A group of eight deputies responsible for searching for stolen property, weapons, automobiles and drowning victims. The Sheriff’s Office has law enforcement responsibility for all waterways within Dakota County. This makes the Sheriff's Dive Team responsible for all rescue and recovery operations countywide.
The dive team also assists neighboring jurisdictions in both Minnesota and Wisconsin with underwater recovery operations. Dive Team members receive specialized training in ice, deep water, salvage/wreck, and rescue/first aid diving operations.
The unit is staffed by 10 officers who volunteer their time to represent the Sheriff’s Office at formal events where Colors (flag) presentation is appropriate. The honor guard team is comprised of deputies from both operations and corrections.
Along with deputies from the Dakota County Sheriff's Office, the MAAG Team is comprised of additional officers from the cities of Apple Valley, Farmington, Hastings, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville, Mendota Heights, Rosemount, South St. Paul and West St. Paul.
Also known as the SWAT Team, the group is called for all high-risk situations, including high-risk drug search warrants, high-risk arrest warrants and barricaded suspects.
The Sheriff's Office operates three unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) commonly called drones. The Drone Team consists of 15 deputies who train together on a quarterly basis. The members fly under the guidelines of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Public Safety Certificate of Authorization (COA). The drones can be utilized for calls involving the safety of any person, search and rescue of victims and fleeing criminals, traffic control situations, and documentation of crime scenes and natural disasters using video and photography.
Sheriff's Office Drone Policy
Jail Programs Unit
The Jail Programs Unit is staffed by a programs supervisor, recreation coordinator, mental health coordinator, an outreach coordinator and a volunteer jail chaplain. The unit is supplemented by contracted program facilitators and some volunteers. Jail programs include, but are not limited to the following: GED/ABE, parenting, anger management, cognitive thinking skills, Bible study, worship services, NA/AA meetings and reformers unanimous. This unit facilitates motivational conferences, guest speakers and resource fairs for inmates.
Jail Special Response Team
The Jail Special Response Team handles emergencies which may arise within the Dakota County Jail. These emergencies include disturbance resolution, cell extractions, mass searches/shakedowns, barricaded subjects, riot control, and violent and/or high-volume inmate movement. The team is comprised of highly motivated correctional deputies who are required to be on call to respond at any time. They are highly trained and use advanced technology that is specifically designed for a correctional facility, allowing the team to be more effective at getting the job done quickly without incident. The team ensures that safety, security, control and order are maintained within the Dakota County Jail.
Electronic Crimes Unit
This unit uses cutting edge technology to process electronic devices and evidence for all types of crimes and was recently honored with the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs Government Innovation Award. The unit consists of five licensed detectives and two civilian forensic examiners.
Drug Task Force
The Drug Task Force focuses on the sale, distribution and use of narcotics. The task force also investigates game and violent offender crime. It is a cooperative effort on behalf of all Dakota County law enforcement agencies and the Savage Police Department.
The Sheriff’s Office has three investigators assigned to the task force, including one gang investigator. There is also an additional investigator assigned to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) who works closely with the task force.
School Resource Deputies
The Dakota County Sheriff’s Office services Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, the Dakota Ridge School in Apple Valley, and the Alliance Education Center in Rosemount. Each school is assigned a full-time deputy who serves as a School Resource Officer (SRO).
The deputies provide a safe environment using visibility and presence while working to build relationships with students and staff within the school. The officers act as advisors and provide assistance to school administrators and students by providing instructional resources.
Officers use their training in areas of crisis management, negotiation, investigation, and conflict resolution in order to ensure the students receive the best education possible.
Crime Scene Team
The Crime Scene Team is a specially trained group of patrol deputies and detectives, skilled in the collection and documentation of forensic evidence. Each member of this team is trained as a physical evidence officer and responds to crime scenes as needed to collect fingerprints, DNA, tire and shoe impressions, and to thoroughly document crime scenes through the use of photographs, video and scene sketches.
Highly skilled and trained teams of handlers and Sheriff's canines used to supplement the Sheriff's operations to locate and apprehend offenders, detect illegal controlled substances, locate evidence, and protect deputies and the public.
Currently, the unit consists of Deputy Brian Smidt and Rex, a Belgian Malinois born in the Netherlands. Rex was trained, certified and titled through the Royal Police Dog Sport. He was brought to the United States for the purpose of becoming a police K9 in spring 2016. Deputy Smidt and Rex went through training in Florida in summer 2016 before hitting the streets. Rex’s current duties are tracking, building searches, article/evidence recovery and narcotic detection.
Parks, Lakes & Trails
The Parks Lakes & Trail unit is comprised of one sergeant, one deputy, and up to 16 non-licensed park rangers. It is responsible for areas that require specialized patrol services. This includes water patrol on all Dakota County lakes and rivers as well as snowmobile and ATV patrol throughout the county and commercial vehicle enforcement.
Deputies assigned to Parks, Lakes and Trails receive specialized training in commercial vehicle enforcement, and become certified in basic weights and scales. Commercial vehicle enforcement deputies ensure compliance with state and federal statutes and permitting restrictions as well as examining commercial vehicles for load securement, driver qualifications, hours of service and a variety of other requirements.
The park rangers are part-time employees who serve the public and enforce county ordinances within Dakota County's six parks and 40+ miles of regional trails. Dakota County park rangers are a valuable information source for those that use the parks and trail system.
The Bike Patrol works cooperatively with the Parks, Lakes and Trails unit to increase visibility and help deter criminal activity within our parks and communities. Each season, our bike patrol deputies put on hundreds of miles patrolling our communities, regional parks and trail system.
In addition to their patrol duties, they also take part in many community events including Night to Unite, bike safety camps, Dakota County Fair security, parade details and Special Olympic Law Enforcement Torch Run. Deputies assigned with the bike patrol are certified as police cyclists through the International Police Mountain Bike Association.