The Special Operations Division there are two primary components: the Special Operations Section, and Training Section. Training is overseen by a Director.
Canine/Highway Interdiction Unit
The Canine Unit (K-9) The Patrol K-9 units are assigned to the Special Operations Division which consists of two Sergeants, two Patrol K9 Corporals, and 16 Deputy K-9 handlers and a Corporal who serves as the units full-time trainer. Patrol K-9 teams primary function is to assist patrol deputies with calls for service and K-9 related calls for service such as tracking wanted or missing subjects, criminal apprehension, building and area searches. Several of the K-9 teams are cross trained to locate narcotics or explosives. The Sheriff’s Office also has a cross trained patrol and narcotic K-9 and detective handler assigned to the vice and narcotics division to assist with narcotic related investigations. The School Resource Section also has a SRO Corporal and single purpose narcotic detection team assigned to assist with narcotic searches at all of the Pasco County School District locations. The Canine Unit also oversees two Highway Interdiction Teams (HIT) composed of one narcotics certified K9 and handler paired with a Traffic Enforcement Specialist. The Pasco Sheriff’s Office K9 Association began in 2015 to allow citizens to fully engage with our K9 Teams. For more information the Pasco Sheriff K9 Unit click here.
Aviation Unit The aviation unit provide air support for the Sheriff’s Office members both pro actively and re actively. The Air unit has a Chief Pilot and 5 deputy pilots the six pilots make up three flight crews and provide air service countywide. The flight teams assist in search for criminal subjects and search and rescue missions. They also conduct flight patrols over the county to detect and deter criminal activity. The Aviation Unit also employs a full time mechanic to reduce maintenance costs and maintain each aircraft in a “mission ready” status. The current fleet is composed of 4 OH-58 aircraft which provide round the clock aviation coverage as needed.
The Selective Traffic Enforcement Program Unit (STEP) conducts nighttime traffic enforcement with an emphasis on locating and apprehending impaired drivers. Members of the unit all receive advanced training in the detection and investigation of alcohol/drug related impaired drivers. Several members of the unit have completed the training to become Drug Recognition Experts (DRE). This unit is responsible for all aspects of traffic enforcement to include special patrols in problem areas. They regularly participate in dignitary escorts, special events, parades and training. The unit conducts regular saturation patrols and DUI checkpoints in the effort to locate impaired drivers.
The Pasco Unified SWAT team is a cooperative effort composed of members of the Sheriff’s Office Field Operations, Criminal Investigation, and Court Services Bureaus along with members of the New Port Richey Police Department, Zephyrhills Fire Rescue, and Pasco Fire Rescue. The Unified SWAT team responds to instances of barricaded subjects and hostage situations on an as needed basis. The Unified SWAT team also serves high risk search warrants and performs dignitary protection functions. The Unified SWAT team is divided into two independent teams that are on call for one month at a time although both teams can be activated if needed.
Environmental Crimes Unit (ECU) is led by a Sergeant and five Detectives whom investigate and patrol the counties waterways and agricultural community. The Agricultural Unit (AG) has three detectives with specialized training assigned to patrol the agricultural and farming communities in Pasco County. The AG unit also investigates crimes against animal complaints ranging from theft to the abuse of live stock countywide.
The Marine unit has 2 detectives assigned whom have specialized training in boat operations. They patrol the counties waterways enforcing Florida boating laws and responding to calls for service on the waterways. The Marine unit also participates in search and rescue missions and criminal investigations on the waterways and waterfront communities.
AG and Marine units also work jointly with Local, State, and Federal Agencies enforcing violations of state and federal law to protect our community.
Auxiliary Motor Unit
The Auxilary Motor Unit provides motorcycle support for special events such as parades, dignitary protection, and officer funerals. Members of the Auxilary Motor Unit are trained to state standards and maintain their proficiencies through regular training, but hold full-time positions within other units of the Pasco Sheriff’s Office.
The Training Section is overseen by a Director and two Sergeants. The Training Section ensures that all members receive the required training to maintain their certifications through a continuous inservice training cycle. Members of the Training Section are also responsible for coordinating and teaching the 8 week New Member Orientation course that all certified members must complete before being allowed to continue on to the Field Training Program. In addition to basic recurrent training, training section members also facilitate advanced training and continuing education by coordinating advanced specialized training and managing the Pasco Sheriff’s Office’s Tuition Reimbursement Program. The training staff is composed of sworn and civilian members selected for their subject matter expertise and ability to instruct. Civilian members, referred to as Training Analysts, have extensive law enforcement or military special operations experience and provide in house expertise on topics such as Small Unit Tactics, Medical First Responder, Underwater/ Waterborne operations, and Surveillance.