The Bike Patrol primary focus is self-initiated activity while patrolling events, shopping centers, and communities. Deputies generally ride with an assigned partner in groups of two. This allows bike deputies to patrol in high crime areas without burdening patrol deputies with routine cover calls. Besides the self-initiated activity that keeps the bike patrol quite busy, the bike deputies will also respond to radio calls, if they are near enough for the deputies to pedal the distance.
Our deputies are highly visible and contribute a strong relationship with the community. Community Policing is strongly encouraged during the course of their duties and are not dispatched to calls unless it involves an event that this team is assigned. Our community holds several events which will bring over 20,000 citizens at times, and this team is essential to the safety of the public. Often, they are called upon to locate lost children and parents.
SWAT member’s primary responsibilities are to increase the likelihood of safely resolving critical incidents. They specialize in narcotics investigations, high-risk felony apprehension, hostage negotiations, armed criminal activities, and other tasks. The duties of this team also include hostage rescue, barricade, sniper, high-risk warrant service and high-risk apprehension, dignitary protection, terrorism response, special assignments, mutual aid agreements and/or governmental support requests.
Every member of SWAT focuses on saving lives and being able to dictate the level of force necessary to adequately protect the citizens of Spotsylvania and the deputies involved within their investigations. To resolve some incidents, SWAT members are trained and required to use the various levels of force, up to and including, deadly force.
The SWAT Team members go through legal, tactical and operational training monthly and are required to maintain specified standards. Department patrol rifle/handgun training includes drills in keeping with SWAT team tactics, techniques and procedures are counted as SWAT training. All members are required to maintain physical fitness and must qualify with their weapons at a higher standard.
The team currently has 18 members and is comprised of members of the Sheriff’s Office with the knowledge, skills, and ability to responsibly engage in resolving critical incidents.
The Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office Dive Team provides rapid response to any water related incident within the County or any other jurisdiction providing mutual aid.
Our agency is equipped with dive boats and works with the Fire & Rescue personnel, which have additional vessels. Spotsylvania County has several lakes, ponds, rivers, including Lake Anna, which is a 13,000-acre lake.
We have 11 divers who are certified and receive training monthly. This is a secondary function for these deputies and they are often called out after they complete other assignments.
The Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office has a full time continuously operating canine unit within the patrol division. The Sheriff’s Office and the community have seen the advantages of the canines since 1976 and with an increase in deployments the canine unit eventually grew to six canine teams. The canine unit has six patrol canines crossed trained in the areas of patrol and narcotics detection, one single purpose explosive team, and one single purpose missing person team. The canine breeds include German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, and Bloodhounds.
The canine teams are required to participate in 16 hours of monthly training and is overseen by a Lieutenant. The patrol canines train extensively so they are ready to assist patrol deputies, detectives, and SWAT in locating wanted felons. The canines also assist in locating missing persons, narcotics, explosives, and evidence. The handlers and canine undergo a strenuous program during which the teams are instructed in: basic obedience, agility, handler protection, narcotics or explosives detection, tracking, building searches, veterinary first aid, and legal. The canine teams are required to pass all aspects of training to receive certification. Upon completion of the Canine Handlers Basic School, the teams are sent out on patrol and receive re-certification annually.
The canines help us do our job safer and faster saving the Sheriff’s Office hundreds of man-hours every year. The canines freely and willingly go into areas deputies are not able to. We rely on the canine teams to use their special abilities to help us locate suspects, evidence, narcotics, explosives, or missing persons quickly.
The success of the canine unit is also attributed to the support by our citizens, county schools, and local businesses that have monetarily donated or provided areas to train our beloved canine.
The Marine Patrol unit patrol Lake Anna within our County to enforce and educate boat safety. These units are responsible for DUI Enforcement, boating laws of Virginia, and assisting stranded citizens on the lake. This boat responds to all boat crashes, shore incidents, and patrols all marinas, beaches, and parks.
Each of the deputies assigned to the Marine Patrol are required to complete a boating class and certification through the United State Coast Guard and must pass a swimming course as well as an FTO period for Operator & Deckhand. These requirements are above the required state certification of the law enforcement officer.
Our Marine Unit works with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Louisa Sheriff’s Office, the United States Coast Guard, and other Law Enforcement Agencies on the waters of Lake Anna.
Search & Rescue
The Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office established the Search and Rescue Team in 1997. This program is designed to locate lost or missing persons with certified search and rescue personnel.
The Search and Rescue personnel manage the Project Lifesaver program and monitor citizens on this program. Often, emergency rescues are required throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia for crashes, missing persons, and other incidents. The Virginia Department of Emergency Management calls upon Search and Rescue Teams like ours and we respond to assist other regions in Virginia.