Forest Patrol

The Leon County Sheriff’s Office Forest Patrol is a specialized unit focused on the law enforcement responsibilities of the agency in the rural and remote areas of Leon County. The unit’s mission is to provide responsive and proactive law enforcement to the remote areas of the county specific to the needs of those areas and individuals.

Among other duties, the Forest Patrol Unit is responsible for all Search and Rescue coordination with the US National Forest Service, Search and Rescue Volunteers as well as State Emergency Management. In addition to managing lost person or rescue incidents, Forest Patrol manages the coordinated response to other catastrophic events such as wild fires, floods, and nuisance bear and alligator complaints. There is approximately 200,000 acres of the Apalachicola National Forest patrolled by the Forest Patrol Deputy. Forest Patrol also patrols the 117 mile ATV trail system enforcing regulations, investigating ATV crashes, and providing safety reports on trail conditions as well as the equestrian trails, mountain bike trails and hiking trails.

Currently the Forest Patrol Unit functions with the assistance of funding from the United States Forest Service to provide law enforcement assistance in specified areas of the National Forest. The Forest Patrol Deputy works closely with this agency as well as the State Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigating game violations and the State Department of Environmental Protection investigating environmental crimes. The Forest Patrol Unit also occasionally works with the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency, Federal Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Administration and the Federal Department of Home Land Security. Personnel assigned to Forest Patrol receive advanced training in search and rescue, Incident Command System, Federal Regulation Enforcement and Domestic Drug Enforcement. The Forest Patrol unit works under the direction of the Special Operations Unit supervisors.