Sheriff

St. Johns County

Air & Marine Operations

 

Air and Marine Operations is commanded by Chief Perry Hagaman, and consist of Aviation and Marine Assets.

Air Operations are supervised by Lead Pilot Matthew Bellamy who is responsible for the operation and use of the agency’s aircraft, along with its assigned personnel. These assets are primarily utilized to assist in law enforcement operations such as searches, surveillance, drug interdiction, search and rescue operations, surveillance of narcotics, firefighting operations, aerial photography, and human smuggling operations as well as proactive patrol.

Air Operations utilizes both certified and military surplus helicopters which are outfitted with modern infrared technology (FLIR), advanced radio systems, moving maps, and digital video downlink. These technologies and enhancements enable the unit to be a valuable asset to not only St. Johns County, but several local, state and federal agencies.

The unit consists of a combination of full and part-time pilots, as well as Tactical Flight Officers (TFOs) to complete missions and requests for support. The TFO is a sworn law enforcement deputy whose primary responsibilities include; aerial command and control, communications with ground operations, the utilization of onboard camera systems, navigation, and further support as needed. They are considered to be the “link” between the aerial support and ground operations.

Marine Operations are supervised by Sergeant Joshua Underwood who is responsible for the operation and use of the agency’s vessels, along with its assigned personnel. These assets are utilized to:

  • provide high visibility patrol
  • enforce and investigate marine laws and ordinances
  • conduct natural resource protection
  • conduct boating under the influence operations
  • investigate boating accidents
  • respond to calls for service on state waterways (offshore, Intracoastal waterway and St Johns River)

Also, Marine personnel participate in joint operations in support of domestic homeland security and Coast Guard Search & Rescue. In addition, Marine Operation is responsible for supporting the dive team, patrol, and investigations on the water should the need arise. All Marine personnel are specifically trained to work in the maritime environment and utilize their knowledge and skills to help educate the public through various boating safety programs.