Operations Division

Captain John BarcinasCaptain John Barcinas is an Avon Park High School graduate who began his law enforcement career in 1994 with the Highlands County Sheriff's Office. His previous positions include detention deputy, patrol deputy, field training deputy, school resource deputy, Crisis Negotiation Team member, detective, patrol sergeant, school resource sergeant, lieutenant in the Criminal Investigation Unit, patrol lieutenant/watch commander, and lieutenant in the Court Related Services Unit.

Captain Barcinas is a Certified Public Manager, earning this certification through the Florida Center for Public Management, Florida State University.

The Operations Division consists of the Consolidated Central Dispatch Center, which dispatches all law enforcement, fire and EMS calls in the county. In an average year, the Dispatch Center answers 224,00 administrative or non-emergency calls, 55,000 911 calls and handles 137,000 calls for service. 

The K-9 Unit is also part of the Operations Division. This unit has eight teams -- four patrol dogs (tracking, narcotics and apprehension certified), three bloodhounds and one single-purpose drug dog. The bloodhound teams are also part of the Agricultural Crimes Unit, which includes another detective.

There is also an environmental deputy responsible for investigating illegal dumping in the county. 

The Animal Services Unit is responsible for collecting stray animals and either reuniting them with their owners or offering them for adoption at their facility. 

The Accreditation Unit is responsible for keeping both the Law Enforcement and Corrections Bureaus up to standards in order to be re-accredited, and the GIS Mapping office is responsible for maintaining the county Master Street Address Guide (MSAG) as required by FSS as well as all county and city zone maps for county volunteer fire departments, the sheriff’s office and EMS, as well as all municipal zones.