Criminal Investigations Division
The Criminal Investigations Division (CID) consists of several bureaus and functions within the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. The Major Crimes Bureau and the Property Investigations Bureau are the investigative components of the Sheriff’s Office, where detectives specialized in investigating various crimes identify and apprehend the criminals responsible. These bureaus also include personnel that specialize in evidence collection to aid in prosecution of cases. The third bureau is the Gainesville-Alachua County Drug Task Force (GACDTF), which oversees narcotics-related crimes and investigations. The Criminal Investigations Division also houses a Data Support Administrator and the False Alarm Reduction Unit.
Major Crimes Bureau
The Persons Crimes Unit includes detectives who investigate felonies such as murder, robbery, and other violent crimes against individuals. The unit includes a civilian cold case investigator who investigates unsolved homicides and other high impact unsolved cases in Alachua County. Their mission is to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, seeking answers and justice for the victims and their families.
The Special Victims Unit includes detectives who investigate sexual battery, child abuse, human trafficking, domestic violence, missing persons, and certain crimes against the elderly. This unit works in collaboration with the University of Florida Child Protection Team, the Department of Children and Families, and ASO’s Victim Advocate Unit. Detectives assigned to this unit are also assigned as members of the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, investigating crimes involving the exploitation of children facilitated by use of the internet. Most investigations involve child pornography offenses and solicitation of minors for illegal activity.
The Forensics Unit conducts crime scene investigations, and provides photographic services, fingerprint identification, evidence collection, and digital forensics examination. The unit typically processes major crime scenes such as homicides, sexual batteries, and other violent crimes. They also provide forensics support to the High Springs and Alachua Police Departments.
The unit also includes two digital forensics examiners, tasked with various forms of data extraction from cell phones, computers, tablets, vehicle systems, etc. – finding the “digital fingerprints” of today’s criminals.
Additionally, the Forensics Unit is responsible for maintaining the fingerprint records of all persons arrested in Alachua County. Latent Print Examiners process all requests for fingerprint comparisons, from not only our agency, but from the surrounding area agencies as well. Law enforcement agencies may request a copy of a fingerprint/palm print card free of charge. Fingerprint/palm print cards can be mailed, faxed, or e-mailed.
Fingerprint requests should be faxed on department letterhead to (352) 374-1807 and should contain the following information:
- Your name and title
- Your agency name and mailing address
- Your contact phone number
- Subject’s name, race, sex, and date of birth
- Indicate if palm prints are needed
Property Investigations Bureau
The Property Crimes Unit includes detectives who investigate cases involving burglary, theft, and felony criminal mischief.
The Financial Crimes Unit consists of detectives who investigate cases involving credit card fraud, identity theft, schemes to defraud, and other white collar crimes. They work closely with the United States Secret Service, financial institutions, and local businesses to identify and charge suspects in these crimes.
The Intelligence Led Policing Unit includes Crime Analysts, data-driven employees that provide investigative and analytical support to all areas of ASO. They compile and disseminate crime and intelligence data to identify crime trends and enable the agency to focus resources effectively. They also share information with other law enforcement agencies and the Florida Fusion Center.
There are also Investigators assigned to the ILP Unit that focus on actionable intelligence and Prolific Offenders within Alachua County. In addition, a Sex Offender Detective is responsible for monitoring sex offenders in Alachua County, regularly checking to those offenders are living at registered addresses as required by law and abiding by their court-imposed sanctions. Another detective is specifically assigned to cases involving firearms used illegally and works closely with the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF). This detective monitors pawnshops, secondhand dealers, and scrap yards that operate in Alachua County. The unit also includes a detective assigned to the FBI Safe Streets Task Force that conducts major investigations involving criminal gangs.
The Gainesville-Alachua County Drug Task Force (GACDTF)
The Drug Task Force investigates street-level, mid-level, and upper-level narcotics trafficking organizations that operate throughout Alachua County. The task force is comprised of law enforcement officers from the Gainesville Police Department, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, and the University of Florida Police Department. The Clandestine Lab Response Team (CLRT) and the Domestic Highway Enforcement Task Force (DHETF) are specialty units operating within GACDTF.
The Data Support Administrator conducts advanced data analysis and evaluation for ASO and agencies supported through the Combined Communications Center by identifying trends and developing strategies for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the agency’s operational units. In addition, this position is responsible for data analysis that forms the basis of the Intelligence-Led Policing program.
The False Alarm Reduction Unit (FARU) was established to regulate and reduce the number of false alarms within the city of Gainesville and unincorporated areas of Alachua County. FARU administers the Alachua County and city of Gainesville alarm ordinances from one central office within the Combined Communications Center. FARU’s main function is to reduce the number of false alarms that law enforcement and firefighters respond to each year.
TECHNICAL SERVICES DIVISION
Communications Operations Bureau
The Combined Communications Center (CCC) is a consolidated 9-1-1 communications center that provides public safety communications services for the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office (ASO), Alachua County Fire Rescue (ACFR), Gainesville Police Department (GPD), Gainesville Fire Rescue (GFR), and the High Springs Police Department (HSPD). The CCC also provides police or fire communications services to other municipalities within the county including LaCrosse, Archer, Waldo, Micanopy, Newberry, and Hawthorne.
The Center is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with highly trained, professional 9-1-1 telecommunicators. They are the “first of the first responders” to field hundreds of incoming calls each day, prioritize situations, determine the best course of action, and quickly forward that information to the appropriate public safety first responders. They monitor multiple radio frequencies, dispatch calls to police, fire, and medical units, access a variety of local, state, and federal databases, and track activities in the field. The split-second decisions they make can literally mean the difference between life and death.
CCC 9-1-1 telecommunicators receive extensive training and meet stringent standards. They are certified by the state of Florida as telecommunicators, and have additional certifications in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD), and Emergency Fire Dispatch (EFD). The EMD and EFD systems gather critical information and provide life-sustaining instructions in an emergency until the arrival of first responders. CCC 9-1-1 telecommunicators are also trained in Emergency Mental Health Dispatch (EMHD) and receive Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) to more effectively process requests for service that involve persons in mental health crises.
CCC is equipped with modern and technologically advanced equipment systems, and features a fully redundant and enhanced 9-1-1 system (E9-1-1) that automatically displays the telephone number and location of 9-1-1 calls made from landline or wireless phones. A computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system tracks all calls for service whether they are for law enforcement, fire-rescue, or emergency medical services (EMS). The center also uses an 800 MHz trunked radio system that allows for local and statewide interoperable radio communications. In conjunction with the Alachua County E9-1-1 Office, CCC maintains the “Smart911” system, which allows citizens who complete a confidential online safety and medical profile so their information is available at the CCC for first responders. CCC also has text to 9-1-1 capability and is preparing for other advances in 9-1-1 technology.
The CCC is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploiting Children (NCMEC); this partnership is a commitment by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and partner agencies to utilize established best practices to assist these children and their families in some of the worst situations imaginable.
Information Technology Bureau
The Information Technology Bureau (ITB) is responsible for planning, acquiring, implementing, and developing information technology solutions to facilitate the agency’s mission. In addition, ITB evaluates and acquires emerging technologies, information systems, and networks that have law enforcement applications. ITB analyzes the needs of different departments and determines ways to meet objectives by modifying existing or developing new information processing systems.
ITB is also responsible for the implementation and maintenance of all computers, servers, wireless infrastructure, network infrastructure, and other critical systems for the agency. ITB develops and supports workflow and administrative computer applications within the agency, provides support for agency websites, manages application development services for systems pertaining to investigations and general information, and supports law enforcement and CCC databases.
The Information Technology Bureau provides daily support for more than 900 users; completes service requests; keeps all hardware compliance issues up to date and supports computer programs throughout the agency.
ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES DIVISION
The Records Bureau is responsible for customer service to the public and support to agency personnel. The services provided include emergency injunction preparation, electronic fingerprint services, public record requests (in accordance with Florida State Statute 119, Public Record Law), maintenance of all the agency law enforcement report files, and data entry into various records management systems.
The Records Bureau manages the entry and maintenance of all countywide wanted persons, agency-reported missing persons, and agency-reported stolen property items into the Florida and National Criminal Information Center systems within guidelines set by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The bureau also provides centralized storage and retrieval for all incident and traffic crash reports generated by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. Additionally, Records Bureau personnel direct all incoming switchboard calls to the proper location, and maintain the Uniform Crime Reporting information for inclusion in state and national crime statistics.
The Records Bureau customer service window is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Services provided to the public and associated fees are:
- Fingerprinting (Picture ID required)
- Local Criminal History Checks *
- Concealed Weapon Permit Package
- No fee
- Concealed Weapon Permit Fingerprinting (Picture ID required)
- Public Records Requests
- Cost to Produce **
Picture ID is required as some information may be restricted to certain persons. Only cash, money orders, or business checks are accepted; no personal checks or credit/debit cards.
* A Local Arrest History Check (also called a background check) provides a listing of Alachua County arrests. Case disposition information is available through the Alachua County Clerk of the Court.
** Public Records Requests requiring more than 15 minutes to produce, or greater than 20 pages in length have fees associated. The fees are based on the cost to produce the records, based on employee compensation rate(s) for time required, in addition to $0.15 per single-sided page/$0.20 per double-sided page. No fees are assessed for requests requiring less than 15 minutes to complete or fewer than 20 pages in length.
The Support Bureau is comprised of the Fleet Maintenance Unit, the Evidence Section, and the Property/Facilities Unit.
The Fleet Maintenance Unit is responsible for acquiring, maintaining, and disposing of all agency vehicles, and their duties include the aftermarket installation of all necessary emergency equipment. The unit maintains over 500 cars, trucks, motorcycles, and specialized vehicles. The bulk of the Fleet Maintenance Unit’s budget is devoted to the purchasing and outfitting of vehicles, fuel costs, and the repair of assigned agency vehicles.
The Fleet Maintenance Unit is also responsible for inspecting citizen’s vehicles that have received a safety equipment violation ticket. The vehicle with the deficiency corrected can be brought to the Fleet section at 2621 SE Hawthorne Road, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (excluding holidays). The vehicle must be presented within 30 days of the date the ticket was written. The 30 days includes weekends and holidays. A $4.00 cash fine (paid at the Records Bureau window in the main building lobby) is due at time of inspection and the balance of the fine is paid at the Courthouse. The Sheriff’s Office cannot give an extension on the ticket, nor can they inspect the vehicle after the 30 days have expired. The Sheriff’s Office will inspect safety violation tickets written by other Florida law enforcement agencies.
The Evidence Section takes in and stores case evidence in addition to lost and abandoned property.
A successful criminal prosecution depends on how evidence is handled and preserved. Evidence must be packaged properly, documented accurately, and stored correctly. If errors occur, or the “chain of custody” is compromised, criminals can go free, putting the community and its citizens at risk. When a case is over and the evidence is no longer needed, every attempt is made to return items to the rightful owner. There are over 70,000 individual pieces of evidence and lost or abandoned property currently held in the Evidence Section; approximately 900 new items are received and processed each month.
Unclaimed evidentiary items and lost or abandoned property are occasionally available for sale at www.propertyroom.com.
To claim evidence, lost or abandoned property, you must have picture ID and proof of ownership. Citizens claiming currency, jewelry, medications and firearms must make an appointment with the Evidence Unit to schedule their return. If the property was evidence in a case there must also be authorization from the State Attorney’s Office before any item can be released.
Additional questions about recovered/lost/abandoned property should be directed to the Evidence Section at (352) 367-4076.
The Property/Facilities Unit is the central receiving and distribution point for all supplies, deliveries, and package pickups for the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. The unit serves the agency with two stores for distribution of supplies: one at the Main Administration Building and one at the Department of the Jail, and also serves as the liaison with County Facilities for any building maintenance needs.
The unit’s primary responsibilities are:
- Outfitting all newly hired deputies. It also issues replacement items and keeps track of all of the specialized equipment that is issued to ASO’s Special Teams (SWAT, Bomb, MO/URT, etc.).
- Creating and maintaining ASO inventories. When an item (Fixed Asset) is received, it is assigned a property number, and entered into the agency’s financial management program. The item is then delivered to the receiving unit and inventoried on an annual basis.
- Inspecting weapons housed in the armory for operational readiness.
- Controlling all building keys.
- Acquiring, maintaining, and distributing office supplies and general stock for all of the agency’s buildings.
- Overseeing the general maintenance and upkeep of the Administration Complex, to include the Fleet and Combined Communication Center buildings.
- Coordinate with the County and vendors for any large projects related to the Sheriff’s Office building(s).