|Captain Brian Spiddle
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
- East/West Community Crimes Units
- Crime Prevention
- Public Service Officers
- City of Inverness Community Resource Deputies
- Crystal River Community Resource Deputies
- K9 Unit
- Marine Unit/Special Enforcement Unit
- Traffic and Motors Unit
- Animal Control Unit
Marine/Special Enforcement Unit
The Marine Unit enforces marine laws and ordinances in order to maintain safe recreational boating throughout Citrus Counties 192 square miles of waterways. The marine deputies provide high-visibility patrol in waterways and promote 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 Marine/Special Enforcement Unit is also responsible for patrolling many of the unincorporated areas of Citrus County on ATVs to enforce laws relating to off-road vehicles trespassing and operating in an illegal manner.
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.
Traffic and Motors Unit
The Traffic and Motors 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 patrol function. The traffic unit routinely works traffic crashes throughout the county and conducts traffic enforcement in areas of violations. If you want to report a problem with speeding or any other traffic-related issue, call our non-emergency line at (352) 249-2790, 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.