Divisions and Special Units

Patrol Division

When a citizen or visitor calls the Southport Police Department for assistance, the initial responding officer is assigned to the patrol division. Officers of the Southport Police Department who are assigned to the patrol division handle all of the initial investigative duties that pertain to calls for service in the City of Southport. These officers meet with the reporting person, interview witnesses and suspects, collect evidence, render first aid, effect arrests and conduct crash investigations. If a scene or criminal investigation is complex, the patrol officer can request assistance from a specialized unit for additional investigative resources; however the initial case is worked by the patrol officer.

Criminal Investigations

The Criminal Investigations Division is staffed by detectives and detective supervisors who are responsible for investigating those major crimes that are time sensitive; require a specific specialty; or would take too much time for a member of the patrol division to devote. They are typically felony investigations; however, those misdemeanor investigations which are time consuming may also be assigned. The Chief of Police may also assign a specific investigation to the unit. Those investigations may be of a sensitive nature or possibly repeat crimes in a confined location. The section also handles inner departmental personnel investigations, such as background investigations of prospective employees and internal investigations, as well as the collection and dissemination of criminal intelligence information.

Support Services

The Support Services Division of the Southport Police Department is responsible for most non-operational activities that allow the Southport Police Department to provide law enforcement services to the community. The Support Services Division is responsible for ensuring that our officers have the necessary equipment and support to provide high quality law enforcement services to our citizens. The Support Services Division also coordinates outside requests for the services of off-duty officers and provides administrative support for all city-approved special events.

Desk Services / Public Assistance Officers

Desk service / Public Assistance Officers staff the front desk at the police department during normal business hours. They handle a wide variety of tasks, from gun permit applications to answering phone calls to taking non-emergency police reports via phone and walk-ins. PAOs and desk officers are an integral part of the police department’s partnership with the community and allow patrol officers to focus on emergency and high priority calls for service.

Training Division

Officers with the training division staff the Southport Police Department’s Certified Academy for all new police hires. They are responsible for providing over 500 hours of training to Southport’s new recruits, as well as providing yearly in-service training to current officers. Training division officers also coordinate training opportunities to members of the public, such as the citizen’s police academy.

Bike Patrol

Bike patrol officers are assigned to patrol the city on bicycles during special events and when weather permits. Bike patrol officers undergo a rigorous training program to ensure they are able to work safely and effectively while best serving the needs of the community.

Emergency Response Team

The Southport Police Department Emergency Response Team (ERT) responds to high-risk situations which require a tactical approach beyond normal police patrol operations, such as barricaded subjects, high-risk warrants where suspects are believed to be armed, hostage situations, and civil disturbances. Members of the ERG receive advanced training in tactics, searching techniques, room clearing, and use of specialized equipment such as ballistic shields, distraction devices, specialty impact and chemical munitions, and breaching tools for entering locked doors.

Explorer Program

Law Enforcement Exploring is a hands on program open to young men and women who have completed the 6th grade through 20 years old, who are interested in a career in law enforcement or related criminal justice field. The program offers young adults a personal awareness of the criminal justice system through training, practical experiences, competition, and other activities. Additionally, the program promotes personal growth through character development, respect for the rule of law, physical fitness, good citizenship, and patriotism.