Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

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Jacksonville Sheriff's Office
Jacksonville, FL Sheriff-Police.jpg
Logo of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
Agency overview
Formed 1968[1]
Employees 3,060
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Legal jurisdiction Municipal/County
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters 501 E. Bay Street, Jacksonville, Florida
Sworn members 1,600
Unsworn members 760 corrections officers
700 other civilians
Agency executive John H. Rutherford[2], Sheriff
Jacksonville, FL Sheriff badge

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (JSO) is a joint city-county law enforcement agency, which has primary responsibility for law enforcement, investigation, and corrections within the consolidated City of Jacksonville and Duval County, Florida, United States. Duval County includes the incorporated cities of Jacksonville, Atlantic Beach, Baldwin, Jacksonville Beach, and Neptune Beach; the beach cities have their own police departments as well.

The sheriff's office also performs the corrections duties for the county. The current sheriff is John Rutherford, in office since July 1, 2003. The JSO is one of the largest departments in the Southeastern United States, with 3,600 employees. Its headquarters is 501 E. Bay Street Jacksonville, Florida 32202.


According to the Sheriff's Office, its mission is to "protect the lives and property of the citizens of this community, to preserve the peace and to prevent crime and disorder while constantly guarding personal liberties as prescribed by law."


In 1967 a mandate was given by residents of Jacksonville and Duval County with 65 percent of the votes cast in favor of consolidating the city (Jacksonville Police Department) and county governments (Duval County Sheriff's Office). On October 1, 1968, the two governmental bodies were replaced with "a single unified government", the new organization, the Office of the Sheriff - Jacksonville Police, paralleled the name of the new jurisdiction. The four other municipalities within Duval County retained their own police departments. However, the Baldwin city council voted to disband their police department by 2007; at midnight on March 13, 2006, the sheriff's office took over responsibility of police services.[3]

Elected Sheriffs[edit]

  • 1903-1904 John Price
  • 1913-1915 W. H. “Ham” Dowling
  • 1924-1928 W. B. Cahoon[4]
  • 1932-1957 Rex Sweat
  • 1957-1958 William Alpheus “Al” Cahill[5]
  • 1958-1986 Dale George Carson[6]
  • 1986-1996 Jim McMillan
  • 1996-2004 Nat Glover
  • 2004–Present John Rutherford


The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office responding to an emergency

The JSO is headed by the sheriff, a Florida constitutional officer elected to a four-year term with no limit on the number of terms. The sheriff appoints his own senior staff from Undersheriff to Assistant Chiefs. All sworn members of the JSO are sworn in by the sheriff and are considered under the Florida constitution as his/her deputies. All sworn members of the JSO are Law Enforcement Officers (LEO) or Correctional Officers with all powers allowed by state law to carry firearms and make arrest. JSO also employs Community Service Officers, who are unsworn personnel that respond to primarily traffic-related incidents not requiring the full police powers of a sworn officer (now defunct.)


The Sheriff's Office is divided into five departments, each sub-divided into divisions, sections, units, zones, and squads. Each department is commanded by a director with the rank director of a department. Each division is commanded by a chief. The department and its sections are as follows.

Department of Patrol & Enforcement[edit]

There are three divisions in this department, and is headed by the director of patrol and enforcement

Patrol East Division[edit]

Commanded by the chief of Patrol East.

  • Zone 1-assistant chief/zone commander
  • Zone 2-assistant chief/zone commander
  • Zone 3-assistant chief/zone commander
Patrol West Division[edit]

Commanded by the chief of Patrol West.

  • Zone 4-assistant chief/zone commander
  • Zone 5-assistant chief/zone commander
  • Zone 6-assistant chief/zone commander
Community Affairs & Special Events Division[edit]

Commanded by the chief.

  • Community Affairs-assistant chief
  • Special Events-assistant chief

Department of Investigations & Homeland Security[edit]

There are three divisions in this department, and the director holds the title of director of the Department of Investigations & Homeland Security.

Detective Division[edit]

The Detective Division is under the direction of the chief of detectives who is responsible for the overall operation of the division. The Detective Division comprises a Crimes Against Property Section and a Crimes Against Persons Section, both under the command of an assistant chief.

  • Crimes against property
    • Burglary Unit - The Burglary Unit investigates all business and residential burglaries as well as thefts over a certain dollar amount. These squads are assigned to the geographic patrol zones.
    • Polygraph Unit - The Polygraph Unit is staffed by polygraphists who administer polygraph examinations to suspects, victims, and witnesses involved in criminal investigations. They also administer polygraph examinations for police and other job applicants as part of their background investigation process.
    • Economic Crimes - The Economic Crimes Unit investigates forgeries, frauds, including Internet fraud, bank fraud and credit card fraud, along with identity theft, con games, and other economic crimes.
    • Crime Scene Unit - The Crime Scene Unit is staffed by evidence technicians.
    • Latent Print Unit - The Latent Print Unit is staffed by latent print examiners who play a vital role in the investigation, identification, and conviction of criminal offenders.
    • Photo Lab - The Photo Lab is staffed by police photographers who are responsible for processing, printing and maintaining all crime scene photographs.
  • Crimes Against Persons
    • Homicide Unit – The Homicide Unit handles current cases while one team handles cold case investigations. The "hot" teams investigate cases such as murder, manslaughter, suicide, accidental death (except traffic crashes), in‑custody deaths, any death of a suspicious or undetermined nature or a death in which a doctor will not sign the death certificate as well as any incident (except traffic crashes) resulting in life-threatening injury. The homicide unit also investigates officer involved shooting incidents, no matter how serious the injury, and incidents when an officer has been shot or seriously injured.
      • Cold Case Unit – The Cold Case Team reviews all requests for an investigation, provided the original detective, or reassigned detective is no longer in the Homicide Unit and there is no other active ongoing investigation.
      • Missing Persons Unit - The Missing Persons Unit is under the direction of the Homicide Unit commander.
    • Robbery Unit - Detectives are tasked with the investigation of the crimes of armed robbery, unarmed or "strong-arm" robbery, home-invasion robbery, carjacking, and a relatively new Florida statute covering the crime of "robbery by sudden snatching." Additionally, the Robbery Unit oversees the enforcement of the Jacksonville Business Security Code and the Florida Convenience Business Security Act.
      • Traffic Homicide Unit - The Traffic Homicide Unit is responsible for investigating traffic fatalities, and hit and run crashes with serious bodily injury.
      • Auto Theft Unit - The Auto Theft Unit handles approximately auto theft investigations a year many of which result in civil disputes. The unit also investigates thefts of marine craft, all terrain vehicles, motorcycles and aircraft
    • Sex Crimes Unit - The Sex Crimes Unit detectives are tasked with the investigation of all felony sexual assaults, as well as crimes involving child pornography and lewd and lascivious acts.
      • Family Violence and Child Abuse Unit - The responsibility of the Family Violence Unit is to investigate incidents of child abuse, child neglect, domestic violence, elderly abuse, elderly neglect and financial exploitation of the elderly.
      • Fugitive Unit - The duties of the Fugitive and Transportation Unit consist of returning wanted suspects who have been arrested in other jurisdictions to face outstanding local charges, transporting inmates for legal proceedings from one secure facility to another as directed by the courts, handling the extradition and rendition proceedings for fugitives arrested locally and in other jurisdictions, and serving writs of bodily attachment.
      • Victim Services Coordinator - The Victim Services Coordinator provides assistance to all crime victims, witnesses, survivors, and their significant others. The coordinator also provides short-term crisis intervention and counseling for law enforcement.
Homeland Security & Narcotics/Vice Division[edit]

The Homeland Security & Narcotics/Vice Division is commanded by a chief. It encompasses units and squads that include: Aviation; Bomb Squad; Canine; Dive Team; Homeland Security; Hostage Negotiators; Gang Intervention; Narcotics; Warehouse and Forfeiture Unit. Detectives also work with the North Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA); the division also includes the Violent Crimes/Narcotics Task Force and Internet crimes against children investigations. The division has two sections, both led by an assistant chief.

  • Narcotics/Vice-Assistant Chief
  • Tactical Support/Canines/Homeland and Seaport Security/Mounted/Aviation-Assistant Chief

Department of Police Services[edit]

A director leads the Department of Police Services. There are three divisions in this department.

  • Budget & Management Division-Chief
  • Police Support Services Division-Chief
    • Central Records-Assistant Chief
    • Communications-Assistant Chief
    • Logistic/General Support-Assistant Chief
    • Court Security-Lt.

Department of Personnel & Professional Standards[edit]

A director leads the Department of Personnel & Professional Standards. There are two divisions in this department.

  • Personnel Division-Chief
  • Professional Standards Division-Chief
    • Academy Director-Assistant Chief

Department of Corrections[edit]

The director of this department holds the title of director of corrections. The Department of Corrections has more than 600 certified corrections officers and civilian personnel with three correctional facilities in Duval County. The largest is the John E. Goode Pretrial Detention Facility (PTDF) located in downtown Jacksonville. It is a twelve-story building with a capacity of 2,189. The others are the Montgomery Correctional Center (MCC); and the Community Transitions Center (CTC). There are two divisions within this department:

  • Jails Division - Chief of the Jail
    • Jails - Assistant Chief
  • Prisons Division - Chief of Prisons
    • CTC - Assistant Chief
    • MCC - Assistant Chief


In 2005, Melanie Dawn Williams went into labor and rushed to the local hospital. She ran a red light and set off a string of events that led to two Jacksonville officers tackling and handcuffing her. In June 2010, the city paid the woman $67,500 to settle the matter.[7]

In January 2007, undercover Jacksonville officers killed an 80-year-old man on his front lawn. The man, Isaac Singletary, who was known to have used a gun to chase drug dealers off his property attempted the same technique against three officers, James Narcisse, Donald Maynard and Darrin Green, posing as drug dealers. In 2010 the city agreed to pay Singletary's family $200,000 to settle the matter. Internal investigations cleared the officers, although Narcisse was later fired for an unrelated issue.[8][9]

In August 2009, Donald L. Silcott, an evidence technician with the department, assaulted a teenaged girl in his home. In February 2011, he was sentenced to 40 months in jail.[10]

In August 2009, Officer David Cervone and Sergeant Marc Garza conducted an illegal raid on a home in the city. Both were charged with various violations. Cervone disposed of his case in February 2009, by agreeing to by probation and community service.[11]

In March 2010, a bank robber carjacked a woman and her children attempting to flee the scene. Jacksonville officers fired 42 shots at the moving vehicle killing the robber and wounding both hostages.[12]

In April 2011, Sergeant Marc Garza pled no contest to beating a handcuffed suspect with his radio. He had already pled guilty to encouraging a subordinate to file a false official report.[13]

In July 2011, Michael Eugene Williams resigned from the force after a second incident of domestic violence against women.[14]

In September 2011, Lieutenant Reginald Lott plead guilty to stealing funds from a police charity. He was sentenced to a year in jail.[15]

In October 2011, Officer Michael Rolison resigned after he collided his police car into another vehicle while driving drunk.[16]

In August 2012, Deputy Richard Cannon plead guilty to sexual battery and custodial sexual battery of two underaged girls. He was sentenced to thirty years in prison.[17]

In November 2012, Sam Koivisto was allowed to retire after telling officers he would be willing, if ordered to, to kill the President.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ SLMPD: History
  2. ^ SLMPD: Sheriff John Rutherford
  3. ^ Baldwin PD disbands
  4. ^ "W.B. Cahoon". Gainesville Police Department. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  5. ^ Scanlan, Dan (19 November 2014). "1913-2014: Duval sheriff William Cahill, whose term was marred by allegations, dies at age 101". Florida Times-Union. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  6. ^ Kerr, Jessie-Lynne (May 28, 2000). "Former sheriff Carson dies at 78". Florida Times-Union. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  7. ^ Woman settles lawsuit with Jacksonville police in pregnant arrest case; A woman in premature labor was arrested in the hospital after running a red light, by Paul Pinkham, Jacksonville.com, 7 June 2010
  8. ^ Police sued for fatally shooting 80-year-old resident, by Matt Galnor, Jacksonville.com, 23 January 2009
  9. ^ Jacksonville settles with family of man shot by police in 2007; City to pay $200,000, by Matt Galnor, Jacksonville.com, 21 June 2010
  10. ^ Jacksonville evidence tech sentenced to prison for assaulting girl, by David Hunt, Jacksonville.com, 18 February 2011
  11. ^ Law & Disorder: Ex-cop sentenced for misconduct in false-report case; He testified against sergeant in case of making false report, by the Times-Union, Jacksonville.com, 9 February 2011
  12. ^ Jacksonville mother files lawsuit in Wendy's police shooting; She and her son were hit when five officers fired 42 shots at a suspect in her car, by Jim Schoettler, Jacksonville.com, 10 August 2010
  13. ^ Jacksonville policeman Marc Garza gets no additional jail time for suspect beating; More probation, community service, but no additional jail time, by David Hunt, Jacksonville.com, 4 April 2011
  14. ^ Jacksonville cop quits after battery arrest, by Dana Treen, Jacksonville.com, 20 July 2011
  15. ^ Jacksonville cop who scammed police charity gets year in jail, by Bridget Murphy, Jacksonville.com, 3 December 2011
  16. ^ Cop Who Caused Crash Charged With DUI FHP: Jacksonville Officer Crashed Into Oncoming Car In St. Johns County,News4Jax.com, 3 October 2011
  17. ^ Former cop gets 30 years in prison for sex charges, First Coast News. com, 21 September 2012
  18. ^ Florida: Officer Resigns After Assassination COmment, by the Associated Press, New York Times, 23 November 2012

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°19′31″N 81°39′08″W / 30.325381°N 81.652126°W / 30.325381; -81.652126