

However, she also told FOX 13 News in a statement that gun laws should be reformed to keep weapons from falling into the hands of dangerous criminals and those suffering from mental illness.

Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the governor will be at the FDLE region headquarters in Tampa to further lay out his plan.

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