The Ocala Police Department’s canine teams consist of highly trained officers and police canines, along with a supervising Sergeant. The purpose of the canine unit is to provide essential assistance to enhance the policing capability of the Ocala Police Department. The primary functions of a canine team are criminal apprehension, illegal drug detection, searching buildings and areas, tracking, and the deterrence of crime. The teams also educate the public by doing Canine Team demonstrations for various groups, including schools.
Community Service Specialists:
The Special Operations Bureau has five Community Service Specialists and a CSS Supervisor. Community Service Specialists’ primary function is to work non-criminal calls for service such as traffic crashes (including those involving serious bodily injury and death), traffic direction, parking violations, citizen assists, abandoned vehicles, missing persons, and lost property, as well as certain misdemeanor criminal complaints, where there are no known suspects. This provides relief to the sworn patrol officers, freeing them to handle emergency calls. Community Service Specialists also educate the community on car safety and assist with child restraint installation. In order for this to be achieved, a Community Service Specialist has to become a Certified Child Passenger Safety Seat Technician. The CSS Supervisor is also responsible for some eighteen part time School Crossing Guards assigned to school zones throughout the City, and oversees the City Watch Volunteer program.
The Traffic Unit consists of five motorcycle officers, two DUI Enforcement Officers, and the Traffic Sergeant. The Traffic Unit's primary responsibility is to aid in the Department’s overall goal of reducing traffic crashes and traffic violations, whether criminal or civil. Other duties and responsibilities of the Traffic Unit Officers are to promote safe, expeditious traffic flow, vigorous enforcement of city and state traffic laws, aggressively investigate citizen traffic complaints, enforce all applicable traffic laws and regulations, vigorously pursue the investigation of any illegal activities detected as a result of traffic stops, deter crime and traffic law violations through increased presence and visibility in the community and through the apprehension of criminals and violators, develop and implement selective traffic enforcement programs as appropriate and participate in programs and further the goals of traffic related grants received by the Department. Additionally, the Traffic Unit enhances traffic safety by reducing both the frequency and severity of traffic crashes, thereby reducing injuries, deaths and economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes.
The Youth Development Section consists of six School Resource Officers (SRO) and two D.A.R.E. officers along with a supervising Sergeant. Youth Development Officers educate youth, maintain police relations within the school system, improve community and youth relations with the police and develop favorable attitudes toward law enforcement. School Resource Officers are assigned to all middle and high schools in the City. They handle calls for service occurring on school grounds during school hours and assist other department bureaus within the schools as needed The D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Officers are School Resource Officers that have achieved the additional training and certification required by the D.A.R.E. Program. They teach classes and facilitate programs at the elementary level. The Youth Development Section is also responsible for our summer "Police And Children Connecting" (PACC) Camp.