Three Special Patrol units at the Broward Sheriff’s Office put their training and skills to the test in a real-life exercise off the coast of Broward County last week working with U.S. Customs & Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operations and the Florida Highway Patrol. Sheriff Gregory Tony authorized the comprehensive interdepartmental training exercise to test the full capability of the Regional Patrol Section.
The scenario began around 2 p.m. on March 13 with a call alerting of a possible smuggling boat spotted near the Hillsboro Inlet. That call set into motion Operation Trident: a first-of-its-kind continuous event where BSO’s Marine, Aviation and Canine units got to test out their interdisciplinary communications, best operational practices and newly-acquired equipment.
The exercise began with limited information about a black smuggling boat and its possible location. From there, the teams were tasked with locating, tracking and relaying information about the target vessel as the suspects attempted to evade capture by fleeing from responding units. Along the way, the suspects discarded evidence, shot a deputy and fled on foot after running the boat ashore in a wooded area north of the Dania Beach Boulevard Bridge. The Canine Unit took over the search on land, tracking and locating the suspects, while Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue arrived by boat to the remote location to treat the wounded deputy.
“With the continued threat potential for terrorist attacks against our ports and other critical infrastructures, it’s imperative that we continue to test our operational readiness and response capabilities,” Sheriff Tony said. “We must remain vigilant, proactive and forward-thinking when it comes to preparedness.”
This was the first training that incorporated a simultaneous response by all three units in the Special Patrol Division. Others will be coordinated in the future.
Media note: B-roll of the training exercise is available through this news release on our website www.sheriff.org.
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