The Patrol Tactical Unit (PTU), affectionately known as "Hotspot", is the tactical arm of the Sheriff's Office. The PTU, due to it's multifaceted purpose, is a Bureau on its own. This Unit is commanded by and receives its orders/assignments directly from Sheriff and Chief Deputy.
Upon taking office in 2014, Sheriff Capers made a committment to the citizens of San Jacinto County to reduce and deter the illegal narcotic industry in San Jacinto County. To accomplish this major task, the Sheriff created the Patrol Tactical Unit. This is a small team of 1 Sergeant and 4 Deputies, under the command of a Lieutenant, who are specially and specifically trained in all aspects of narcotic/drug trafficking interdiction and enforcement. Undercover assets are available to this Unit.
In January 2015, the members of this team, along with 5 patrol deputies, were sent to Anniston Alabama for specialized Field Force Operations (FFO) training. Part of that training involved special tactical firearms training at Fort Benning, Georgia. This valuable training was accomplished at no cost to San Jacinto County Taxpayers. Each member of the PTU comes with an extensive narcotic enforcement and investigation history, while adding both military and law enforcement tactical training and experience to the mix.
Upon return from Alabama the PTU put their training to work. Since February 2015, the PTU is responsible for over 800 narcotic and narcotic related arrests in San Jacinto County. Their conviction rate has not been calculated due to the major backlog of over 1300 cases in the DA's Office, however, very few presented cases have been dismissed. Today, the PTU utilizes a narcotic/patrol K-9 and undercover operatives to further their endeavors to stop/disrupt narcotic trafficking and organized criminal activity in San Jacinto County.
An unintended consequense of this Unit occurred when a narcotic investigation revealed it's connection to the Illegal Gambling operations going on in San Jacinto County. 5 months of intensive undercover operations developed evidence to cease that illegal trade in our county. Partnering with the FBI and the Texas Department of Public Safety, on May 29th, 2015, your Sheriff's Office and 208 outside law enforcement officers put a stop to illegal gambling in San Jacinto County. Sheriff Capers led the largest raid against multiple offenders in state history. Simultaneously, 29 search warrants on the same number of locations were executed at the exact same moment. With over 100 charges on more than 65 defendants, illegal gambling ended in our county. Asset Forfeiture exceeded 1 million dollars in cash and property. In addition to negating a gambling issue, other criminal activity related to a terrorist network was quashed, a high level of illegal narcotic activity was shut down, and the positive results for our county have spread into surrounding counties in our region with equal benefit. The efforts have reached as far away as Dallas, Austin, and Galveston County, and several other states and countries. Currently, the PTU is working under Memorandum of Understandings with several other counties surrounding San Jacinto County, providing and receiving undercover assistance against narcotic and organized criminal activity in our region. Partnerships with several Joint Narcotics Task Force (JNTF) operations and the High Intesity Drug Trafficking Agency (HIDTA) assist all law enforcement resources in the region in fighting illegal narcotics activity. All of this effort is working to help keep citizens in San Jacinto County a little bit safer.
Another duty of the PTU is to support our Uniformed Patrol Division in High-Risk Warrant Operations, High Profile Fugitive Apprehensions, and to serve as the tactical arm of the Patrol Division. Several high profile crime scenes discovered by the Patrol Division required an advanced response from a tactical unit. Our PTU responds as an inner perimeter resource, and to date, has effectively quelled each incident without injury to suspects, officers, or citizens; all while negating the need to bring in a full SWAT team. In the event a SWAT team is required, our PTU is trained to safely establish and maintain the scene and transition into a support unit role for SWAT upon their arrival. Our PTU works hand in hand with the Gulf Coast Violent Offender Task Force (US Marshalls) when their work brings them to our county.
The value of the Sheriff's Patrol Tactical Unit to our community and our citizens is immeasurable.