Intelligence-Led Policing

The Intelligence-Led Policing Section was established on June 14, 2011, to advance the agency’s crime fighting initiatives to a modern-day philosophy. The Intelligence-led Policing Section (ILP) informs critical decisions across all components of the Pasco Sheriff’s Office through the cultivation and dissemination of strategic, operational, and tactical intelligence. Analysts provide actionable intelligence aimed at crime and harm reduction, disruption, and prevention. The Intelligence-led Policing Section consists of 30 members, including a director, manager, and two analysts’ supervisors, and 20 analyst in varying levels and roles.

Two strategic analysts (a mid-level strategic analyst and a senior strategic analyst) develop products that offer insight and understanding to help inform big-picture decisions pertaining to policy formation, planning, resource allocation, manpower deployment, and the agency’s overall crime fighting efforts. The strategic analysts define and identify prolific offenders and form the district STAR boxes. The strategic analysts also conduct long-term analysis and assessments such as population projections, staffing studies, deployment studies, and zone boundary studies.

The district analysts are responsible for having a broader understanding of crime problems facing the district. The Crime Analyst in each district is tasked with reviewing incident reports, field contacts, tips, and other sources of information and data with a targeted focus on the Big 4 and select violent crimes. The overarching goal of the crime analysts is to accurately interpret the criminal environment and determine what crime problems their respective district is truly facing. The criminal intelligence analysts in each district are focused on identifying why the problem exists and providing actionable intelligence to influence members to reduce crime, disrupt criminal networks, and prevent future crimes from occurring. The District analysts work periodically from the District offices to increase the effective and efficient flow of information with an effort to fill intelligence gaps and work more closely with District Commanders to influence decisions on resource allocation and deployment.

A criminal intelligence analyst assigned to Organized Crime focuses on organized crime groups operating within and from Pasco County. This position is tasked with coordinating intelligence involving gangs and organized theft, fraud, and drug rings. These types of groups operate without borders, so it is imperative to have an analyst who can liaison with other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to ensure we are connecting the dots between the various jurisdictions. The organized crime analyst will routinely share intelligence with the district analysts so our members are informed of crime groups and their related activity as well as trends that other law enforcement agencies are seeing that have the potential to impact Pasco County.

A criminal intelligence analyst is assigned to Juvenile Offenders and Child Protective Investigations (CPI). This analyst works closely with the child protective investigators to assist with focusing investigations and ensuring our limited resources are best spent working with families to prevent children from falling into a life of crime or becoming dependent on social services. This analyst is also responsible for coordination with the school resource officers and CPI detectives in an attempt to identify trends in child victimization and juvenile crime with a focus on preventing future incidents.

A crime analyst is assigned to the Court Services Bureau. The court services analyst is instrumental in continuing the collection of intelligence once our prolific and other targeted offenders enter the detention center. Capitalizing on these information sources can better inform investigations and our tactics across the agency. The court services analyst works closely with commanders in the jail to inform them of trends or potential problems that may impact the detention facility.

Lastly, the Real-Time Crime Center (RTCC) consists of ten crime analysts and a RTCC Analyst Supervisor. The RTCC allows analysts to leverage and aggregate multiple data sources to improve situational awareness, enhance officer safety, and better inform decision making on calls for service in real-time. Analysts evaluate calls for known threats or other indicators known to law enforcement that may indicate a perceived threat and have an impact on officer safety. Moreover, this real-time awareness will provide analysts and deputies with a shared understanding of the crime environment, reduce time spent on investigations, and help to resolve cases in real-time by developing and providing suspect information and location data.

Another key responsibility of the ILP section is maintaining tips received from citizens about crime and those responsible for its commission. Citizen derived tips greatly assist the Sheriff’s Office by providing leads to cases in an anonymous forum. If you have a tip, we encourage you to call our tip line at 800-706-2488 or submit it online.

Special Investigation

The Special Investigations Division is composed of four specialized units; Vice & Narcotics, Economic Crimes, Cyber Investigations and Warrants.

The Pasco Sheriff’s Office Vice and Narcotics Unit consists of three detective squads with highly specialized training. Narcotics members are engaged in covert and overt investigations utilizing a variety of advanced investigative strategies to further the principles of Intelligence Led Policing. Narcotics members develop intelligence through a variety of sources to further investigative priorities, with a heightened focus on drug trafficking organizations, violent prolific offenders and high crime areas. Specifically, members are involved in investigating the illegal drug trade, morals violations, vice operations, and other criminal activity.

Because there is a clear nexus between illicit drugs and other serious criminal activity, detectives also utilize covert narcotics tactics to target prolific offenders who are responsible for committing a significant amount of crime in our county. In addition, the Narcotics squads facilitate regular prostitution and reverse prostitution stings, gambling operations, and participate in Human Trafficking screening. Our narcotics squads also partner with substance abuse providers to implement the CARE program, which coordinates efforts to engage addicts with substance abuse professionals at the earliest possible stage during encounters with law enforcement.

The Narcotics Unit handles a wide variety of illegal drug activity from the street level dealer to large scale drug trafficking organizations and works closely with surrounding local, state, and federal agencies. Narcotics Detectives participate in the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force (aka HIDTA), Homeland Security Task Force, and multiple DEA Task Forces focused on poly drug, money laundering and RICO investigations, with the intent of dismantling criminal groups by any legal means available.

The Vice and Narcotics Unit also works as a support group for other investigative entities, both within and outside the Sheriff’s Office. This includes assisting with mobile surveillance, stakeouts and other covert specialized operations. Over the years, the Vice and Narcotics Unit has seen the drug trends evolve from large scale outdoor marijuana grows, to powder and crack cocaine, to designer drugs, to indoor marijuana grows, to meth labs, to pill mills, to bath salts and now to the growing opioid epidemic. While these are the most prominent drug trends seen in this area, there are numerous and varied types of illegal drugs that are regularly investigated within Pasco County.

Every year the Vice and Narcotics Unit investigates hundreds of cases that lead to seizures of assets and contraband worth millions of dollars, to include various illegal drugs, cash, and other assets.

The Economic Crimes Unit is tasked with the investigation of fraud-related crimes such as forgery, counterfeiting, computer crimes, Internet crimes, exploitation of the elderly, identity theft, unlicensed contracting, and scheme to defraud. These offenses are rising in number and complexity, often causing the loss of thousands of dollars to victims. The sheer volume and extent of these investigations require the assistance and cooperation of other agencies such as the State Attorney General, Secret Service, U.S. Postal Inspector, FBI, ATF, and the State Fire Marshal. The detectives in this unit are often assigned special investigations on an “as-needed” basis. In addition, Economic Crimes Detectives assist Vice and Narcotics members in investigating financial crimes related to the illicit drug trade (i.e. money laundering, structuring, etc…).

The Pasco Sheriff’s Office significantly increased our capabilities as it relates to digital forensics and Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) investigations.

In 2017, the Pasco Sheriff’s Office initiated a reorganization which significantly increased the footprint of our Cyber Crimes Unit. The unit was moved from the Major Crimes Division and placed under the Special Investigations Division (SID), working alongside Vice & Narcotics.

The unit, now called Cyber Investigations, continues to perform Forensic/Digital investigations, as well as Child Exploitation investigations. As part of the reorganization, two detectives and a dedicated Cyber Investigations Sergeant position was created. In addition, all five Cyber detectives were provided with clearly defined roles; three detectives are dedicated to Forensic/Digital investigations and two detectives are focused on Child Exploitation investigations.

With the increase in personnel, it was necessary to increase the work space for the Cyber Investigations detectives. As such, a remodel was planned and executed in late 2017/early 2018 to accommodate the Unit’s growing needs. This expansion adequately accommodates the increase in manpower and improves the unit’s capabilities. In addition, we have made equipment and software upgrades, to include purchasing the tools necessary to make the unit a progressive and state of the art investigative facility. Since the re-organization, we have already begun to provide support to the United States Secret Service and several law enforcement agencies in the Tampa Bay area.

The Cyber Investigations Unit will continue to pursue the highest level of digital forensic and ICAC capabilities to protect our children and enhance our investigative efforts in a world that has fully embraced the digital age.

The Fugitive Warrants Unit consists of one Sergeant and four Detectives. These members implement the principles of ILP by identifying, locating and arresting high priority offenders who have an active warrant, or where probable cause has been established for an arrest. Prioritized focus includes, but is not limited to offenders related to BIG 4 crime and violent crimes. Unit members regularly utilize surveillance and intelligence gathering techniques to maximize their effectiveness. Fugitive Warrants members are also involved in the extradition of wanted persons from inside and outside the state of Florida.


Major Crimes

The Major Crimes consists of several squads responsible for the follow-up investigation of the various types of crimes committed in Pasco County. The members are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and investigate homicides, other deaths, attempted homicides, aggravated batteries, sexual batteries, domestic violence, robberies, arson (involving injuries to persons), violent crimes against the elderly and crimes against children (both physical and sexual).

The division is also responsible for various secondary assignments, such as the Missing/Abducted Child (MAC) Team. In November 2014, the MAC Team became one of the few stand-alone teams in the United States to earn a national certification in the response and investigation of missing and abducted children. Several members of Major Crimes are also members of the Tampa Bay Child Abduction Response Team (CART), which is coordinated through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). This task force assists local agencies with child abduction investigations, such as the Jessica Lundsford and Sara Lunde cases. In Spring of 2018, the PSO MAC team trained with the FBI in a mock abduction exercise to continue team improvement and effectiveness.

In July of 2016, Major Crimes was awarded a grant from Florida Coalition against Domestic Violence. The Intimate Violence Enhanced Services Team (InVEST grant) includes a detective and domestic violence shelter advocate who work together to identify victims of domestic and dating violence at high risk for homicide. The team offers enhanced services to survivors of intimate partner violence and monitors offenders. Domestic Violence

The Major Crimes squads also work with other agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, State Fire Investigators, U.S. Marshalls, and the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office and Medical Examiner’s Office.

Victim Advocate Unit

The Victim Advocate Unit is comprised of a supervisor and four advocates. Victim advocates are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, responding to victims of crisis and violent crimes. Victim advocates provide support services throughout every stage of the criminal justice process including accompanying victims to trial. The victim advocates assess the needs of victims and their families to ensure they receive the proper help from other social service agencies.

Forensics Section

The Forensic Services Section (FSS) is a uniformed component of the Major Crimes Division. It is comprised of 19 members, all serving countywide from their office located in Land O’ Lakes. The section has one secretary, 12 forensic investigators, two latent print examiners, two forensic supervisors, one assistant forensics chief and a forensics chief. The duties and responsibilities of the members of the FSS varies. By far, the most important duties performed by the members are crime scene documentation and evidence collection. Each forensic investigator must be skilled in the use of digital and video photography, crime scene assessment, evidence recognition and proper collection procedures, latent fingerprint lifting techniques, the casting of tire and footprint impressions, sketching and measurements of interior and exterior scenes, blood stain assessments and collection, the use of alternate light sources and chemical developers and a host of other skills needed to process a crime scene. The Latent print examiners aid in Automated Fingerprint Identification System entries and conduct comparisons to also aid in fingerprint identifications. The Forensic investigators and latent print examiners are required to achieve and maintain their certification through the International Association for Identification (IAI). Volunteers are an integral part of the Forensic Services Section and receive extensive training allowing them to assist on calls throughout the county. Advances in science and technology help us solve more crimes every day and the importance of forensics continues to grow. In recent years, calls for service by the Forensic Services Section have increased significantly.

Property Evidence Section

The Property Evidence Section consists of uniformed members that take in evidence for the entire county. Located at the Forensic Services Section building in Land O Lakes, the section is comprised of seven property and evidence specialists, one supervisor and several volunteers. This section falls under Forensic Services and is led by the assistant forensic chief and the forensic chief. It is imperative that the evidence collected daily is packaged appropriately for safekeeping. Maintaining the chain of custody is essential for the integrity of the evidence as it gets prepared for cases and presented in the courtroom. The items that are retrieved in each case that are worked by a deputy, detective and/or a forensic investigator assists with putting those unknown pieces in a case together. The members in this section work diligently to ensure each item is properly inventoried in the warehouse and housed properly under the Florida Statutes, standards and best practices. Each specialist is required to achieve and maintain their certification through the International Association for Property and Evidence (IAPE) and the Property and Evidence Association of Florida (PEAF). By doing so, it provides us with the education and training needed for all aspects of proper handling and storage of all types of evidence.

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Child Protective Investigation Section

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is one of six sheriffs’ offices in the State of Florida that investigates reports of child abuse, abandonment and/or neglect. All reports investigated by Child Protective Investigators are first reported to the Florida Abuse Hotline. The statewide hotline, located in Tallahassee, receives reports of alleged abuse, abandonment and/or neglect and routes the calls to the county where the child(ren) are located at the time the report is made. The State’s decision to contract protective investigations with the Pasco Sheriff’s Office allows for the utilization of expertise and experience of the sheriff’s office in an effort to produce the best outcomes for children and families in our communities.

More than 7000 reports are made by concerned community professionals, such as teachers, counselors, therapists, judges, law enforcement, daycare providers and medical professionals each year.

When a report is received, state law requires the Pasco Sheriff’s Office, Child Protective Investigations Division to investigate each report within the county. The purpose of the investigation is to make sure that any child in the home is not experiencing abuse or neglect. Investigations include children between birth and eighteen years of age.

What is the goal of Florida’s Child Protection System?

The goal of Florida’s Child Protection System is to ensure all children are living in homes that are safe from abuse or neglect.

What are the possible results of the investigation?

Some investigations will reveal that there is no indication of child abuse or neglect. In these cases, the investigators will close the case upon completion of the investigation. Some situations require a safety plan or referrals that aim to change the circumstances that endanger the safety and well-being of the child(ren) in the home. Referrals may include community resources such as in-home counseling or therapy, helping victims of domestic violence obtain a protective order against the alleged abuser, linking family to a shelter if the family’s housing is inadequate or in a case of domestic violence. Child Protective Investigators may also refer a family to child care services and governmental programs available in the area. If voluntary services do not alleviate the level of threatened harm to the child(ren) involved in the investigation and efforts are insufficient to safeguard the children, court ordered services may be considered. At times, the child(ren) may remain in their home while court ordered services are in place. If services do not alleviate the presence of imminent danger to the child(ren) then removal may be explored by the Child Protective Investigator, the investigator’s supervisor and the State Attorney. If a child is removed from the home, the CPI and State Attorney presents its case to a dependency judge within 24 hours of removal from the child(ren)’s parents/guardians.

What if someone makes a false report?

There are times when people make false reports to the Florida Abuse Hotline. If the investigator suspects a false report was made, law enforcement will be notified to investigate whether or not the person knowingly and willfully made a false report of child abuse, abandonment or neglect.

Youth Services Section

School Resource Unit: School Resource Officers provide law enforcement education and law-related counseling services to elementary, middle, high and alternative schools in the county. They seek to educate students about the consequences of crime and the benefits of being a law-abiding, responsible citizen. They also seek to develop a rapport with students and parents to make them more supportive of law enforcement in general. The School Resource Unit includes several specialty programs as outlined below.

Pasco Sheriff’s Explorer Post #916: The Explorer Post #916 is chartered by the Boy Scouts of America and is sponsored by the Pasco Sheriff’s Office. Explorers are young adults, ages 14-21, interested in law enforcement as a career. Explorers receive hundreds of hours of classroom and scenario-based training on all aspects of modern law enforcement. They volunteer service in various areas of the Sheriff’s Office, shadow deputies and other members, and provide assistance at many community and agency events. Former Explorers have become some of this agency’s most-effective deputies. The Explorer program is lead by a Senior Advisor but depends upon the help and support of many agency members.

School Crossing Guards (SCGS) and Traffic Control Officers (TCOs): SCGs and TCOs are part-time, civilian members, of the Sheriff’s Office. The SCGs help ensure the safe movement of pedestrians to and from schools at designated locations; TCOs assist by controlling vehicular traffic around some of the more congested school campuses. SCGs and TCOs receive classroom and field training for school crossing procedures, traffic control, first aid, and human diversity.

Officer Friendly Program: The Officer Friendly Program is a nationally recognized, successful strategy, in which a uniformed deputy from the local law enforcement agency is assigned the responsibility of community relations and youth work, in line with the Community Policing philosophy. Officer Friendly is a sworn deputy whose job is to unite residents of designated areas within the county, especially children, with law enforcement and members of the Sheriff’s Office. The confusion created when police officers are portrayed as friends one day and adversaries the next will be minimized by this program.

Youth Diversion: The goal of the Pasco Sheriff’s Office Youth Diversion Program is to support and empower parents by providing positive alternatives to the formal court process and to prevent at-risk youth from entering the juvenile delinquency court system while ensuring that effective consequences deter further criminal behavior.