Florida Sheriffs Task Force
About the Task Force
One of the strengths of the Florida Sheriffs Association is the ability to pool resources from the 67 Sheriffs’ Offices to address specific areas of concern. After Florida’s Mutual Aid Act took effect in 1984, the sheriffs were given a better system for working together during emergency operations, including built-in legal protections. The Florida sheriffs took this a step farther by creating a structure to launch proactive efforts, including establishing operation protocols and Command Advisory Teams with specific expertise, including hostage negotiations, forensics and civil disturbance.
The first statewide task force operation held in July 1989 was organized to address the growing crack cocaine problem. It involved more than 1,500 law enforcement officers from various counties and resulted in 2,224 arrests. Since then, the Florida Sheriffs Task Force operations have gained national recognition, including an effort that removed $1.5 million of prescription drugs from the street, a crackdown on “Deadbeat Dads,” and mass arrests of sexual predators. The Florida Sheriffs Task Force also is the point of contact for statewide initiatives, including helping to staff the state Emergency Operations Center and coordinating Sheriffs' Offices responding to storm-ravaged communities during hurricanes and other catastrophic disasters.
Operation Predator 2016. This four-week initiative, conducted February through March, aimed to verifiy the addresses sexual predators/offenders and serve arrest warrants for related sex crimes. The operation was resulted in 1,4709 sexual predator address verifications, 19 arrested or charged for registration violations; 112 arrested or charged for registration violations; 9,119 address verifications; 61 related warrents served through arrests; and 62 ancilalry arrests. See county totals
Operation Safe Schools 2015. This four-week initiative aimed to reduce pedestrian injuries due to traffic infractions in school zones and increase students’ safety. The operation was successful in raising awareness for traffic safety and in reminding drivers of the importance of safe driving.
Operation Dry Spring 2015, conducted from March 16 - April 12, 2015, focused on preventing underage youth from purchasing and using alcohol, tobacco and various forms of synthetic drugs. The operation monitored retail sales establishments for the sale of alcohol, tobacco, and synthetic drugs to underage persons. The operation resulted in 2,070 arrests across 28 counties.
Operation Safe Steps, conducted October 24 - November 20, 2014, involved proactive traffic enforcement in areas where pedestrian traffic is most dense. The operation focused on pedestrian safety with the goal of reducing pedestrian injuries and deaths resulting from traffic crashes. The operation produced tremendous results including: 6,847 pedestrian warnings; 222 pedestrian citations; 8,247 motorist warnings; and 6,763 motorist citations.
Operation Cyber Vigilance, conducted March 19–July 20, 2014, targeted individuals who chat with “minors” online for the purpose of meeting them and engaging them in sexual activity. The four-month joint initiative netted 132 arrests and 282 arrest charges.
Operation Safe Families, conducted October 13–November 9, 2013, targeted domestic violence. The four-week long operation targeted individuals with outstanding warrants for domestic violence and writs of bodily attachments for non-support, which are used to bring in individuals who have failed to pay child support. The operation resulted in 5,544 arrests.
Operation Dry Spring was conducted from March 4–April 7, 2013. This statewide operation coincided with spring break with the purpose of protecting youth and other visitors from the effects of alcohol and controlled substance abuse. Thirty seven counties participated, resulting in 5,016 arrests. This included: 3,439 arrests for alcohol possession by persons under 21 years of age; seizure of 5,530 grams of marijuana; and confiscation of 12,913 grams of synthetic drugs, 41 grams of meth and 103 grams of cocaine.
Operation Felon Sweep was conducted over a three-week period in October 2012. The operation involved a statewide roundup of outstanding felony warrants and resulted in approximately 12,000 felony arrests. These included: 44 for homicide, 29 for attempted homicide, 386 for aggravated battery, 408 for aggravated assault and 141 for robbery.
Cyber Sexual Predator Initiative, conducted in early summer 2012, this six-week series involved five counties and was the most successful to date, netting 119 arrests of male predators who engaged in a sex offense with a minor.
Other Task Force Operations
The Florida sheriffs updated and signed two Mutual Aid agreements in January 2013. One agreement was for disaster assistance, such as floods and other natural disasters. The other agreement involved operational assistance and voluntary cooperation that addresses other mutual aid needs, such as ad hoc operations that cross jurisdictional lines.
The Florida Sheriffs Task Force developed an Emergency Mobilization Plan to outline the procedure for the state Emergency Operations Center Command Advisory Team. For more information, contact FSA Public Safety Services Coordinator David Brand via email or phone (toll free): 1-800-877-2168, ext. 246.
Click here to login to the Sheriffs Emergency Mobilization System - SEMS (Username and Password required). Contact Lieutenant Nick Lazaris or Captain Ryan Buckley of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office for details: via email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com) or via phone (727-582-6255 or 727-582-6301).
Task Force Chairs & Zones
Chair: Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, Pinellas County Sheriff
Associate Chair: Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, Palm Beach County Sheriff
Zone 1: Sheriff Wendell Hall, Santa Rosa County Sheriff
Zone 2: Sheriff Sheriff Mark Hunter, Columbia County Sheriff
Zone 3: Sheriff Bobby Schultz, Gilchrist County Sheriff
Zone 4: Sheriff Jeff Dawsy, Citrus County Sheriff
Zone 5: Sheriff Don Eslinger, Seminole County Sheriff
Zone 6: Sheriff Bill Prummell, Charlotte County Sheriff
Zone 7: Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, Palm Beach County Sheriff
Map Color Code:
Magenta: Zone 1 – West Florida
Purple: Zone 2 - Panhandle
Green: Zone 3 – Jax area
Yellow: Zone 4 – Tampa Bay area
Lt. Blue: Zone 5 – Space Coast
Teal: Zone 6 – S/W
Beige: Zone 7 – Miami & Keys area