The Hernando County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) is an accredited law enforcement agency responsible for Hernando County, Florida. The current Sheriff is Richard B. Nugent, who was elected in November 2000.
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.
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)
- Legal services
- Office of Professional Standards
The Services Bureau mainly consists of the:
- Community/Personnel Services Division
- Fleet Management
- Judicial Services Division, which provides security for the Hernando County Courthouse located in Brooksville, Florida
- and the Information Services Division
- Central Records
- 9-1-1 Communications
The Operations Bureau is the heart of the HCSO, containing:
- Patrol Division
- Operations Support (Aviation & Marine)
- Vice & Narcotics
- Crime Analysis
- Major Cases Section
- Criminal Investigations Division
- Forensics/Crime Scene Unit
- Victim Advocate
- Selective Enforcement Unit
and other aspects of police work.
COPPS, STARCOM, and Patrol Districts
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 three Districts (1-3), which are further divided into Zones. Zone 9, while technically under the jurisdiction of District 3, is actually the territory of the Brooksville City Police Department. Refer to the map for more districting information.
Air Support Units
Public Federal Aviation Administration records reveal that the Sheriff's Office currently has two helicopters registered to it under the N-numbers N78HC and N53HC
N78HC is a McDonnell Douglas 520 NOTAR (No Tail Rotor) helicopter (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.
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
- Deputy Sheriff Lonnie C. Coburn - End of Watch: February 21, 1978
- Deputy Sheriff Michael Stegner - End of Watch: April 13, 2007