The Uniform Patrol Division is the most visible of all the components within the Habersham County Sheriff's Office. Responsibilities of this division include, but are not limited to, responding to emergency calls for service, enforcing state and federal laws, and conducting crime prevention patrols. This division is comprised of P.O.S.T. certified officers who provide 24-hour law enforcement services to the citizens and visitors of Habersham County. The patrol deputies' professional and thorough approach to calls for assistance demonstrates their dedication to delivering the highest level of service to our community. Our patrol deputies embrace all the challenges of patrolling a geographically diverse county, and strive to make protecting our citizens its priority.
Habersham County is divided into specific zones based upon several factors including total area of coverage, response times, population density, calls for service, etc. Deputies rotate zone coverage to ensure familiarity with all geographical areas within Habersham County. Each shift is comprised of one sergeant, one corporal, and officers. The corporal also serves as a field training officer who is tasked with responsibility of training new members of the Uniform Patrol Division.
EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM (E.R.T)
The Emergency Response Team (E.R.T.) is an integral component of the Habersham County Sheriff's Office. Comprised of 10-15 members, the ERT team is a collateral duty unit staffed by deputies from Uniform Patrol and Criminal Investigations Division on an on-call basis. ERT team membership is voluntary, extra duty assignment. The ERT team is comprised of individuals highly dedicated to their duties and take pride in being the last line of defense for the Habersham County Sheriff's Office.
The mission of the ERT team is to handle high-risk operations in a manner that reduces the chance of violence, injury or death. The ERT team handles unusual operational activities including hostage incidents, barricaded suspects, armed barricaded suspects, service of high risk warrants, civil disturbances, man-hunt operations and any other high-risk tactical incident.
If you have a question regarding the ERT team, please contact Lieutenant Matt Wurtz at (706)839-0526 or email email@example.com.
HIGHWAY ENFORCEMENT OF AGGRESSIVE TRAFFIC (H.E.A.T.)
The Habersham County Sheriff's Office H.E.A.T. Unit is a Specialized Traffic Unit partially funded by The Governor's Office of Highway Safety. Our Unit consists of two highly trained deputies with the overall objective to reduce highway fatalities through diligent enforcement of state and federal laws. Each member of the HEAT unit is specially trained in the use of radar, standardized field sobriety testing, advanced aspects of DUI law and operation of the Intoxilyzer. Additionally, members of this unit are certified by the State of Georgia as Drug Recognition Experts (DRE).
Members of this Unit hold Sobriety Check Points throughout the county and conduct Concentrated Patrols during most holiday weekends.
SHERIFF'S CONCENTRATED ANTI-THEFT (S.C.A.T.)
The Habersham County Sheriff's Office S.C.A.T. Unit members are highly motivated and demonstrate a proactive approach to preventing crime. Members of the SCAT Unit are tasked with addressing a multitude of issues and these Deputies utilize several techniques in their attempt to deter criminal activity which results in an improved quality of life for citizens and visitors throughout the County. Whether it be targeted patrol details, by conducting covert surveillance related to criminal activity, completing field interviews on suspicious persons, executing search warrants, or by seeking out and arresting individuals who violate state and local laws. When not being used on special intervention requests, these deputies are assigned to known high crime areas.
Members of the team use community policing as a means to better understand the needs of the residents and create an information exchange corridor. These deputies generally drive marked and unmarked patrol cars and are deployed in areas where our crime analysis process has identified a crime trend. They investigate the problem, attempt to identify and arrest perpetrators, and prevent further criminal activity. This team works hand in hand with the Uniform Patrol, Criminal Investigation Division and the Narcotics Division.
In Georgia, the peace officer certification process is regulated by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and the Training Council (POST). Upon completing the pre-requisites, candidates may enroll in the Georgia Public Safety Training Center's (GPSTC) Basic Law Enforcement Training, a rigorous program consisting of 408 course hours taught over 11 weeks. Candidates who complete the program are eligible for POST certification and for employment as an entry-level law enforcement officer. Each officer is required to secure a minimum of 20 hours of POST approved training during each calendar year.
Upon completion of the academy, candidates receive an additional 12 weeks of training with an assigned Field Training Officer for hands-on training. Once candidates successfully complete field training, they will begin working solo. However, training is ongoing through evaluations and follow-up mandatory training. Habersham County Sheriff's Office Training Division provides more than the required 20 hours of POST approved training during each calendar year. The training division maintains all training records for personnel of the Sheriff's Office in compliance with Georgia Law and Georgia POST Council Rules. The office coordinates scheduling of personnel attendance at state and local training facilities, provides in-service training and monitors number of hours personnel receive annually to assure minimum requirements of the POST Council and Sheriff's Office.
The Training Division is maintained by Lieutenant Matt Wurtz. If you have a question regarding training, please contact Lt. Matt Wurtz at (706)839-0526 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPECIALIZED TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT & PATROL (S.T.E.P.)
The STEP unit provides traffic enforcement on Habersham County's highway and roadway systems. The STEP Unit enforces federal and state laws as well as county ordinances through strategic and high visibility patrol efforts. Primary efforts focus on the reduction in traffic violations thus leading to a reduction in traffic related injuries and fatalities. This unit works alongside our HEAT Unit to keep roads in Habersham Safe.