The Investigative Services Section oversees investigations of crimes against persons, property, children, and finance. Currently, there are 13 full-time detectives, three civilian crime scene investigators, and one crime analyst in the Section. Detectives work diligently to bring conclusion to as many cases as possible. In 2017, the BPD detectives were assigned over 1,700 cases to investigate.
Detectives also work closely with the Special Investigations Unit to pursue criminals in a different, more non-conventional way. The Special Investigations Unit assists with the monitoring and apprehension of many of the suspects identified during criminal investigations.
Crime Scene Investigation Unit
The Bradenton Police Department Crime Scene Unit is staffed by one Lead Crime Scene Investigator and two Crime Scene Investigators. The three-person Unit is available to provide services to the agency 24 hours a day, 365 days a year utilizing a rotating on-call schedule. The Unit offers a variety of services to enhance investigations and solvability of crimes. Their focus is to provide court usable evidence, documentation, and testimony. The Unit’s responsibilities include documenting and photographing crime scenes, as well as identifying, processing, and preserving evidence on scene and in the I.D. Lab. Each Investigator is trained to respond to a broad range of scenes, ranging from property crimes to complex death investigations. Investigators are assigned a fully-equipped vehicle, which contains all of the necessary equipment to process most of the crime scenes they may be requested to handle.
Crime Analysis Unit
The Crime Analysis Unit consists of one analyst whose duties are to analyze crime and criminal behavior, recognize and map crime patterns and trends, and provide information to various entities in the Department to aid them in meeting tactical crime control and prevention objectives. The analyst also collects, maintains, and distributes intelligence information from internal and external sources to assist the Department in monitoring, anticipating and preventing criminal activity.
The Bradenton Police Department Downtown Unit consists of two officers and a Sergeant who cover Old Main Street and the River Walk area. Officers conduct foot, bike, and Segway patrols of the downtown area. The Unit works in conjunction with the City’s Downtown Development Authority, as well as Realize Bradenton, the Old Main Street Merchants Association, and the Bradenton Riverwalkers to maintain a safe environment for citizens and tourists.
The Bradenton Police Department currently has two officers assigned to the Traffic Unit. They focus on enforcing traffic law, traffic analysis, crash reduction, accident reconstruction, public education, and public relations.
These officers utilize a variety of vehicles, including marked and unmarked patrol cars and motorcycles. Officers assigned to the Bradenton Police Department Traffic Unit are assigned to work all serious bodily injury, fatal, and special traffic crashes.
The Special Operations Section is divided into two Units: Special Investigations and Vice and Narcotics. The Special Investigations Unit works violent crime patterns, gang issues, and repeat offenders. The Vice and Narcotics Unit concentrates their resources combatting narcotic-related offenses such as the opioid epidemic affecting our City, as well as prostitution, liquor law violations, and illicit gambling. The Lieutenant who supervises this Section is also the Honor Guard Commander.
The Special Investigations Unit is comprised of detectives who work to identify, monitor, and stop serious crime patterns within the City. This Unit has specialty training in surveillance techniques and utilizes this expertise to follow and apprehend many violent criminals as they attempt to commit crimes. The Special Investigations Unit supports the Vice and Narcotics Unit and the Drug Enforcement Agency Task Force (DEA) with executing search warrants, surveillance, and identifying suspects to aid in heroin and fentanyl investigations.
BPD’s Honor Guard has been active for over 31 years. They participate annually in a number of events and parades, as well as memorials for fallen law enforcement officers. Semper memoria.
Support Services includes School Resource Officers and the Community Outreach, Records, Property and Evidence, and Marine Units. The Lieutenant who supervises this Section is also the Commander of our Special Events Response Team (SERT).
School Resource Officers (SROs)
Bradenton Police SROs are valued members of the cross-agency school safety team, helping to promote a safe, supportive, and peaceful school environment. Our officers have a strong relationship between the school and law enforcement agency that clearly defines the multifaceted role of the SRO as an educator, informal counselor, and law enforcement problem-solver. Through positive relationships with students and collaboration with educators and mental health professionals, our officers proactively address school safety issues and divert at-risk students from the juvenile justice system.
The Bradenton Police Special Event Response Team “SERT” consists of a total of 19 officers who operate on an as-needed basis under the leadership of a Team Commander. This is a specialized Unit trained to respond to special events including large crowds and other mass arrest situations.
Community Outreach Unit
The main objective of the Community Outreach Unit is to meet with the community and develop programs to fit the needs of individual neighborhoods and businesses. The Unit works diligently to prevent crime before it happens through educating citizens and businesses in techniques of protecting themselves and each other.
The Records Unit consists of one Lead Records Clerk and three Records Clerks. Records is responsible for the processing and dissemination of all Investigative and Supplemental Reports written by personnel within the Police Department. Personnel in Records also process all arrest paperwork and provide information in accordance with Public Records and retention laws, regulations, and policies. Additionally, Clerks review and process requests for background checks and accept and distribute subpoenas for Department Personnel.
Property and Evidence Unit
The Property and Evidence Unit is responsible for the handling and storage of evidence obtained from various crimes and temporary storage of found property. The Unit consists of one Sergeant, one Lead Evidence Clerk, and one Evidence Clerk.
The City of Bradenton is bordered by approximately 14 miles of waterways on three sides. The waterways are comprised of the Manatee River, Tampa Bay, Manatee County Intracoastal Waterway, and Palma Sola Bay. The Marine Unit is responsible for the enforcement of all state and municipal laws and ordinances on the waterways within the City of Bradenton and also provides aid and assistance to other local, state, and federal agencies, as well as assisting in local search and rescue efforts. Currently there are six officers and one Sergeant assigned to this part-time unit.
Open to young men and women, the purpose of the Bradenton Police Explorers Program is to build character, citizen training, and fitness to selected youth within the City of Bradenton. BPD Explorers are involved in training sessions on a weekly basis, which familiarizes the members with all aspects of law enforcement, including patrol procedures, traffic stops, arrest procedures, traffic and criminal law, criminal investigations, traffic crash investigations, and firearms safety.
The Bradenton Police Department’s Communications Section is the lifeline for police officers and fire personnel. BPD's public safety telecommunicators work around the clock 24/7 365 days a year, dispatching police and fire to emergency calls. Each shift is assigned an experienced supervisor who manages the call volumes, makes critical decisions when required, and provides intervention when warranted.
Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team members serve on a part-time as-needed basis during high-risk calls or circumstances that involve potentially life-threatening situations. The BPD SWAT Team spends a great deal of time each month training and honing their skills so that they're ready to respond and perform on a moment's notice.