Uniformed Patrol is comprised of Officers and Supervisors that respond to all emergency and non-emergency calls within the City of High Springs. Two shifts (7AM-7PM) and (7PM-7AM), provide 24-hour a day, 7-days a week coverage. Each shift is supervised by a Patrol Sergeant. The Uniformed Patrol Division is Commanded by the Deputy Chief of Police.
TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT & TRAFFIC HOMICIDE DIVISION
POLICE CHAPLAIN UNIT
POLICE K-9 UNIT
The High Springs Police Department K-9 unit was formally established in 2009 and currently has 3 K-9s. One K9 is assigned to High Springs Community School and is a Firearms and Ammunition Detection Dog. Our two other K9s are assigned to the Patrol Division and are Patrol Certified and trained in Apprehension, Article Searches, and the Detection of illegal Drugs & Narcotics. Each team within the K-9 Unit completes an annual certification that is mandated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Along with detection training, the teams are also training weekly in human tracking, article and building searches, criminal apprehension and handler protection. The K-9 teams work alongside with the Patrol Officers daily while providing assistance with the needs and requests of the other specialty units within the Agency. The mission of the K-9 Unit is to support all Law Enforcement Activity and the Community of High Springs, and surrounding Communities, as requested. This support is a force multiplier which assists in the apprehension of fleeing criminals, warrant searches, building and area searches, search and rescue, pursuits, illegal drug eradication, bomb searches, along with assisting Patrol Officers with in-progress calls for service. Aside from their Law Enforcement duties, the K-9 teams visit schools, Churches and businesses to give demonstrations of their canine’s abilities and to educate and give the public a better understanding of what the team is utilized for.
K-9 Officer J. Fricke & K-9 BRIX
K-9 Officer A. Pekala & K-9 CESAR
School Resource Officer Unit
The S.R.O. (School Resource Officer) program places emphasis on preventing juvenile delinquency by developing a positive and favorable Community/Student Law Enforcement Relationship. Our SROs’ focus is on rapport building, attitude change, counseling and resource assistance. In the event that a crime occurs on school grounds, the SRO will be responsible for taking appropriate law enforcement action. The HSPD SRO Program currently consists of 3 School Resource Officers; 2 Full Time & 1 Part Time.
School Resource Officer J. Taylor & K9 Justice Assigned to High Springs Community School
School Resource Officer Adam Joy Assigned to First Christian Academy
School Resource Officer L. Downing Assigned to High Springs Community School
The mission of the High Springs Police Department is to enhance the quality of life in the City of High Springs by working in partnership with the community. We will preserve the peace and uphold the law within the framework of the United States Constitution. Our mandate is to operate with honor and integrity, while at all times conducting ourselves with the highest ethical standards, accountability and transparency to maintain public confidence.
INTERNAL AFFAIRS UNIT
The Internal Affairs Unit primary function is to receive, process and investigate complaints made against members of the High Springs Police Department.
When a complaint is received, every effort is made to ensure a thorough, timely, and fair investigation of the allegation(s) contained in the complaint. The openness of the Department in the acceptance of a complaint is a principle element of professionalism and community responsiveness.
All complaints are processed and reviewed by the Internal Affairs Unit and submitted to the Chief of Police for review and final disposition.
Internal Affairs Unit duties include: • Investigating alleged misconduct by Department Members. • Providing assistance to Supervisors in investigations of alleged misconduct by Department Members. • Investigating critical incidents (e.g., Officer involved shootings, etc.). • Record, register, and control the investigation of complaints against Members. • Maintain the confidentiality of the Internal Affairs Unit’s investigations and records. • Prepare an annual report of incidents investigated and/or logged by the Internal Affairs Unit.
• How do I file a complaint against a Member of the Police Department?
The High Springs Police Department has created a Complaint Brochure to inform High Springs residents and visitors of the process of making a complaint.
• The brochures are also available at the Police Department Headquarters. • Complaint Process • All complaints will be accepted by the Internal Affairs Unit and can be received in person, by letter, by Citizen Commendation/Complaint Form, by telephone, or by E-mail.
Anonymous complaints are also accepted. The Office of the Chief of Police will review all complaints and a determination will be made to assign the complaint to the appropriate Supervisor or the Internal Affairs Unit for investigation.
• Following a thorough and impartial investigation, a disposition will be rendered based on all available factual information. The complainant will be contacted at the completion of the investigation, and will have an opportunity to discuss the disposition of the complaint.
• Step 1: You may contact the High Springs Police Internal Affairs Unit at (386) 454-1415 or by E-mail to [email protected] • Step 2: Complaints can be documented on a Citizen Commendation/Complaint Form. Forms are located in the lobby of Police Headquarters or available on our website.
• Step 3: Completed Citizen Commendation/Complaint Forms may be hand-delivered to any On-Duty Supervisor, hand-delivered to Police Headquarters (Monday through Friday 8:00 AM—4:00 PM), mailed to 23720 NW 187th Avenue High Springs, FL 32643, faxed to HSPD at (386) 454-7801, or submitted via E-mail attachment to [email protected]
• Step 4: You may at any time speak with an On-Duty Supervisor to initiate a complaint on any Member of the High Springs Police Department.
• Step 5: Upon receipt of the complaint, you will be contacted by the investigating Supervisor or the Internal Affairs Unit. At this step you may be requested to provide a sworn statement(s), produce any evidence of allegations and/or discuss the complaint in detail. • You may download a CITIZEN COMMENDATION/COMPLAINT FORM here. You must have Adobe Acrobat in order to open the file. • You must print, fill out, then mail, hand-deliver (Monday through Friday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM), fax, or submit via E-mail attachment to: • High Springs Police Department C/O Internal Affairs Unit 23720 NW 187th Avenue High Springs, Florida 32463 (386) 454-1415 (press option 3 for the Internal Affairs Unit) (386) 454-7801 (fax) [email protected]
• How long does it take to complete the investigation? • The average investigation takes from 30 days to 6 months to complete. This would depend on the complexity of the case, the availability of witnesses, and the involvement of other agencies, such as the State Attorney’s Office.
• Will I be able to see the completed investigation?
• All complaints are kept confidential and are not subject to public disclosure prior to the completion of the investigation. Once completed, you can obtain a copy by submitting a Public Records request via the High Springs Police Department Records Section. Per Florida State Statute Chapter 119, there may be a charge for copying these documents. How will an investigation be classified? The results of all complaints are called findings and there are FIVE classifications:
• Unfounded: The act of acts complained of did not occur or did not involve High Springs Police Department Members.
• No Conclusion: Insufficient evidence to clearly prove the allegation/complaint. • Sustained: The preponderance of evidence clearly proves the allegation/complaint. Guilty as charged. • Not Sustained: The Member’s actions were justified, lawful, or in accordance with Standard Operation Procedure. Not guilty.
• Withdrawn: The complainant retracted the allegation(s) through either a verbal or written statement. If the complaint is sustained, what type of corrective action/discipline will the Member receive? Correction Action/Discipline for violation of Departmental Policies can result in the following outcomes:
• Verbal Counseling • Remedial Training • Written Reprimand • Suspension from Duty Without Pay • Demotion (Ranking Members) • Termination From the Department Is there any risk in making a complaint against a Member of the Police Department? No, unless you deliberately make a false complaint against any Police Department Member, then you may be prosecuted criminally and/or be held civilly liable. PLEASE READ: It is against Florida law to knowingly make a false complaint against any Member of the High Springs Police Department. Florida State Statute 837.06 reads as follows: “Whoever knowingly makes a false statement in writing with the intent to mislead a public servant in the performance of his or her official duty shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree.” What rights do Police Officers have when a complaint is made against them? Officers are protected by the Police Officer’s Bill of Rights pursuant to Florida State Statute Chapter 112 and their Collective Bargaining Agreement. Both provide that the Officer shall not be subjected to harassment, intimidation, or threats from Supervisors. Officers have a right to counsel or union representation during the investigation.
How to Commend a Member for a Job Well Done? Members of the High Springs Police Department make every effort to perform their duties in a fair, competent, and professional manner. Many members surpass the expectations of the public by providing exceptional service above and beyond the call of duty. If you observe a High Springs Police Department Member performing their duties in a manner you think is exceptional, then we encourage you to take a moment and tell us about it.
Our Members take great pride in being recognized by Members of the public when they have performed their duties in an exceptional manner. Positive citizen commendations improve Member morale and encourage all Members to work harder to improve their individual performance, and the quality of the services they provide to the public. If you would like to tell us about the exceptional service that you received, or you observed being done for someone else, you may choose to complete the Citizen Commendation/Complaint Form or write to the Chief of Police at the address provided above. Please accept our sincere gratitude for sharing your experience with us!