COLUMBIA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE PATROL DIVISION

COLUMBIA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE PATROL DIVISION

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division is considered to be the backbone of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office as it is not only the largest division within the Sheriff’s Office, but it is also the most visible. The Division is comprised of multiple shifts broken into Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta. The School Resource Deputies are part of Patrol as well as several specialized teams serving in the capacities of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), Dive, Marine, Negotiations, Training and K-9.

The responsibility of the Patrol Division is to maintain a safe and orderly environment for citizens and visitors in all areas of Columbia County. When assistance is requested from the Sheriff’s Office, the first deputy responding will most likely be a member of the Patrol Division. These deputies are in constant contact with the public and answer a variety of calls. Patrol deputies handle a varied range of calls from noise complaints to homicides. For this reason, these deputies must have in-depth knowledge of the law and must be well versed law enforcement officers.

Commanded by a Captain and two Lieutenants, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division is made up of uniformed patrol deputies who provide law enforcement services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. These deputies are encompassed within five zones of the county and assigned to two Districts. District One is made up of Columbia County north of County Road 240 and District Two is everything south of CR 240.

CAPTAIN DAVID WINGATE

CAPTAIN DAVID WINGATE

CAPTAIN DAVID WINGATE

Captain David Wingate has been a member of the Columbia County Sheriff’s office since April, 1990 when he started as a Patrol Deputy. Captain Wingate has risen through the ranks and served in many divisions. He has supervised a Patrol shift as a Sergeant, managed the Multijurisdictional Drug Task Force as a Lieutenant, and commanded the Detective Division as a Captain before his transfer back to the Patrol Division. Captain Wingate also serves as the SWAT team Commander where he has been an active member since 1991.

Captain Wingate has successfully completed the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Chief Executive Seminar and the Criminal Justice Administrations Command Officer Management Program. Captain Wingate is a graduate of St. Leo’s College where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal justice.

SPECIAL WEAPONS AND TACTICS (SWAT)

SWAT is an elite team of deputies who are available for immediate call-out 24 hours a day. The team trains together as a unit and strives to provide Columbia County citizens with the best protection available. To prepare for any situation that may arise, SWAT team members have trained with various state, government, and local agencies. SWAT has been deployed to various situations that include; barricaded suspects, hostage situations, and high risk warrant services. They are also utilized for covert field intelligence gathering.

CRISIS NEGOTIATION TEAM

Another special function of the Patrol Division is that of Negotiations Unit. This special team is designated to negotiate or “talk” barricaded individuals out of their situation. Several Deputies have had specialized training in negotiation techniques. It is their job to settle the problem in as peaceful a manner as possible so that no one gets hurt. The Negotiations Unit will exhaust all avenues to ensure the release of hostages and then subdue the barricaded individual peacefully before they consider the use of any kind of force.

DIVE TEAM

The Sheriff’s Office Dive Team provides a means to search for and recover items from local waterways. The team is responsible for all underwater evidence and body recovery in Columbia County. Through the use of various search patterns and techniques the Dive Team searches for items of all sizes and variety, from an item as big as an aircraft to as small as a single bullet casing. The Dive Team dives in a variety of water conditions and in any climate. Most of the dives are made in the lakes, springs, and rivers of Columbia County where visibility is almost nonexistent.

SCHOOL RESOURCE DEPUTIES

The School Resource Deputy Program is a nationally accepted program involving the placement of a law enforcement officer within the educational environment. In addition to providing a law enforcement presence at the schools, SRD’s are also role models for the students. The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office currently has seven Deputies assigned to the School Resource Deputy Program on a full-time basis. Together, the School District and the Sheriff’s Office are constantly working to implement new programs and provide students with the safest learning environment in which they can receive a quality education.

TRAINING

The training section is accountable for coordinating the development of training programs throughout the agency. As agencies are held legally accountable for the actions of their personnel and for failing to provide initial or remedial training, the importance of the training function is more crucial now than ever before. Training serves three broad purposes: First, well-trained officers are better prepared to act decisively and correctly in a broad spectrum of situations. Second, training results in greater productivity and effectiveness. Third, training fosters cooperation and unity of purpose. Training includes CPR, first aid, firearms instruction, hazardous materials, officer safety, crime scene, self defense, community policing, driving and many others.

RESERVE

A Reserve Deputy’s primary duties are to provide additional personnel who are fully trained and ready for call-out during an emergency. They also assist in crowd control during major public events, respond during specified disaster and provide back up services at all levels, as needed. Reserve Officers must conform to all general orders, abide by all policies set forth by the Sheriff of Columbia county Florida, and meet the same standards as any regular deputy. For more information about becoming a Reserve Deputy Sheriff for Columbia County please visit our “How Do I” page or contact our Human Resources Division (386-758-2130).

CITIZENS SERVICE UNIT

The Citizens Service Unit (CSU) was formed in 2006 and is comprised entirely of citizen volunteers who provide non-law enforcement activities which assist in, and enhance the accomplishment of the mission of the Sheriff’s Office. The CSU, organized under the Crime Prevention Unit, is designed to supplement and support, rather than supplant, sworn officers and civilian employees. The duties of CSU members are many and varied, limited only by the restriction that CSU members are not law enforcement officers and have no law enforcement authority. CSU members are assigned tasks as requested by the various elements of the Sheriff’s Office, receive training in these tasks prior to being assigned and work under the direction of Sheriff’s Office supervisors.

You are invited to join our volunteer organization, the Citizens Service Unit via filling out our Support Application.