The State of Florida Legislature has included a $25 million drone replacement grant program into the FY 2023-24 state budget. The implementing budget language and amount was mutually agreed by the Governor’s office and State House leadership.
The budget was approved on April 4, 2023, and will be signed into law by the Governor by the end of the month.
Quick Summary of the Florida Grant Program
- The Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) will be in charge of the grant program
- We expect FDLE to release further guidance and a grant application in June or July
- The $25 million in non-recurring funds, which expires on July 1, 2024.
- The funds will be allocated on a first come-first serve basis via FDLE.
- Agencies are required to turn in their non-compliant drones to receive grant funding.
The BRINC LEMUR 2 drone meets the most stringent (Tier 3) security requirements under the recent Florida Unmanned Aerial System Security Requirements signed into law. The LEMUR 2 has a robust, AES-256 encrypted connection between the drone and paired remote controller. This secures all drone commands, visual and map data.
Our optional BRINC LiveOps Web App is built securely on AWS GovCloud. A connection is sent over a 4G connection, with the data transmitted encrypted end-to-end.
With an integrated 4K visual camera, FLIR Lepton sensor and 180° gimbal, the LEMUR 2 is the ideal, compliant drone for close proximity operations.
For Fiscal Year 2022-2023, $25,000,000 in non-recurring funds from the General Revenue Fund is appropriated to the Department of Law Enforcement for the drone replacement grant program. The unexpended balance of funds as of June 30, 2023, shall revert and is appropriated for Fiscal Year 2023-2024 for the same purpose. This section is effective upon becoming a law.
Implementing Bill Language
Effective upon this act becoming a law, paragraph (f) is added to subsection (7) of section 934.50, Florida Statutes, to read:
934.50 Searches and seizure using a drone.—
(7) SECURITY STANDARDS FOR GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY DRONE USE.—
(f) Notwithstanding this subsection:
- Subject to appropriation, the drone replacement grant program is created within the Department of Law Enforcement. The program shall provide funds to law enforcement agencies that turn in drones that are not in compliance with this section. To be eligible, the drone must have not reached its end-of-life and still be in working condition. Funds shall be provided per drone based upon the drone’s current value. Grant funds may only be used to purchase drones that are in compliance with this section. The Department of Law Enforcement shall expeditiously develop an application process and funds shall be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, determined by the date the department receives the application. The department may adopt rules to implement this program. For the purposes of this paragraph the term “law enforcement agency” is as defined in s. 934.50.
- The Department of Law Enforcement shall provide drones received through the drone grant replacement program to the Florida Center for Cybersecurity within the University of South Florida. The Florida Center for Cybersecurity shall analyze whether the drones present cybersecurity concerns and shall provide its findings or recommendations to the Department of Management Services regarding the drone’s safety or security.
- The Department of Law Enforcement is authorized, and all conditions are deemed met, to adopt emergency rules under s. 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, for the purpose of implementing the drone replacement grant program. Notwithstanding any other law, emergency rules adopted under this section are effective for 12 months after adoption and may be renewed during the pendency of procedures to adopt permanent rules addressing the subject of
- This paragraph expires July 1, 2024.
BRINC can help your agency navigate the recent security requirements and secure grant funding, contact us to have a BRINC representative reach out.