COMMUNITY POLICING BUREAU
The Community Policing Bureau is the largest and most visible, overseeing the majority of the department's uniformed officers. The bureau is divided into two districts, which are further divided into 14 zones.
Each police district is responsible for the safety of its residents, workers, and visitors—enforcing the law, preserving peace, and reducing fear—working in partnership with the communities they serve.
CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS BUREAU
The investigative units that comprise the Investigative Services Bureau are responsible for the follow-up investigations of felony crimes committed against persons or property in the City of Ocala which requires a degree of specialization or a centralized investigative approach.
The Major Crimes Section investigates the crimes committed against people. They consist of homicide, robbery, sex crimes, and aggravated battery / assault.
Crimes against property are distributed to the district offices. They consist of burglary, theft, and economic crimes.
SPECIAL OPERATIONS BUREAU
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.
SUPPORT SERVICES BUREAU
The Communications Center serves the citizens of Ocala as the primary 911 Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) and is managed by Sherry Gronlund. The division fields calls requesting response from police, fire and EMS-Emergency Medical Services. All calls requiring the Fire Department or EMS are immediately transferred to the appropriate agency. Calls for police service are handled by our specially trained police call takers and dispatchers. Our call center handles more than 300,000 calls per year. All employees receive a minimum of 232 hours of training and are certified by the Department of Health as a Public Safety Telecommunicator.
The Ocala Police Department Records Section’s vision is to maintain the integrity and security of the records entrusted within, serve the public, and act as a support unit for the Police Department.
The Employer Services Section focuses on connecting members of our community with local Law Enforcement through non-sworn, sworn, and volunteer opportunities. Our vision is to recruit the best possible candidates to fill vacant positions within the Ocala Police Department. Representatives reach out to potential candidates by visiting local schools and universities, participating in job fairs, and promoting vacancies online.