Bureau of Law Enforcement
The Bureau of Law Enforcement Patrol Senior Lieutenant has oversight over all functions in the Patrol, Traffic, K9, Citizens on Patrol and Crime Prevention units. The Bureau is responsible for responding to calls made to dispatch, patrolling the streets of Gadsden County and making arrests.
Three seasoned officers lead this division: Lt. Shelton Turner, Lt. Lavon Jackson and Lt. Ed McWhite. Approximately 40 deputies are out in the community providing everyday safety to the citizen. These men and women are the first responders when assistance is needed. Their everyday routine takes them to all corners of the county, from the Georgia line to the north, to Liberty County on the south, to Leon County on the east and to Jackson County on the west end.
In addition, they respond to help others including municipal police forces in the county, the Florida Highway Patrol and the Florida Department of Transportation.
It was through funding from the Department of Transportation that the Patrol Division was able to create its Traffic Division that includes a DUI Enforcement Unit and a Speed and Aggressive Driving Unit. This Division focuses on reducing the number of traffic accidents and traffic fatalities. The importance of this division is crucial due to the record number (28) of traffic fatalities in county in 2005.
The DUI Enforcement Program aim is simple: Keep those people under the influence of alcohol and drugs off the roads of this county. To do this, the officers may use saturation patrols, roadside checkpoints, and safety checkpoints.
Deputy Calvin Carter leads the Speed Control and Aggressive Driving Unit. The aim of the Unit is to deter speeding and aggressive driving in Gadsden County. Citations issued by deputies may range from $68.00 to $355.00.
In 2005 the K9 Team became a part of the GCSO. This is a specialized team combining man and animal for the best possible outcome. Deputy W. Buckhalt (K-9 Chris) and Deputy J. Barnes (K-9 Cherokee) make up this elite unit. A specially trained German Shepard, Chris is trained to track and apprehend fleeing felons, execute and serve search warrants, and smell and sniff out concealed drugs. Deputy Buckhalt and Chris have been responsible locating large amounts of drugs and have caught numerous felons, since they became a part of the department. Deputy Barnes and K-9 Cherokee, a full-blooded Blood Hound, serves in tracking fugitives, locating missing persons, and training coordinator for the K-9 division.
Crime Prevention Division
The citizens are the first line of defense when it comes to preventing crime. To do this, this unit is responsible for educating the community through public awareness programs and through "Neighborhood Crime Watch" programs that train citizens how to watch for crime and look for signs of potential criminal activity. This unit is headed by Captain Mary Ivory. Any citizen can become a part of this program.
If you are interested in developing a Neighborhood Crime Watch program in your area, call Captain Mary Ivory at 850-875-7351 .