Major Crimes

The Major Crimes Unit contains a number of units responsible for follow-up investigation of the various types of crimes committed in Pasco County. These units process crime scenes, collect evidence, serve victims, recover stolen property, seize criminal assets and arrest law violators. There are a total of three sergeants, 22 detectives and three secretaries. The unit is divided into three squads.

On call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and investigates homicides and 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 Unit is also responsible for various secondary assignments, such as the Missing/Abducted Child (MAC) Team.

Major Crimes Detective

In July 2004, the Major Crimes Unit was awarded the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence STOP Violence Against Women grant. This grant has been renewed every year since  partially funds a detective to address the needs of the underserved Pasco County citizens who are victims of domestic-related crimes.

Several members of the Major Crimes squads are also members of the Tampa Bay Child Abduction Response Team (CART), which is coordinated through FDLE. This task force assists local agencies with child abduction investigations, such as the Jessica Lundsford and the Sara Lunde cases.

Missing and Abducted ChildThe Major Crimes Unit often works with other agencies including the FBI, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, State Fire Investigators, U.S. Marshals, Child Protection Investigators and the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner’s Office.

The Victim Advocate Unit consists of a Lead Victim Advocate and  three 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.

Economic CrimesThe Economic Crimes Unit is comprised of a sergeant,  8 detectives, a civilian investigator, and a secretary. This investigative unit was tasked with the investigation of 1,643 cases during 2015, resulting in 146 arrests. The Economic Crimes Unit handles investigations countywide.

The Economic Crimes Unit investigates complex, organized frauds. Some of these crimes include identity theft, forgery, exploitation of the elderly, schemes to defraud, counterfeiting, and money laundering.

Due to the complexity of these investigations and jurisdictional issues, investigators work very closely with other agencies including the Secret Service, FBI, U.S. Postal Inspectors, the Florida Attorney General’s Office and the FDLE. The Sergeant and three Economic Crimes detectives are members of a Task Force with the the U.S. Secret Service and  one detective is a member of a task force with the Department of Homeland Security.  There are also two detectives who specialize in the investigation of construction fraud and unlicensed contractors.

For valuable information, please visit the following sites:

Special Victims

 

The Special Victims Unit is composed of a sergeant, eight detectives, a community services specialist, and a clerk.  This unit investigates crimes and provides services within three separate specialized areas or sub units to include Cyber Crimes, Missing Persons, and Sex Offender.

The Cyber Crimes component consists of three detectives and investigates child pornography and the sexual exploitation of children through electronic means.   Cyber Crimes Detectives also provide support in the recovery of digital evidence for other investigative units.  The Detectives are also members of the Central Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the FBI, and FDLE task forces for the investigations of exploitation of children.

The Missing Persons component consists of two detectives, a community services specialist, and a clerk.  The two detectives investigate cases involving missing children, runaways, missing endangered adults, and child custody/parental kidnapping.  The clerk provides administrative support for the detectives.  The community service specialist coordinates a proactive program that allows electronic tracking of lost special needs adults and children through the use of small transmitters. The Pasco Sheriff’s Office is equipped with receivers to track the transmitters, which are usually worn on the wrist like a watch.

The Sex Offender component has the responsibility of monitoring over 700 sexual offenders, predators and career offenders that reside in Pasco County. The unit conducts address verification’s at the home of each sexual offender/predator at least four times per year and each career offender once per year. Sexual offenders and predators are required to register either two or four times per year based on their offense which  provides contact with the Sheriff’s Office at least six to eight times every year. Any violations or complaints received by the sheriff’s office are investigated by the unit and we also work to educate the public on sexual offenders by hosting community presentations and law enforcement training. The unit also handles Convicted Felon Registrations and any criminal investigations regarding registration.

We have provided several links to assist you in understanding the sexual offender and predator laws and responsibilities. We also have several agency links listed to aide you in determining if you have a sexual offender or predator residing in your neighborhood. Some of these links also provide you with the ability to register and receive e-mail alerts for your neighborhood or a specific offender or predators that you choose to monitor. We hope the information we have provided is both useful and informative.

Should you have any concerns about a sexual offender or predator’s compliance with the law you can e-mail the Sex Offender Unit at this address sexoffender@pascosheriff.org or call us during business hours at 813-235-6170.

The Forensic Services Section(FSS) is a uniformed component of the Criminal Investigations Division. It is comprised of 17 members, all serving countywide from their office located in Land O’Lakes. The section has 2 forensic supervisors, 11 forensic investigators, two latent fingerprint examiners, one Section Chief and a secretary.

The duties and responsibilities of the members of the FSS are varied. By far, the most important duty performed by the FSS is 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 identification and 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. Advances in technology and science help us solve more crimes every day and the importance of forensic investigators continues to grow. In recent years, calls for service by the Forensic Services Section have increased dramatically.

The Intelligence-Led Policing Section is one of the newest sections at the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, and has already proven to be highly effective.  Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco set up the Intelligence-Led Policing (ILP) initiative on 14 June, 2011, in order to advance crime fighting within the agency to a modern-day philosophy.  The application of criminal intelligence analysis as an objective decision-making tool is to facilitate crime reduction and prevention through effective policing strategies and external partnerships.

The section is made up of a manager, a Senior Criminal Intelligence Analyst, a Senior Strategic Analyst, five Criminal Intelligence Analysts, two Crime Analysts, a Mid-level Strategic Analyst, and an Administrative Crime Support Specialist.

The mission of the Pasco Sheriff’s Office Intelligence-led Policing Section is to help prevent and reduce crime by working collaboratively with agency members and the public to effectively analyze and disseminate information gathered from a multitude of sources as a means of providing quality intelligence products to the agency, the greater law enforcement community, and the public.

ILP has been developed as a “one-stop shop” for all intelligence needs for our agency and also for other public safety agencies in Pasco County. This incorporates input from organizations that are non-traditional “collectors” of crime information such as fire-rescue, emergency services, public health, private health care, utilities, transportation, schools and hospitals.

ILP focuses on the “who, what, where, when, why, and how” crimes are committed.  The intelligence ILP collects can also be used to assist neighboring law enforcement agencies.  The analysts are also able to collaborate and exchange intelligence data with analysts from different agencies.  As intelligence increases through collaboration more accurate and robust intelligence continues to be disseminated. Raw intelligence that is collected is transformed into finished intelligence analysis and products. This analysis connects the data through the linking of incidents, activities, or behaviors. The goal of ILP’s analysis and intelligence products is to provide the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office Command Staff with the most current intelligence to identify potential or future threats, respond to relevant threats, understand potential issues, and plan for proactive action.

ILP is a data warehouse responsible for housing a variety of data sets used to develop potential leads, to include: prolific offenders, Florida Department of Corrections and Department of Juvenile Justice supervised population, active gang members, and juveniles registered at Pasco County public schools.

Another key aspect the ILP section is directly responsible for maintaining the tips from our local citizens.  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.

Special Investigations

The Vice & Narcotics Section is tasked with initiating and conducting covert investigations of crimes related to drugs, gangs, racketeering, terrorism, prostitution and gambling. Detectives assigned to the Vice & Narcotics Section also specialize in pharmaceutical diversion cases, synthetic drug trends, work with federal (DEA) and local agency task forces, maintain sophisticated electronic equipment, gather intelligence regarding criminal activities, and provide information to agency members and the public.

In 2014, the unit initiated 1793 cases resulting in the arrest of 1311 subjects compared to 1863 cases initiated and 796 subjects arrested in 2013. The unit dismantled 34 clandestine labs, most of which were methamphetamine labs. The unit also seized 3755 prescription pills as well as 32,563 grams (71 lbs) of methamphetamine and ice. The unit continues to see an increase in the number synthetic drug investigations.  Staying on top of the newest drug trends remains a top priority of the Vice and Narcotics unit.

In late 2014, PSO V/N was awarded a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) designation.  HIDTA has already made its presence felt in 2015 by dismantling the Shawn Hendricks drug trafficking organization.  Over 20 pounds of ice methamphetamine was seized from Hendricks and his 2 sources of supply from north Florida.  Three subjects have been federally indicted with more indictments pending.  The Hendricks DTO had been responsible for supplying the streets with approximately 10 pounds of ice methamphetamine per week for at least the past year.

Juvenile Investigations

Pasco Sheriff’s Office, Child Protective Investigations Division The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is one of six sheriffs’ offices in the State of Florida which 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 of alleged abuse are made by concerned community professionals, such as teaches, 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 is 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 is chartered by the Boy Scouts of America and 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.

Safety Town is a realistic, child-sized town designed to provide a complete hands-on safety education for children. The town has paved streets, working traffic signals, miniature buildings, and even a railroad crossing, all designed to be as authentic as possible to provide the most exciting, most effective safety training for children available anywhere.

School Crossing Guards (SCGs) and Traffic Control Officers (TCOs) are part-time, civilian members of the Sheriff’s Office, under the supervision of the School Resource Unit. 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 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 assigned to the position and has numerous, specialized duties and responsibilities in addition to all other Sheriff’s Office tasks necessary in the performance of their duties. The primary purpose of the Officer Friendly Program is to unite residents of the targeted population areas, 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.