The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Underwater Investigative Unit was formed in 1995 to provide a professional means of search, recovery and documentation of items from local waterways. This service is provided to all law enforcement or any other agency requiring these specialized skills in our area.
The U.I.U. is responsible for the recovery of all evidence or victims from the waterways of Okaloosa County, which includes the Gulf of Mexico out to nine miles, or further if required. Searches of underwater scenes are conducted with various specialized techniques and patterns to locate items of all sizes. Some of these items can be as large as an aircraft, or as small as a single bullet casing. Once an item or an unfortunate victim has been located, the team utilizes underwater video systems and still cameras to photograph the object and document the crime scene. The items are then recovered and packaged as any other piece of evidence.
If you happen to see the team gearing up at a local pond, bayou, or even in the Gulf of Mexico, don’t assume there is “something happening” as we train monthly throughout the year. The team may be in a crystal clear spring to train one month, and at a stagnant pond the next. Training in diverse types of waterways is done to prepare the team for coping with any type of water scenarios or conditions they may confront. The Underwater Investigative Unit is assigned to the Special Operations Unit. If you have any questions concerning the Unit please contact (850) 609-2094 for the unit’s supervisor.