Diverse in its mixture of personnel and responsibilities, the Special Operations Division consists of both sworn and non-sworn employees who provide valuable services to citizens and co-workers. Special Operations is responsible for the following areas:
Traffic /Motor Unit
The Tallahassee Police Special Operations Division boasts an award-winning Traffic Enforcement Unit. This select group of highly trained individuals leads the agency in traffic enforcement initiatives and DUI arrests. TPD’s Traffic Enforcement efforts were recognized in the Century Council Promising Programs for Traffic Safety, a national publication featuring outstanding law enforcement programs. Additionally, for 2011, the agency received 1st place in the State of Florida’s Law Enforcement Challenge and 1st place in the International Chiefs’ of Police Chief Challenge. MADD Florida recognized Tallahassee Police Department as its 1st place recipient for Outstanding Dedication to DUI Enforcement.
Enforcement and education are the guiding principles of the Traffic Enforcement Unit which is staffed by one Sergeant and eleven officers.
- Four motorcycle officers are responsible for enforcing traffic law violations at high volume traffic crash locations and in school zones. Daily, they respond to traffic complaint locations identified by citizens.
- Two Hit and Run Investigators conduct follow-up investigations of all hit and run traffic crashes reported.
- One officer, assigned as the DUI Enforcement Officer, primarily works night time hours to combat the effects of impaired driving.
- Three officers are a part of the Florida Department of Transportation Traffic Safety Grant that targets aggressive drivers.
- The DUI and Traffic Safety Program Coordinator is an officer who manages all of the police department’s FDOT traffic safety grants, inspects and coordinates the certifications of all speed measurement devices used by the department, inspects each of the breath testing instruments on a monthly basis, and deploys safety messaging/speed display signs.
Each Traffic Unit officer is also specially trained in traffic crash investigations. The motorcycle and aggressive driving officers investigate all fatal traffic crashes as well as crashes involving serious injury. The Traffic Unit also provides support for special events throughout the year (i.e. parades, football games, holiday events, etc.).
The Traffic Unit is deeply involved in community relations. The unit co-hosts the annual Capital City Challenge, a rodeo designed to display the competitive riding skills of motor officers. All proceeds from this event benefit the Special Olympics.
Tallahassee Police Department’s Traffic Unit officers provide an engaging classroom setting for the SPEED Program. SPEED (Supportive Parents and Police Educating Early Drivers) is a four-hour interactive, learning experience offered to teens ages 15-19 and their parents/guardians. It focuses on the importance of seatbelt usage and safe driving behaviors. SPEED includes a practical learning environment with the speed enforcement laser, fatal vision goggles (simulates impairment), videos, and a question/answer session. This course satisfies the traffic court defensive driving school requirement for a first time traffic violation. Classes are offered monthly. Please call the TPD Traffic Unit for more details at (850) 891-4261.
AARP Driver Safety Program
The Driver Safety Program is an eight-hour classroom refresher course for motorists aged 50 and over who have years of driving experience. The Tallahassee Police Department teamed up with A.A.R.P. (American Association of Retired Persons) to sponsor and teach this driver refresher program.
The AARP Driver Safety Program is the most recognized comprehensive nationwide course designed especially for the senior driver. It takes into consideration the physical changes of the maturing driver and identifies ways the driver may compensate for those changes. Most importantly, the curriculum provides opportunities for the participants to identify individual problem areas and apply information that is needed to improve their behavior as drivers. It also provides new approaches and concepts, including compensating for normal age-related physical changes that may affect your driving ability.
Classes are held each month at the Tallahassee Police Department and other locations throughout the city. For more information on the AARP Driver Safety Program, please contact the TPD Traffic Unit at (850) 891-4261.
Child Safety Seat Inspection/Installation
Despite numerous campaigns to promote the use of safety belts and child safety seats as well as the child occupant protection laws enacted within the state, motor vehicle crashes continue to kill and seriously injure children at an alarming rate. Each year, approximately 1,800 children ages 14 and under are killed as occupants in motor vehicles and more than 280,000 are injured.
Child safety seats, when correctly installed and used, are extremely effective in saving children's lives. Correct installation may reduce the risk of death by as much as 71 percent for infants. However, they are complicated to install and use, making mistakes extremely common. In fact, studies have found that as many as three out of four child safety seats that are installed are used incorrectly according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Quality of life has always been and continues to be an important issue with the Tallahassee Police Department. Parents strap their children into car seats, unaware that mistakes in the seat's installation put their children in danger. For these reasons, the Tallahassee Police Department’s Traffic Unit’s certified Child Safety Seat Technician will assist parents with child safety seat checks by appointment only. Appointments will be from 10:00am - Noon each Wednesday. There will only be eight appointments available each Wednesday, so please be sure to call in advance. To schedule an appointment, please call 891-4261. The Traffic Unit also conducts large-scale child safety seat checkpoints at different locations in the city several times throughout the year.
For further information on this program please contact the TPD Traffic Unit at (850) 891-4261.
Responsible for providing law enforcement service to the Tallahassee Regional Airport complex is the Airport Police. The unit consists of a Sergeant and 12 officers who provide constant coverage helping ensure safe and secure air travel to the public.
The main duties are the enforcement of local, state, federal laws, as well as the new Federal Transportation Security Administration rules and regulations. Because of new security procedures the time it takes to receive your boarding pass and get tot he boarding gate has increased significantly. The flying public is urged to arrive two hours before their scheduled departure time to insure they have plenty of time before their flight departs.
Many of the security procedures have changed so everyone should contact the airline they are flying to make sure what they can and cannot carry on board an aircraft.
Bringing together the Tallahassee Police Departments specialized resources and expertise to provide a unified approach to deterring and responding to potential terrorist threats, as well as fighting the war on illegal drugs, The Homeland Security & Special Investigations Division (HSSI) was recently created. Members of the HSSI work on a daily basis with partners from other local agencies as well as state and federal agencies to make our community a safer place to live.
School Crossing Guard Program
The School Crossing Guard program has been in existence since 1971 at the Tallahassee Police Department. Currently, forty-two uniformed civilians, mostly retired seniors, staff the crossings for 16 public elementary and middle schools within the city limits. Each crossing guard is certified by Florida's Department of Transportation and receives training annually as defined by Florida statute.
The School Crossing Guard program is an asset to the department in that it alleviates sworn officers from having to staff 42 crossings daily. Crossing guards are also used for special school-related functions and for departmentally-staffed events such as the March of Dimes, Heart Walk and Springtime Tallahassee.
If you have questions on becoming a SCG, contact Special Operations at (850) 891-4261. If you would like to apply to become a school crossing guard, please useuse the standard employment application.
Special Events Planning
With a very active City and State Government, university system, and Convention & Visitors Bureau, we are continuing to experience a high volume of special events requiring police coordination and control. The Special Events Unit is responsible for planning and staffing for security and traffic control at major community events in Tallahassee. Some of those events include the Springtime Tallahassee Parade, Florida A & M University and Florida State University football games, the annual Celebration of Lights, and all dignitary visits to the city. The coordination and planning for all events is performed by the Special Events Sergeant. Questions regarding Special Events planning, road closures and permits can be answered by calling Special Operations at (850) 891-4261.
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The Reserves Unit is composed of approximately 30 fully sworn officers who supplement day-to-day uniformed officer duties, staff key in-house positions, and provide additional staffing for special events.
Parking Enforcement Technicians are responsible for enforcing the parking codes in the downtown, Capitol Complex, university areas, and some residential communities. Not only do they issue parking citations, they also tow abandoned vehicles and those which have a substantial amount of unpaid parking fees. This group of civilian employees is also trained in traffic direction and assist with various special events and, as needed, at school crossings. A sergeant oversees the duties and responsibilities of the agency’s five Parking Enforcement Technicians.