The Uniform Patrol Section of the Waycross Police Department is commanded by Capt Tommy Cox. The section consists of (42) forty two sworn police officers. This is the largest and most visible unit of the Police Department. The Uniform Patrol Section is divided up into (4) four rotating (12) twelve hour shifts with the primary function of crime prevention, answering calls for service relating to life & death emergencies, criminal activity and quality of life issues. Capt. Cox has direct supervision over Unit Commanders with the rank of lieutenant. The lieutenants supervise the watch commanders or sergeants of the four shifts. The sergeants directly supervise the individual officers assigned to their shifts. The Watch Commanders directly supervise (33) thirty-three uniformed police officers.

The Uniform Patrol Section also consists of specialized units. These specialized units are the Community Response Team, Bicycle Unit, K-9 Unit, and Traffic Safety Team along with School Resource Officers.

The Community Response Team has the primary function of responding to community concerns as a whole squad instead of responding individually to calls for service. The CRT’s primary objective is to improve the quality of life for neighborhood residents affected as a whole as it relates to neighborhood criminal activity & quality of life issues. The CRT solicits citizen involvement through community meetings, community walks, and individual relationships developed over time. They use this information to determine what type of police activity is needed in a particular area. The complaints received and acted on by come from citizens who may otherwise not seek police assistance for various reasons.

The Bicycle Unit consisting of 8 bicycles has the primary responsibility of acquiring a more personal approach from the citizens and the development of police/citizen relationships. Bicycle Officers have the ability to navigate and operate in areas where patrol cars can not. The physical barrier of the patrol car is removed and the officers are much more approachable from a citizen’s point of view.

The Uniform Patrol Section of the Waycross Police Department is supplemented by the Police K-9 Unit. Each K-9 is assigned to a K-9 handler. The K-9’s primary function is for tracking criminal suspects, searching for evidence, searching for drugs, officer protection and in the most serious of circumstances K-9 apprehension of fleeing suspects deemed a risk to the public if escape is accomplished.

The Traffic Safety Team’s primary function is the reduction of accidents, to prevent death and injury, and gain voluntary compliance to the state traffic laws. The Traffic Safety Team carries out this function through enforcement activities located in areas of concern. These areas are identified through the data collection, mapping of accidents, citizens concerns, and personal observation by the traffic safety team members. Emphasis is placed on child restraint and seatbelt enforcement along with speed enforcement due to their direct relationship to the number of injuries and deaths relating motor vehicle accidents.

The School Resource Officer program places law enforcement resources in Ware County High School, Waycross Middle School, and are available to the elementary schools. The ultimate goal is to help to provide a safe environment for students to learn. The function of the SRO is to be a resource for student counseling, guidance & education.