Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $137,895)
The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (AWA) (42 U.S.C. § 16909, et seq.; Pub. L. 113-235, 128 Stat. 2130, 2193) authorizes the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) to administer sex offender management grants. These grants assist states, the District of Columbia, U.S. principal territories and tribal jurisdictions in developing and/or enhancing sex offender registration and notification programs that support substantial implementation of Title I of the AWA, known as the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). SORNA was enacted to protect the public from convicted sex offenders and offenders against children by establishing a comprehensive national system for the registration of those offenders.
As part of its responsibility to Florida's criminal justice community, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Enforcement and Investigative Services, Database Management and Offender Registry unit houses and maintains the state's sexual predator/offender database. This unit, staffed with six analysts, helps to monitor and track approximately 12,000 registered predators and 58,000 registered offenders. Now more than 10 years old, the database runs on an unsupported platform incapable of interfacing with the spectrum of operating systems and mobile applications in use by law enforcement agencies who have the responsibility to monitor sexual predators/offenders in their jurisdictions. The database must be flexible enough to accommodate frequent change in sexual predator/offender requirements, and staff must remain current on Florida and national laws regarding registration issues.
FDLE has funds to rebuild the database, but will use the SMART FY 2017 AWA grant funds to support the design and planning phase of the project. The project will also require FDLE to build a technology test environment, purchasing a variety of mobile devices and operating systems for testing new programming to ensure the new system will properly interface with all users when it is released. FY 2017 AWA funds will also be used to provide updated training and reference materials to Florida's local law enforcement users, and to maintain the knowledge and skills of FDLE's Registry staff that serves them.
FDLE will host four steering committee meetings over the next two years to help refine system requirements and business rules. Equipment will be purchased to establish a robust test environment for system development. FDLE will host two annual user training symposiums and publish updated reference materials to ensure Florida's law enforcement users have current, accurate, and accessible information related to sexual predator/offender registration requirements. Additionally, the Agency will send Registry staff to two annual national conferences to ensure staff remains knowledgeable of national laws and registry changes. Lastly, FDLE will provide equipment to Registry staff to improve efficiency when traveling off site for court testimony or conferences.