Operational Support - Special Programs of the Division of Law Enforcement, including Accreditation, Policy and Planning, K-9 Program, Offshore Patrol Vessel Program, Special Operations Group, Dive Teams and Emergency Response.
FWC officers are highly trained and possess specialized equipment which allows access to challenging environments. FWC Officers are comfortable where no other law enforcement agencies routinely patrol. This unique capability enables FWC Officers to serve as a primary response effort to natural and man-made disasters. FWC Officers are typically the first responding law enforcement personnel to arrive on-scene following a critical incident that requires emergency response.
The FWC K-9 Program consists of specially trained K-9s that compliment the FWC mission. FWC K-9s are highly skilled and receive advanced training in evidence recovery, article searches, human tracking, and resource detection.
Special Operations Group
The Special Operations Group enhances the FWC’s response capabilities during critical incidents and special assignments. SOG Teams utilize advanced training, equipment, and tactics to provide a rapid response capability in any environment. FWC SOG Teams directly support operations in accordance with FWC strategic initiatives and stand ready anytime a specialized law enforcement response is required.
Offshore Patrol Vessels
One of the FWC’s primary responsibilities is to enforce state and federal fishery enforcement. The FWC accomplishes this through it’s Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) Program. The OPV Program consists of 13 vessels, ranging in size, and strategically stationed around the state. OPV crew members are specially selected and highly trained to provide comprehensive offshore patrols. OPV assets are proficient in search and rescue operations, resource protection, Joint Enforcement Agreement (JEA) patrols, commercial fishing enforcement, Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) coverage, turtle excluder device (TED) inspections, and provide support services to local, state and federal partners.
The dive teams are designed around the FWCs unique law enforcement responsibilities, specialized equipment, and specially trained personnel. FWC Dive Teams have the capability of providing an underwater presence and special response in Florida’s underwater environment.
The dive team is prepared to respond to boating accidents, derelict vessels, evidence recovery, body recovery, homeland security threats and other mission needs in an underwater capacity.
The Aviation Unit’s mission is to protect Florida’s natural resources and human life through proactive and responsive law enforcement services. The FWC aircraft patrol in support to the law enforcement officers(s) in the field and to the citizens of Florida who use the state’s natural resources. Aircraft respond to search and rescue requests for overdue or lost outdoor users on land or water, assist other agencies during natural disasters, promote boating safety and provide law enforcement Homeland Security support. Aircraft and pilots of the Aviation Unit act as “Force Multipliers.” The use of aircraft extends the reach of the law enforcement arm into both densely and sparsely populated areas where an immediate response is often crucial. The aircraft have the ability to cover large expanses of land or water in a short period of time Pilots are able to observe activity or lack of activity and report that information to area officers. Their ability to act as the field officers “Eye in the Sky” increases the efficiency of the ground or water officer, saving them time and equipment operation expense, and increasing contacts and arrests.