Hernando County Sheriff's Office

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Hernando County Sheriff's Office
Logo of the Hernando County Sheriff's Office
Agency overview
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* County (US) of Hernando in the state of Florida, United States
General nature
Operational structure
Agency executive Al Nienhuis, Sheriff
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Hernando County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) is an accredited law enforcement agency responsible for Hernando County, Florida. The current Sheriff is Al Nienhuis, who was appointed by Governor Charlie Crist on January 1, 2011.


The HCSO is divided into three bureaus: Administration, Services, and Operations. Each bureau contains multiple divisions and sections pertinent to their functions and responsibilities. They are typically commanded by a Major, except for the Administration Bureau which is headed by the Sheriff and Chief Deputy.

Administration Bureau[edit]

The Administration Bureau is responsible for all internal affairs including (although not limited to):

  • Fiscal Affairs
  • Technical services (ensuring the operation of the Sheriff Office's computer network, including the Computer-Assisted Dispatch system)
  • Office of Professional Standards
  • County-wide 9-1-1 Consolidated Communications Center
  • Information Technology.
  • Human Resources Section

Professional Services[edit]

The Services Bureau mainly consists of the:

  • Community/Personnel Services Division
  • Fleet Management
  • Purchasing/Supply
  • Records / ARMS
  • Training
    Hernando County Sheriff's Office Marked Patrol Car
  • Chaplin
  • Volunteer Corps

Operations Bureau[edit]

The Operations Bureau is the heart of the HCSO, containing:

  • Patrol Division
    • District 1 and District 2
    • District Investigators (Property Crimes)
    • Public Service Technicians (PST's) & Public Service Aides (PSA's)
  • Administrative Support
  • Operations Support
    • K-9
    • SWAT
    • CRT
    • FTO
    • Aviation
    • Marine
    • Selective Enforcement Unit
  • Homeland Security
    • Rapid Response Team (RRT)
    • HAZMAT
  • Animal Enforcement
  • Reserve/Auxilery Deputies
  • Criminal Investigations Division
    • Major Case / Persons Crimes and Economic Crimes
    • Forensics/Crime Scene Unit
    • Victim Advocate
    • Vice & Narcotics
  • Crime Analysis

Emergency Management[edit]

COPPS, STARCOM, and Patrol Districts[edit]

Like many other law enforcement agencies around the country, the HCSO has its own Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving (COPPS) program. The COPPS program is designed to improve law enforcement relations with the community, through the development and facilitation of programs and organizations which address the community's needs and issues. The COPPS initiative encourages deputies to take a "problem solving" approach to their cases (as opposed to an "incident driven" one), expanding their influence into a wide range of quality of life issues.

The Sheriff's Tracking Accountability and Responsiveness to Crime Oppression Management (STARCOM) program is based on the successful implementation of CompStat by the New York City Police Department in 1994. STARCOM furthers the goal of COPPS through statistical analysis of criminal trends to identify crime patterns, and using this data to raise community awareness. Sheriff Richard Nugent introduced STARCOM on February 3, 2003, and restructured the Operations Bureau to better suit the model. The implementation of STARCOM also called for the reorganization of Hernando County into two Districts (1-2), which are further divided into Zones. Zone 9, while technically under the jurisdiction of District 1, is actually the territory of the Brooksville City Police Department. Refer to the map for more districting information.

Judicial Section[edit]

The Hernando County Detention Center is the central booking and intake location for all law enforcement agencies operating in Hernando County. The care, custody and control of individuals arrested in Hernando County by the Sheriff's Office and various state and local police agencies is the responsibility of the Detention Center. Confined in the Hernando County Detention Center are those individuals who have been arrested and held without bond, been unable to post bail set by the courts, are being transferred from other states or counties while awaiting trial in Hernando County, or those found guilty and sentenced to serve less than one year in county jail.

The Sheriff operates the Hernando County Detention Center which has an authorized capacity of 818 inmates. The facility houses males, females and juveniles between the ages of 14 and 17 who have be adjudicated for treatment as adults charged or sentenced on misdemeanor and felony crimes.

Deputies also transport inmates to and from court from the Detention Center as well as picking inmates from other Counties in the State of Florida.

The Judicial Section has a Warrants section and that enters and removes warrants within FCIC/NCIC system. Detectives assigned to this section look for persons with active warrants and take them into custody.

The Hernando County Detention Center has a new state of the art medical center.

Air support units[edit]

The Sheriff's Office currently has two helicopters registered to it under the N-numbers N78HC[1] and N53HC.[2]

N78HC is a McDonnell Douglas 520 NOTAR (No Tail Rotor) helicopter[3] (Serial Number: LN-065). The MD-520N is popular with law enforcement agencies for its maneuverability and top speed of 150 knots. The aircraft has a maximum range of 300 miles and can remain airborne for 2 hours and 30 minutes. LN-065 was built in 1994, and acquired by the HCSO on March 31, 1995. In October 2013 the Sheriff's Office sold the obsolete aircraft due to a lack of parts for the helicopter to keep it flying.

N53HC is a Hughes OH-6A Cayuse rotorcraft (Serial Number: 69-16014). The OH-6 was originally developed for military use during the Vietnam War. It's the predecessor to the AH-6 Little Bird - another military helicopter - known especially for its role during the Battle of Mogadishu, the infamous US military operation in Somalia in 1993. The OH-6A has a top speed of about 130 knots, and a range of 380 nautical miles (700 km). N53HC was acquired by the HCSO on December 15, 1997

The air support facility is located at the Hernando County Airport. The hangar is also shared by Bayflight (medical helicopter).[4]


  • Sheriff
  • Colonel
  • Major
  • Captain
  • Lieutenant
  • Sergeant
  • Corporal
  • Detective
  • Deputy Sheriff

Slain officers[edit]

  • Deputy Sheriff Lonnie C. Coburn, February 21, 1978
  • Captain Scott Bierwiler, February 19, 2009
  • Deputy Sheriff John C. Mecklenburg, July 3, 2011

See also[edit]


  1. ^ N78HC
  2. ^ N53HC
  3. ^ "Choppers: Airborne answer to crime on ground" by Robert King, St. Petersburg Times (23 Feb 2003)
  4. ^ Hernando County Airport

External links[edit]