Gov. Scott announces new counterterrorism plan for Florida

Tampa Bay Area to get new domestic security squad
Posted at 6:55 PM, Jan 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-05 18:55:36-05

Governor Rick Scott announced Thursday a new plan to fight terrorism right here in Florida.

The $6.3 million plan would place 8 counter-terrorism squads across the state, including 1 in the Tampa Bay Area, and 2 in Miami.

Each squad will have 7 agents, including an intelligence specialist.

"Our federal partners do a great job but they have limited resources like the rest of us," explains Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Commissioner Rick Swearigen. "And you've heard [FBI] Director [James] Comey say he doesn't have the resources to fight this on his own."

The plan, part of Governor Scott's annual budget plan, will be proposed to the state legislature when it convenes in Tallahassee in March. It calls for 46 new jobs; some of the new domestic security squads will also add existing agents from other squads, an FDLE spokesperson tells ABC Action News.

Governor Scott tells ABC Action News the state can afford to hire new agents because the state revenues are growing, and he cited the attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando last year as the best reason why dedicated counter-terrorism squads are needed in Florida.