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, has been signed into law by the Governor. Below you can find actions your agency can take to secure funds under this bill in addition to more background. Take note that the funds are being distributed on a first come, first served basis.
How to Leverage the Funds for your Agency:
- Sign a Drone Program Funding Assistance Agreement, and email that to OCJGSFA@fdle.state.fl.us
- Prepare and execute the Appendix B – Drone Certification Form with required attachments and email a copy to OCJGSFA@fdle.state.fl.us to earmark your funding.
- Deliver the relinquished drone(s) to either Tallahassee or Tampa. The completed and signed Appendix B – Drone Certification form, along with any manufacturer operational manuals, must accompany the relinquished drones when turning them over to FDLE.
- Prepare and execute either the Reimbursement Request Form (Option 1) or the Cash Advance Request Form (Option 2). Send the completed form with required documentation to OCJGSFA@fdle.state.fl.us.
These guidelines are taken directly from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement website, you can visit their site directly here. They also provided a FAQs document with additional contact information.
It is important to note that this funding assistance program not only covers the airframe, but can also be used to replace accessories for non-compliant drones to accessories for compliant drones (such as the LEMUR 2). Additionally the funding can be provided as a cash advance to qualifying agencies, allowing agencies without the budget authority or funding to procure compliant drones.
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.
BRINC can help your agency navigate the recent security requirements and secure grant funding, contact us to have a BRINC representative reach out.