Welcome to the Bureau of Law Enforcement Operations. In this bureau, Colonel Ferrara is responsible for the divisions of East District Patrol, and West District Patrol, Criminal Investigations, Judicial and Juvenile Services and Education and Professional Standards. Each division has various assigned units and teams. He oversees management within those divisions for compliance with policies and procedures.
This bureau is responsible for providing primary law enforcement services to the approximately 150,000 residents of Citrus County, including the incorporated areas of Inverness and Crystal River. Services provided by this bureau include sheriff patrols, detective investigations, court security, civil processes and law enforcement training, as well as accreditation functions. The operations of the divisions under this bureau collaterally augment the agency by assisting with the mission of delivering excellence in public safety.
The Patrol Division has the responsibility of strategic planning that will serve as a foundation for ongoing, proactive law enforcement. This division is the largest in the agency and are responsible for assessing community needs and directing resources in order to achieve objectives as effectively and efficiently as possible. The division must be responsive to the changing environment and anticipate financial, technological and community needs.
Although our county’s population has seen tremendous growth in the last few years, our crime rate remains extremely low. This is due to the hard work of the men and women in the Patrol Division. The Patrol Division is currently broken down into two districts, east and west. Within each district, assigned squads of deputy sheriffs work 12-hour shifts.
The units in this division include:
- Alpha/Bravo Patrol
- Community Crimes
- Crime Prevention
- Public Service Officers
- City of Inverness & City of Crystal River Community Resource Officers
- K9 Units
- Special Enforcement Deputies
- Marine Unit
- Traffic Unit
- Animal Control Officers
The Marine Unit enforces marine laws and ordinances and provides high-visibility patrol in waterways, investigates boating accidents and related crime scenes, and promotes boating education and safety to the residents and tourists that visit Citrus County waterways. Aside from routine patrol duties for manatee zones and safety violations, the Marine Unit is also tasked with responding to boaters and vessels in distress and searching for missing boaters. The Marine Unit actively works with the U.S. Coast Guard and other State and Federal agencies in the area to enforce safe boating operations.
The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit brings to you one of the best assets available to the community and agency in reference to protecting our citizens and apprehending criminals. Teaming up a deputy with a highly trained German Shepherd or Belgian Malinois has proved to be invaluable. Some of the capabilities of our K9 Unit includes tracking lost or missing persons in need, as well as suicidal subjects and criminal suspects; K9 demonstrations, area searches, article searches, building searches, handler protection and criminal apprehension; narcotics detection consisting of Marijuana, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Heroin and MDMA/Ecstasy. Our K9 Unit is made up of 8 dual purpose K9 teams with the addition of a Volunteer Bloodhound Team who excel in tracking and trailing lost or missing subjects. Our K9 Units are always available and on duty 24/7. Each K9 and handler must complete a challenging 480 hour course together and pass an annual K9 team certification.
The Traffic Unit is responsible for Traffic Enforcement and the safety of pedestrian school children, the issuance of parking tickets to those illegally parked in handicapped parking and other locations, and the enforcement of DUI statutes in support of the patrolling function. If you want to report a problem with speeding or any other traffic related issue, call our non-emergency line at 352-726-1121 so we can take appropriate action in response to your complaints.
Animal Control Officers (ACO’s) joined the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office on September 1, 2009 and are part of the Patrol Division Special Operations Unit. ACO’s respond to complaints involving domestic animals and livestock, including calls involving animals that are abused, dangerous or a nuisance to the citizens of Citrus County. They have the authority to remove these animals and issue citations for violations of the county’s Animal Control ordinance.
The many components of these divisions must work in cooperation and range from receiving calls for service, patrolling our communities, investigating crime, processing forensic evidence, analyzing intelligence, and working with our judicial partners to make Citrus County the safest community in Florida.
Arguably one of the busiest divisions of the agency, the Criminal Investigation Division is staffed with highly skilled, dedicated men and women who are devoted to solving crime in their community. The principal function of this division is to conduct follow-up investigations of reported crimes. These investigations consist of interviewing suspects, victims, and witnesses; analyzing information for validity, reliability, and accuracy; and compiling a comprehensive and factual case file to be presented in court.
The type of investigations that this division is responsible for investigating are: homicides, robberies, fraud and financial crimes, aggravated crimes against persons, crimes against children involving abuse/sexual abuse/criminal neglect or death, adult related sex crimes (rape), ensuring Sexual Offenders and Predators are abiding by their registration and living requirements, Internet Crimes Against Children, performing digital computer forensics, missing persons and cold case investigations.
The Forensic Unit is also under this section and is responsible for the processing of crime scenes, latent print examinations, and processing evidence in our crime lab.
The units in this division include:
- Major Crimes:
- High Tech Crimes
- Forensics Unit
- Career Criminals
- Intelligence Analysis
- Tactical Impact Unit
Judicial & Juvenile Services
The Judicial & Juvenile Services Division is responsible for providing a variety of services which are statutorily mandated processes and executions. This division provides security to the courthouse including the safety and security of the judges, all courthouse staff and visitors to the Judicial Center. When it comes to school students, the Judicial and Juvenile Services division is accountable for all School Resource Officers, School Crossing Guards and the protection of thousands of Citrus County School students.
Florida State Statute requires the Sheriff’s Office to serve all enforceable civil process listed here with fees.
Non-enforceable process service will be handled by a private process server. A list of the process servers can be found here.
Courthouse Security Volunteers
The Courthouse Security Section is responsible for the safety and security of the judges, all courthouse staff and visitors to the Judicial Center. They also maintain building security as well as inmate security when inmates have entered the building for court. Non-sworn volunteer bailiffs are utilized throughout the courthouse and are always welcome. Click here to learn about our volunteer opportunities at the courthouse.
The Transport Section is tasked with transporting inmates from other jurisdictions (including other states) back to our county to answer to any criminal charges that have originated in our county. This section also handles any extraditions from other states to Citrus County. Unfortunately due to security reasons the Transport Section cannot tell you when or if an inmate will be brought back to Citrus County but all persons transported to this county are arrested and you can view our arrest records by clicking here.
The Duty Office Section is located at the privately run county jail in Lecanto and has deputies present that process all persons arrested in Citrus County. Anyone taken into law enforcement custody (whether it’s by the Sheriff’s Office or the FBI - any agency making an arrest in our county) must be fingerprinted, photographed, and have DNA collected by a Duty Office Deputy prior to incarceration. Also included in the Duty Office’s responsibilities are the collection of cash or surety bonds for inmate release, the housing and maintenance of all warrants, writs, and injunctions for protection, and Sex Offender/Felon Registrations. The Sheriff’s Office does not release warrant or bond information via telephone, please visit our office in person at 2650 W. Woodland Ridge Drive, Lecanto, FL for assistance.
The GPS Section monitors non-violent offenders sentenced to wear an ankle tracking device equipped with GPS so their movements may be traced prior to their trial dates. The decision to provide an offender with such a device is at the discretion of a judge and does incur a daily cost that is lower than the actual cost of incarceration per day. If you are an offender and are experiencing issues with your device please review your documents for the proper notification procedure or call the GPS Deputy at (352) 746-3128.
School Resource Deputies
A School Resource Deputy (SRD) is a law enforcement officer who is assigned to either an elementary, middle, or high school. The main goal of the SRD is to prevent juvenile delinquency by promoting positive relations between youth and law enforcement. The SRD position encompasses three major components, which allow the SRD to achieve this goal: law enforcement, education, and counseling. These three components allow the SRD to take a proactive approach to law enforcement. SRD’s are not just "cops" on campus. SRD’s provide all law enforcement duties on their campus. They educate the students by teaching law related classes and other related subjects in the classrooms and counsel both students and parents on various topics. The SRD becomes involved in the students' lives as a positive role model. The intent is that the positive experiences students have with the SRD will bridge the gap between juveniles and law enforcement, and in doing so, help prevent juvenile crime.
Education & Professional Standards
The Education and Professional Standards Division has multi-faceted responsibilities including oversight and management of training standards and regulations for the sworn personnel, training programs in public safety and homeland security, the Crime Prevention and Accreditation Programs and the development of law enforcement policies. The division is dedicated to enhancing public safety and improving criminal justice.
In our mission to deliver excellence in public safety, our Education and Professional Standards Division must maintain oversight of all agency in-service training programs related to sworn law enforcement officers.
The division consists of sworn and civilian employees. Personnel in the division are responsible for safety and certification training of approximately 225 law enforcement personnel, maintenance and accountability of all firearms and weapons, fitness facility maintenance and wellness programs, accountability and renewal of all officer and instructor certifications, the Teen Driver Challenge.
Being a state and nationally accredited agency helps ensure the safety of our personnel by adhering to the highest standards in public safety. The progressiveness of our training programs increase officer safety while decreasing liability of the agency.
The units in this division include:
- Agency Law Enforcement Training