BSO is the only agency servicing the estimated 1.84 million residents in Broward County for both airborne law enforcement and on scene trauma transports. Our mission is to efficiently and effectively provide the highest level of police and emergency medical service support to the citizens, visitors and agencies within Broward County at a reasonable cost. On average, they conduct 2,500 missions a year with approximately 2,000 flight hours. Over the past ten years, the Unit assisted on 33,397 DLE missions and 2,502 medevacs.
The Unit has the capability of performing many diversified missions including but are not limited to:
- Criminal search and apprehension
- Stolen vehicle recovery with Lojack
- Search and rescue operations in the everglades and offshore
- EMS trauma patient transport
- Deployment and extraction of the SWAT Team
The Unit has four helicopters each outfitted with: a FLIR system, night vision capabilities, 30 million candlepower night sun, moving map systems and Lojack. The Unit is staffed with; one sergeant pilot and seven deputy line pilots, 18 flight medics and three in house mechanics. The pilots are required to have Commercial/Instrument Rotorcraft Helicopter rating.
Nearly 300 deputies on marked patrol bicycles are assigned to BSO districts in Broward County. The Bicycle Patrol supports the customary patrol policies within districts, providing an efficient and highly visible resource, especially in those areas with high automobile and pedestrian traffic. In addition to patrol duties, deputies in the unit promote bicycle safety with educational programs at schools and through their participation in bicycle rodeos, helmet give-aways, bicycle registrations and identification etching programs, safety demonstrations and community meetings.
Deputies in the unit must complete a 40-hour Basic Bicycle Patrol Training Course, reviewed and sanctioned by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement/CJSTC. Course instructors also provide lesson plans and instructions to BSO's community service aides (CSAs) and members of the agency's Citizens Observer Patrol. CSA's are also utilized on bicycles in Port Everglades for traffic control, security and high visibility during special events. To schedule a safety demonstration or other program for your group or school, contact Countywide Operations at (954) 321-4100.
BSO's Bomb Squad is a federally accredited Bomb Disposal Unit, meaning it has met the standards and criteria required to provide assistance to local, state and federal agencies countywide. The Bomb Squad's primary responsibilities include:
- Responding to all suspected explosive devices and suspicious items
- Rendering explosive devices safe
- Neutralizing and disposing of explosives and hazardous chemicals
- Conducting detailed bomb threat searches with specially trained explosive detection canines.
In addition, the unit coordinates the investigations of situations involving the use of bombs, explosives, mass-destruction weapons and at post-blast explosion scenes. The unit's highly trained and skilled members are equipped with state-of-the-art tools including two custom designed bomb disposal response vehicles, a full containment explosive vessel with transport, the newest remote bomb disposal robot and two additional robots. The team also uses other equipment such as state-of-the-art x-ray technology, heavey blast resistant suits and weapons of mass destruction neutralization. The unit is staffed by federally certified (FBI and U.S. Army) bomb technicians and bomb detection-trained canines.
The Broward Sheriff's Office maintains canine (K-9) teams that assist deputies in a variety of law enforcement situations. Assigned to the Bureau of Regional Services under Specialized Operations, canine teams are trained for a particular objective with extensive training prior to any operation and continuous weekly training to maintain the highest level of efficiency. Teams are generally assigned to specific locations but are used throughout the county as situations warrant.
The canine team assigned to the Fort Lauderdale / Hollywood International Airport is used to identify explosive devices or materials and BSO's Bomb Squad uses canines to assist deputies and technicians in hazardous situations. The team assigned to the Pembroke Park / West Park / South Broward district specializes in locating missing persons. Other teams are used to identify narcotics on a person, in a vehicle or in a structure. Patrol canine teams are assigned throughout the county and are called upon to conduct building and area searches, track suspects and are used in other capacities where dogs and their handlers can provide unique assistance to a patrol deputy.
Child Protective Investigations Section
Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse:
Florida law requires any person who knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect, that a child is abused, abandoned, or neglected by a parent, legal custodian, caregiver, or other person responsible for the child's welfare or that a child is in need of supervision and care and has no parent, legal custodian, or responsible adult relative known and available to provide care to report their knowledge or suspicion to the Florida Abuse Hotline. Effective October 01, 2012 Florida law now requires any person who knows, or who has reasonable cause to suspect, that a child is abused by an adult other than a parent, legal custodian, caregiver, or other person responsible for the child's welfare to also report such knowledge or suspicion to the Florida Abuse Hotline.
To report suspected child abuse, abandonment or neglect:
- Call the Florida Child Abuse Hotline directly at: 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873)
- Submit electronically at
- Submit report by facsimile (fax) at: 1-800-914-0004
Stressed by parenting? Don't direct your anger at your child.
Get confidential help from "First Call for Help." Dial 2-1-1 or (954) 537-0211. More information is available at
When a reported concern of suspected child abuse, neglect or abandonment by a caregiver or other person responsible for a child is received in Broward County, the Broward Sheriff's Office investigates the allegation in the specialized unit, Child Protective Investigations Section (CPIS). Because Broward ranks high among Florida counties for the number of abuse reports received monthly, extensive resources and collaborations have been devoted to this section including 94 investigators, 16 supervisors, 4 managers and 32 support personnel.
The cases are referred to BSO by the Florida Abuse Hotline which is operated by the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF). Each investigation is conducted jointly with local law enforcement as defined in longstanding Memorandum of Understandings executed with local police municipalities. Specially trained child protective investigators focus on child safety issues, while the law enforcement personnel investigate any criminal aspects to the case. BSO CPIS incorporates on-site multi-agency assistance to immediately address specific frequently encountered detrimental family issues such as substance abuse, mental health and domestic violence that may be an underlying factor in resolving the harm, neglect or abuse. Additionally, BSO CPIS uses the Broward County Sexual Assault Treatment Center / Child Advocacy Center for medical exams and other related enhanced evaluative and investigative assistance.
Additionally, BSO relies greatly on an extensive collection of community partners to intervene with referred families that need ongoing family support and family strengthening services. Families are assessed for service needs during an investigation. Annually thousands of families are referred by BSO CPIS for voluntary service assistance intended to improve parenting capacities and strengthen family functioning with a focus on enhancing child safety. Even if abuse isn't confirmed by BSO, many families that are met may have identified service needs and are offered such assistance.
When a victim child must be removed from a home, the section's first choice is placement with a willing and capable relative, offering a safe and caring environment. If that isn't possible, out-of-home placement is arranged by the local community-based care provider, ChildNet, located adjacent to the BSO CPIS office. They locate an appropriate foster home placement within hours. These cases are directly referred to the local juvenile dependency court system.
If it is determined a child was a victim of abuse or neglect, but circumstances indicate the child is able to remain safely in the home BSO may refer the family to a contracted provider funded by the Children's Services Council of Broward for intensive in-home service intervention. In other instances the child protective investigator may determine the filing of a petition for adjudication of dependency with the court is in the best interest for ensuring compliance to needed supervision and services with the family.
The Broward Sheriff's Office has full responsibility for all county child protective investigations and operates under a multi-year Grant agreement with the Florida Department of Children and Families since 1999.
You can contact the Child Protective Investigations Section at (954) 797-5299
Criminal Investigations Division
BSO's Criminal Investigations Division is the agency's central detective bureau for major crimes. Homicides, robberies, sexual offenses and other violent crimes against persons are investigated by detectives assigned to one of three primary sections:
Violent Crimes Section
includes the Violent Crimes Unit, Homicide Unit and Missing Persons Unit. These units investigate the most serious crimes that threaten society; aggravated assault, aggravated battery, stalking, kidnapping, attempted murder, homicide, arsons with injury/death, as well as the investigation of missing/vulnerable persons and our most dated and challenging cold cases.
Major Crimes Section
includes the Special Victims Unit, Robbery Unit, and Economic Crimes Unit. These units investigate an array of serious offenses that present a threat to the most vulnerable of society: abuse of children, the elderly/disabled, and animals, sexual crimes, domestic/dating violence, armed robbery, fraud/identity theft, unscrupulous contractors and the apprehension of society's most wanted fugitives.
Administrative Support Section
includes the Case Filing Unit, Victim Advocate Unit, Crime Scene Unit, Crime Lab and Career Criminal Unit. This section tracks and monitors sexual predators/offenders, and provides robust analytical and administrative support critical to the success of the Major and Violent Crimes Sections while utilizing the latest in computer and internet technologies.
Victims Services Unit
If you have been a victim or witness to a crime and could benefit from our assistance, contact the Victim Services Unit at (954) 321-4200.
BSO's Victim Services Unit provides assistance for the victims and witnesses of crimes through established advocacy policies and by providing necessary notification.
Victim/Witness Advocates deal with the emotional trauma resulting from a crime by addressing the physical and psychological well-being of a victim or witness. The unit provides crisis intervention, short-term counseling and referrals, criminal justice information, court support, and emergency assistance for limited shelter, food, and basic physical needs arising from victimization.
The agency's Victim Notification Specialist notifies known victims, including the next of kin of homicide victims and the relatives of minors who are victims, about the pending release of sentenced prisoners incarcerated in Broward County jails.
The Victim's Bill of Rights
Know your rights under the law. Victims of crime are entitled to information regarding:
- Local community services
- Availability of crimes compensation, when applicable
- The victim's role in the legal and judicial systems
Victims also have a right to:
- Protection from intimidation
- Advanced notification of judicial proceedings related to arrest, release and proceedings, including when to submit written statements
- Notification of scheduling changes by the agency scheduling court appearances
- Attend and be heard at crucial stages of the judicial process
- Prompt and timely disposition of a case (provided it does not interfere with the rights of the accused)
- Consultation by the State Attorney's Office in certain felony crimes
- Prompt return of property (if there is no compelling need to retain the property as evidence)
- Request assistance from law enforcement or the state attorney in notifying employers and creditors of circumstances resulting from the crime
- Request and receive restitution
- Submit a victim impact statement to the court
- Have a victim advocate attend depositions
- Review portions of the pre-sentence investigation
- Receive notification of the escape or release of the offender
In addition, the victims of a crime and the state attorney, with the consent of the victim, have standing to assert the rights of a crime victim as provided by law.
The Broward Sheriff's Office Victim / Witness Handbook includes information on these rights and other helpful information. You may download a copy of the
Victims & Witnesses Handbook or contact BSO at (954) 321-4200 or visit your local
BSO district office to request a copy.
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Victim Notification Program - Get notified regarding a criminal alien's release from custody.
BSO's Economic Crimes Unit handles complaints about identity theft, credit card and check fraud, telemarketing rip-offs and other money-related crimes. Too often, unsuspecting victims of economic crime don't realize they've been defrauded until days or weeks after the crime has occurred, and after the criminals are long gone.
Learn to protect yourself against economic crimes and identity theft by starting with these simple rules:
- Memorize your social security number, passwords and PIN numbers. Never give out personal information, including credit card and Social Security numbers over the phone.
- Carry only the ID and credit cards you need, usually a driver's license, one or two credit cards and an insurance card. Leave the others locked in a secure place. Keep your purse or wallet in a safe place, especially when you're at work,
- Take ATM and receipts for all purchases with you; do not leave them with the clerk or in a garbage can next to the ATM machine. Promptly review all bank and credit card statements for accuracy. Report any irregularities to the bank or credit card company immediately.
- Invest in a shredder and destroy unneeded credit card receipts, bills, statements and other documents which include personal and financial information.
- Secure your mailbox. The second most common way thieves obtain identity information is through stolen mail. Never place outgoing mail in an unlocked residential mailbox.
- Place passwords on all credit card, bank and phone accounts. Never use identifying information such as your mother's maiden name, the last four digits of your social security number or your birth date as passwords.
More about economic crimes and how to protect yourself:
BSO's Dive Rescue Team responds to emergency situations where life or property is threatened in an underwater environment. This includes the Ocean, inland waterways, canals, lakes and the Florida Everglades. In addition, they provide underwater search and recovery missions involving sea wall and ship hull searches, locating drowning victims, diving accidents, submerged vehicles, evidence and other property. The Dive Team is responsible for investigating underwater crime scenes to include scene evaluation, search, recovery of evidence, and for proper documentation for court presentation. Forty deputies staff the Dive Team as part-time members who have full time responsibilities with either the Marine Patrol Unit, the Bomb Unit, or from various Patrol Districts throughout the Agency. All members are placed on a 24/7 call out basis. The Dive Team responds to an average of 120 to 140 missions per year and provides mutual aid to other local, county and state agencies when requested.
All Dive Team members are equipped with standardized equipment that includes dry suits, Interspiro full-face masks and wireless communications. Each Dive Team member has been trained as a Dive Rescue International Public Safety Diver, and must have Dry Suit Diver, Dive Rescue I Specialist and Full-face Mask certifications before they participate in any Dive Team group training. Every member of the Dive Team is required to attend monthly training, taught by BSO Dive Team Public Safety Scuba Instructors. This training helps divers maintain a standard of proficiency to enhance their safety and to successfully complete missions.
BSO's Dive Team training and capabilities include:
- Annual Dive Rescue Team recertification
- Dive scene search & recovery
- Underwater death investigations recovery techniques
- Conveyance accident search and rescue technology
- Swift water search & rescue
- Deep water & wreck penetration diving
- Waterborne boat operations
- Emergency paramedical management operations
- Underwater video and photography
- ROV/Video Ray operation
- Kirby Morgan Diving Helmet operations
- Water survival
- Seaport & shipping search & recovery
- EOD - render safe procedures by Bomb Unit divers
- Hazardous materials exposure
- Members also attend various Dive Rescue II classes, and training offered by Military and Specialized Agencies.
The Dive Team utilizes Marine Patrol Unit vessels, inflatable vessels and Rescue One Connector Dive vessels. The Dive Team equipment trailers are equipped with wired video cameras, underwater digital video and still cameras, side scan sonar units, side imaging systems, a Video Ray Pro 4 ROV, underwater metal detectors, lift bags, surface supplied breathing air system, and a diver dressing station and office utilized on dive scenes. A Bauer Air Compressor trailer is utilized for surface supplied air operations, tank refills, and to assist other agencies working large scenes. Specialized dive equipment is available in the event we are called upon to enter water where a diver may be exposed to hazardous materials or extremely polluted conditions.
For more information, contact BSO's Dive Team at 954.938.0650.
Nearly 30% of Florida's traffic fatalities in 2004 were alcohol-related and in the last 20 years, alcohol-related fatalities have increased by one-third. The need for effective and proactive enforcement of Florida's DUI laws is crucial in combating a growing problem on the highways and waterways of the state.
The Broward Sheriff's Office responds to this problem with the DUI Unit, encompassing three separate divisions: the DUI Task Force, DUI/Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT), and BAT Video. All three work together to enforce DUI laws, process DUI offenders and increase awareness of the hazards of driving or boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
DUI Task Force
Proactively enforces Florida's DUI laws with special DUI checkpoints and detects, investigates and apprehends impaired drivers. Task Force deputies also assist other law enforcement agencies and the State Attorney's Office; offer DUI training; provide educational presentations; and facilitate support groups including Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD).
DUI/Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT)
Provides technical support during processing of persons arrested for driving or boating while impaired. BAT personnel are specially trained and certified Breath Alcohol Testing Technicians. BSO personnel use an Intoxilyzer 8000 to test for evidence of alcohol.
Assists in the successful prosecution of those charged with DUI, primarily by videotaping offenders. The team processes discovery requests, provides expert testimony and trains personnel of the State Attorney's office and the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys' Association on issues regarding forensic breath alcohol testing.
The DUI unit offers a variety of educational opportunities including Teenage Drinking and Driving Awareness programs, DUI Saturation Patrols, Field Officer Training and public displays of enforcement equipment including the "BAT-mobile"- the mobile breath alcohol testing truck.
BSO's Evidence Unit receives, catalogs and stores evidentiary, abandoned, forfeited and found property in accordance with state and local law. In its 32,000 square foot air-conditioned warehouse in Ft. Lauderdale, the Evidence Unit stores more than 900,000 items including bicycles, jewelry, office equipment, luggage, household items, electronic equipment and more.
If you have property that, by law, was held by the Evidence Unit but may now be returned to you,
click here for instructions on retrieving your property.
For more information about the Evidence Unit's operation, see
Evidence and Property Unit
After certain periods of time specified by law, the Evidence Unit may dispose of property that is no longer required to be stored. In the past, the Evidence Unit held periodic "Sheriff's Sales" where this property was auctioned to the highest bidder. Today, BSO sells the property online at www.propertyroom.com, an online auction site specializing in property from police agencies across the country. Interested persons may view the items and submit their bids by logging onto www.propertyroom.com. All sales are subject to bidder's responsibility for shipping and handling. All sales are final. For more information on how to participate in this auction, log onto the website indicated above.
Forensic Services Division
Broward Sheriff's Office (BSO) Crime Laboratory, located in the Broward County Courthouse, provides all public law enforcement agencies in Broward County with scientific forensic analysis of physical evidence. BSO's Crime Laboratory is the only full-service, internationally accredited laboratory in Broward County, receiving over 20,000 cases per year. BSO's Crime Laboratory employs just over 50 staff members, serving the 1.87 million residents of Broward County.
BSO's Crime Laboratory is a nationally recognized leader in the forensic science community, as the first Sheriff's Office Crime Laboratory to become internationally accredited by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB). The scope of the BSO Crime Laboratory's accreditation includes the following forensic disciplines: Controlled Substances, DNA, Firearms/Tool Marks/Impression Evidence, and Latent Print Examination. Additionally, the majority of the forensic scientists at BSO's Crime Laboratory have successfully attained certification by their discipline's respective certification bodies including: the American Board of Criminalistics (ABC), the Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners (AFTE) and the International Association for Identification (IAI).
BSO Crime Laboratory's forensic scientists, supported by a dedicated and hardworking administrative and evidence intake staff, are skilled and knowledgeable subject matter experts that use their technical expertise, in various forensic science disciplines, to serve the needs of the criminal justice community of Broward County.
For a current list of available positions, please visit the
Current Job Openings page of the Broward Sheriff's Office website. If you are a college student pursuing a career in forensic science, BSO's Crime Laboratory offers internships in all forensic disciplines. The internship program runs throughout the year and coincides with university semesters; internships are unpaid.
Broward Sheriff's Office Crime Laboratory Mission Statement:
To serve the criminal justice needs of Broward County by applying sound scientific principles to the examination of physical evidence. Impartial and reliable analysis will be conducted in a cost effective and timely manner without jeopardizing the quality of work, the integrity of the laboratory, or the principles of justice.
The Crime Scene Unit consists of 12 sworn detectives, 2 sergeants, 1 crime scene technician and 3 support personnel. Crime Scene Unit detectives are responsible for the documentation of major crime scenes including homicides, suicides, sexual batteries, armed robberies, shootings and suspicious deaths. BSO's Crime Scene Unit covers all BSO districts and also serves most Broward County municipalities as well as federal and state agencies throughout the tri-county area. Members of the Crime Scene Unit provide forensic training to numerous police institutes in the area and are recognized as court-declared experts in several judicial districts in various forensic fields.
Using state-of-the-art video and still photography equipment, team members record details of a scene for future investigation, analysis and preparation for court review. The unit also supervises the proper collection of evidence, latent fingerprint processing and other evidentiary duties relating to major cases. Each detective is issued an identical crime scene van fully equipped with the latest Nikon photography equipment, video camcorders, evidence detection/collection equipment as well as level B biohazardous protection gear including three different types of respirators. Recognized for performing one of the most hazardous jobs in law enforcement, crime scene personnel are closely monitored through semi-annual medical testing for their safety.
A fully equipped 40-ft Mobile Crime Scene Laboratory / command center, including generators and on-board cellular and fax communication, allows continuous operation for several days at a single location. The Mobile Crime Laboratory, designed and manufactured at the direction of members of the unit, is one of the largest mobile crime scene response units in the United States. The Crime Scene Unit has an in-house photo laboratory which provides services not only to BSO but to numerous police and fire departments as well as the State Attorney's Office and the Public Defender's Office. Court-accepted digital enhancements of latent fingerprints using the Foray ADAMS system are available through the unit's Digital Laboratory.
The BSO's Crime Scene Unit is the designated a Region 7 Weapons of Mass Destruction Forensic Response Team. Training for the crime scene detectives is extensive. Detectives must complete a minimum of one year of training in addition to participating in other seminars and educational opportunities. The core training for a new detective is typically over 1,000 hours.
Broward County's extensive coastline, inland waterways, canals and thousands of acres of Everglades present unique challenges for law enforcement and emergency rescue operations. The responsibility to meet these challenges falls to BSO's Marine Unit, consisting of the Marine Patrol and the Dive Rescue Team.
The Marine Patrol enforces marine laws and ordinances and provides high-visibility patrol in county waterways, investigates boating accidents and related crime scenes, and promotes boating education and safety to the approximately 45,000 registered pleasure craft operators in the area.
The Marine Patrol also directs the county's Hurricane Flotilla Plan, guiding thousands of vessels to safe harbor when severe weather conditions threaten. In the county's western areas, patrol covers thousands of acres of Florida's Everglades via airboat, protecting one of the world's most unique conservation areas.
BSO's Dive Rescue Team is called upon in emergency situations when life or property is threatened in any county waterway. In addition, they provide underwater recovery efforts for fatalities, vehicles, evidence and are responsible for investigating underwater crime scenes. The 40 members of the Dive Team are from the Marine Patrol Unit, the Bomb Unit, and from various Patrol Districts throughout the Agency.
BSO's Motorcycle Unit focuses on traffic enforcement, crash investigations and traffic violation reduction, and also serves at ceremonial events including VIP motorcades, parades and as traffic escorts at special events.
The motorcycle fleet is comprised of Harley Davidson Police Road Kings equipped with 103 cubic inch (1690 cc) twin cam engines.
Extensive 2 week 80 hour Training Course and a 1 month field training program are mandated before being released on their own. After completion of motor school, deputies are required to attend monthly training. Training includes obstacle courses, Braking exercises, High speed curve negotiations and shooting range, using the motorcycle as a form of concealment and the use of” simunition” or live rounds.
50 member Team, which includes 3 sergeants and a lieutenant, staff the motor unit
Thirty-eight deputies staff the BSO SWAT Team including 9 county firefighter paramedics and 12 negotiators. Members are part-time team members who have collateral functions within the agency. All members are on a 24/7 call out basis and assigned to the Bureau of Regional Services and Specialized Operations. Qualifying for the team is a rigorous process. Members are selected annually through a very competitive process using various techniques to select only the best available. New team members serve a one-year probationary period with ongoing training in all aspects of SWAT operation. Team members are required to attend a three week basic SWAT school which is taught by current BSO team members. Training sessions are held weekly and members also attend formal training seminars conducted at other professional relevant training facilities. Team members must again re-qualify by successfully passing a physical fitness and firearms examination annually.
The Strategic Investigations Division is responsible for overt and covert criminal investigations. The division is a combined operational effort of the Broward Sheriff's Office with municipal and federal agencies engaged in the identification and combating criminal activities of organized groups in the Broward County area.
The following units are currently assigned to the division:
- Major Narcotics Investigation (Broward County Drug Task Force)
- Narcotic Interdiction
- Organized Crime
- Money Laundering Task Force
- Workers Compensation Task Force
- Multi Agency Gang Task Force (MAGTF)
- Homeland Security
- Counter Terrorism (Joint Terrorism Task Force/JTTF)
- Intelligence Unit (Analytical)
- Covert Electronic Surveillance Unit
- Bomb Unit
- Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC)
The criminal activities investigated by these units include, but not limited to the following crimes:
- Loan Sharking
- White Collar Crimes
- Fencing Stolen Property
- Gang Member Identification and their Criminal Activities
- Labor Racketeering
- Money Laundering
- Criminal Extremist and Radicals
- Murder for Hire
- Internet Crimes Targeting Minors
- Human Trafficking
The below listed units currently fall under the Strategic Investigations Division Command.
- Broward County Drug Task Force (Major Narcotics)
- Narcotics Interdiction
- Organized Criminal Activity Section (Organized Crime)
- Money Laundering Task Force (MLTF) / Workers Compensation Task Force
- Gang Investigations Unit (MAGTF)
- Digital Forensic Unit
- Office of Homeland Security
- Counter Terrorism Unit (JTTF)
- Intelligence Unit
- Covert Electronics Surveillance Unit (Tech Support)
- Bomb Squad
- Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) / Human Trafficking