About the Special Operations Division
The Special Operations Division consists of a supervisor, a detective, and animal control officer. The SOD can focus their work on special assignments such as stakeouts, drug-related investigations, tactical traffic enforcement and special events. Depending on the type of assignment, the unit may be in uniform, driving a marked patrol car, or driving an unmarked vehicle in plain clothing.
The unit was developed in 2001 with funds from the Edward Byrne Memorial Law Enforcement Grant Program, which have been renewed each year to partially fund the Unit’s detective position.
Members of the Special Operations division work closely with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, as well as other municipalities and federal agencies to achieve the goals of law enforcement’s efforts against drug-related crimes. During the first three years of operation, the Mount Dora Police Department Special Operations division participated in 75 search warrants, 490 drug-related arrests and 270 non drug-related arrests. These resulted in the seizure of 1,054 grams of cocaine, 167 pounds of cannabis, and 485 grams of other dangerous drugs. In 2012, the SOD participated in Operation “Wood Chop”, a multi-jurisdictional two-year operation that ultimately resulted in the arrests of over 60 drug gang members and affiliates throughout areas in the Orange and Lake counties. The arrested suspects were connected to a multitude of illegal activities from street level drug crimes to gun sales and homicides.
Through the cooperative efforts of the citizens in the community, along with enforcement activities, there has been an obvious decrease in late night pedestrian and vehicular traffic in known drug areas within the city since the SOD's inception.