Patrol Special Operations Units provide a variety of specialized patrol and investigative expertise in the Sheriff’s service area and in support of other Pinellas law enforcement agencies. Canine Whether tracking fleeing suspects, or sniffing for drugs, and explosives, the Sheriff’s canine teams add a high energy dimension to patrol operations. Highly trained K-9s are relentless in their pursuit and “apprehension” of criminals, as well as providing reliable and vigilant “back-up” for their handlers. Dive Team / Search and Recovery Surrounded by water on three sides, Pinellas County poses a challenge for law enforcement as criminals all too often dispose of evidence in any of the freshwater lakes, along the intercoastal, in the bays or along the beaches. The Sheriff's Dive Team is composed of certified divers from all over the agency who respond to crime scenes and searches when the call goes out. Their primary task is the recovery of vehicles, weapons and other evidence. Sadly the team also recovers the bodies of murder victims or persons who have drowned. The team trains on a regular basis and utilizes the latest in search and recovery equipment. Flight Unit The Sheriff’s Office has the only law enforcement flight section in Pinellas County. The Flight Unit’s three helicopters provide law enforcement ground units an aerial platform for observation and officer safety during in-progress incidents. The Flight Unit’s services are available countywide. Marine and Environmental Lands Unit The Sheriff’s Marine Unit patrols well over 500 coastal miles in Pinellas County – and up to nine miles off-shore. Marine Unit boats can be spotted patrolling in Pinellas County’s many inland lakes as well as along the intracoastal waterway. A typical day may range from assisting recreational boaters, to inspecting a fisherman’s catch, investigating a derelict boat or responding to a water rescue. Deputies assigned to the Environmental Lands Unit primarily work the preserve areas in Pinellas County. They protect the environmental lands to prevent poaching, pollution, destruction of nesting areas, arson and other activities. They are often called to assist with lost hikers and injured preserve visitors. SWAT – Special Weapons and Tactics Unit The Sheriff’s SWAT unit responds to active shooter scenarios, barricaded subjects and hostage incidents and can be utilized in the service of search warrants to subjects known to be violent, or armed. SWAT unit members undergo a grueling try-out, train regularly and come from various assignments from all over the agency. SWAT will often employ the agency’s armored rescue vehicle to help resolve a tense situation. The overall goal of a SWAT unit deployment is to resolve a volatile situation without loss of life. M.A.I.T. – Major Accident Investigation Team Fatal vehicles crashes, pedestrian deaths, or any major crashes on the roadways in the Sheriff’s service area are investigated by the Major Accident Investigation Team. M.A.I.T. Deputies receive comprehensive training in crash reconstruction, interpreting evidence at crash sites, vehicle dynamics and much more. PCSO M.A.I.T. teams are highly regarded in the industry and sought as instructors and trainers for other law enforcement traffic homicide investigators.