PSO’s Specialty Units Expand PSO’s Capabilities
Pasco Sheriff’s Office’s mission is to help those in need, no matter the call. Florida’s diverse landscapes and coastlines bring unique challenges for law enforcement and rescue missions. Additionally, PSO travels upstream with crime prevention to best serve our citizens. To respond to calls for service, PSO specialty units help keep the community safe with diverse training, skills and tools. PSO is committed to serving our citizens in innovative ways, and always being prepared for anything our community may encounter.
With the primary goal of keeping those on Pasco’s waterways safe, the Maritime Operations unit responds to emergencies and enforces important regulations. Emergency response operations include boats taking on water, vessel fires, missing boaters and medical emergencies on the water. Maritime Operations unit members keep boaters safe by checking for necessary safety equipment such as permits, lifejackets and fire extinguishers, and providing those enjoying Pasco’s waterways with important safety information. Maritime Operations also includes PSO’s Swift Water & Dive Recovery teams, which often assist in emergency situations and investigations, extending PSO’s response below the water.
PSO has one of the largest K-9 units in Florida, and these hard-working K-9s offer a diverse skillset to best serve the citizens of Pasco County. The K-9 unit is comprised of handler and K-9 teams that work to track missing people, find drugs, explosives or accelerants, locate human remains and provide comfort to those in crisis. PSO K-9s train weekly throughout their careers to ensure their skills stay sharp and they’re ready to work in any environment they may face. K-9s are vital to PSO and the citizens they serve, as they can perform tasks that humans cannot or that would take significant manpower and time to achieve a similar result. All money to purchase, equip and train every one of PSO’s K-9s comes from community donations, and PSO is deeply grateful for the community’s generosity.
PSO’s Aviation Unit provides access to areas that would otherwise be difficult to reach from the ground. With Pasco County’s diverse terrain, the Aviation unit is an essential part of PSO’s operations. While the Aviation unit typically uses helicopters to patrol the county the same as deputy in a car does, they also assist with a variety of calls such as searches for those who are missing, locating suspects that have run from a crime scene and more. Additionally, PSO also has the ability to assist with large or remote brush fires from the air.
When faced with natural disasters, PSO is prepared to respond with the Deployable Emergency Response Team (DERT). DERT consists of specialty vehicles like high water rescue vehicles, a mobile kitchen, all-terrain vehicles and more to be able to serve communities affected by disasters or in areas left inaccessible by normal means. The team is also self-sustaining to not increase the burden on those they’re serving. In addition to assisting Pasco County in times of need, DERT has also responded to other areas of Florida, most recently to Lee County in the wake of Hurricane Ian in 2022.
Members of PSO’s specialty units are prepared for a variety of calls at any time of the day. These diverse units allow PSO to provide prompt response to keep Pasco County safe. PSO’s specialty units expand PSO’s capabilities to serve and expedite PSO’s response to keep Pasco safe.