The Tallahassee Police Department (TPD), provides public safety services for the city of Tallahassee, Florida.
Established in 1841, the Tallahassee Police Department has the distinction of being the oldest police department in the southern United States, and the third in the U.S., preceded only by the Philadelphia Police Department established in 1758 and the Boston Police Department established in 1838. Larger east coast cities followed with New York City and Baltimore in 1845.
- See also: History of Tallahassee
Tallahassee Police Department is also the third-longest accredited law enforcement agency
in the United States.
Organization and ranks
Tallahassee Police Department has 350 sworn officers. The Chief Of Police
heads up all operations. Two Deputy Chiefs head the Support Bureau and Operations Bureau. Captains
head the various divisions.
Homeland Security Division
TPD has 7 officers and uses BMW R1200RT-P motorcycles and also officers in Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptors which are assigned to enforce traffic law violations at high volume traffic crash locations and school zones. They also respond daily to traffic complaint locations called in by citizens. TPD also has six Ford Expeditions for use as command vehicles which are equipped with high-tech command boards and support items for any traffic incident or crime investigation.
- Vice includes the General Narcotics Unit, Narcotics Interdiction Unit, and Technical Services Unit. In concert, these units are responsible for working daily drug cases, long-term narcotic investigations, and mid-level drug dealers, targeting locations, businesses, and other avenues of illegal contraband or drugs.
- Hazardous Device Team, headed by a sergeant, is a is a full time 3-man unit which includes 2 investigators. This team, along with FDLE, Capitol Police, Florida Fire Marshal's Office, and Leon County Sheriff's Office, make up the 11 member Big Bend Regional Bomb Squad.
- Tactical Apprehension and Control Team is a 33 member team in 6 areas of responsibility used in high risk operations which include barricaded subjects, protection of important and influential people, high risk arrests, search warrants, and hostage situations.
- Criminal Intelligence Unit acquires, analyzes, disseminates, and maintains criminal intelligence information for the TPD and other nearby law enforcement agencies and includes murder, rape, robbery, auto theft, burglary, larceny, arson, narcotics violations, career criminals, identification and tracking of criminal street gangs.
- Canine Unit or K-9 Unit consists of 6 individual officer and canine teams. All of the teams are certified in the areas of patrol work and tracking. Four of the teams are also certified in narcotics detection and two other K-9 teams that specialize in explosives detection. The TPD K-9 Unit is responsible for assists in the training 15 other K-9 teams in North Florida and South Georgia.
- Special Response Team-Mobile Field Force has 32 members and is responsible incidents involving crowd management problems, various forms of protests, and any other events that may potentially involve civil disobedience. The part-time SRT team includes a team commanders, a logistics officer, a team medic, team leaders, and members of the response team.
- The Crime Analysis Unit is responsible for analyzing police reports and all related documents for the purpose of providing timely and pertinent information to TPD personnel. This information is relative to crime series, patterns, and historical data. The daily tasks of the unit are instrumental in planning and deployment of personnel for crime prevention efforts, deterrence of criminal activity and assistance with case clearance.
- Airport Security, headed by a sergeant, the 12 officer team is responsible for providing law enforcement service to the Tallahassee Regional Airport complex as the Airport Police.
- Training is responsible for providing information on the primary topic areas in law enforcement. Its experts coordinate firearms, defensive tactics, use of force, emergency vehicle operations and all required and advanced general police topics as well as hosting courses provided by professional instructors and training centers from around the country.
- Taxi Administrator is responsible for vehicles for hire franchises for the City of Tallahassee. The administrator oversees and inspects issues and permits, reviews corporate, franchise and insurance information, investigates inquiries and complaints concerning taxi-related incidents.
- School Crossing is headed by a sergeant and is responsible for 56 uniformed civilians staffing 25 public elementary and middle schools within the city limits.
- Special Events Planning Unit is responsible for planning and staffing for security and traffic control at major community events.
- Reserve officers are composed of 25 fully sworn officers who supplement both day-to-day uniformed officer duties and provide manpower for special events.
- Parking Enforcement is headed by a sergeant with support of 5 technicians and is responsible for enforcing the parking codes in the downtown, Capitol Complex and university areas.
The Tallahassee Police Department has split the community
of 101 square miles (261.5 km²
) into three distinct districts
in order to deploy and implement enforcement strategies
designed to resolve problems unique to specific neighborhoods
. Citizen and business interaction is a key component of the district system, and meetings are held with these groups on a regular basis to form effective partnerships that assist in preventing and solving crimes.
- Alpha District comprises the northwest portion of the city, which encompasses the historic Frenchtown area, the downtown area, most university oriented areas, and all of the northwest neighborhoods.
- Bravo District comprises the northeastern portion of the city (areas east of North Monroe Street and north of Apalachee Parkway) and is home to two shopping malls (Governor's Square Mall and Tallahassee Mall), two major medical centers (Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare and Capital Regional Medical Center), as well as numerous other medical and dental offices, commercial and retail businesses, restaurants, neighborhoods and residential apartment communities. Killearn Estates, Summerbrooke, and the Piney Z subdivision are but a few of the major residential communities in Bravo District. Others include Betton Hills, Old Town, Midtown, Lafayette Park, and the historic Los Robles subdivision, which, when it was developed in the 1920s, represented the very beginning of a trend toward northward suburban expansion, a trend which would continue throughout the 20th century and beyond.
- Charlie District comprises the southern portion of the City of Tallahassee (areas south of Pensacola Street and Apalachee Parkway) and is home to Florida A&M University, the Tallahassee Regional Airport, Florida State University’s Innovation Park as well as Southwood Plantation, the Bond Community, South City, the fairgrounds, Myers Park, Indianhead Acres, the Providence neighborhood, and numerous neighborhoods with a large population of college students, most of them renting the homes or apartments they live in.
- Tallahassee Online Police Statistics (TOPS) - On August 1, 2007, the Tallahassee Online Police Statisics (TOPS) web-based crime mapping application was launched. This tool gives the public the ability to examine over two dozen crime incident types for the previous six months. Searches include addresses, parks, neighborhoods and Tallahassee Police Crime Watch areas. On August 15, 2008, TOPS version 2.0 was launched, adding new features and a new interface. The site can be reached via the City of Tallahassee municipal portal Talgov.com and the Tallahassee-Leon County GIS I-Maps website.
Public attention was focused on the Tallahassee Police Dept. in May 2008 when it was revealed that Rachel Hoffman was shot after agreeing to work with the Dept. in exchange for leniency in a marijuana prosecution. The Dept. admitted to setting her up to buy 1500 pills of MDMA, two ounces of cocaine, and a gun from the men who allegedly shot her. Some have suggested the amount and character of goods demanded to be purchased was uncharacteristic for a person in Hoffman's position, and may have led to her death. The Attorney General of Florida will be reviewing the procedure in this case.