Public Safety

Our mission is to serve with excellence by providing services that protect the lives and property of those who live in, work in, and visit Manatee County.

The Manatee County Public Safety Department consists of six divisions each serving a special purpose or function to ensure the safety of our citizens and to preserve or enhance the quality of life in the County. The Public Safety Department works daily with citizens, elected officials and other county law enforcement and fire agencies toward these ends. The common thread among these Public Safety divisions is that they respond directly to the needs of the citizens of Manatee County, often for emergencies and sometimes for routine community services.



Hound with a heart: Manatee County Public Safety's new in-house service dog

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (Jan. 10, 2020) – To help paramedics and first responders cope with the stress frequently working in crises, Manatee County Public Safety officials recently brought on a new, furry member of the team.

Rucker, a 2-year-old golden retriever trained by Valor Service Dogs, is Public Safety's new Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) facility dog. The dog recognizes anxiety and PTSD cues and can help calm them by nestling his head in the lap of someone who needs him. Rucker also uses his head to distract and soothe someone experiencing twitching, crying or fidgeting. He helps treat 9-1-1 operators, EMTs and paramedics and lifeguards who have worked through traumatic calls and rescues.

Rucker is the newest component of the Public Safety Peer Support Program, where Public Safety employees have received additional training to speak to their peers directly regarding on the job stressors and stressors at home.  
"The Peer Support Program is valuable in that our first responders can speak with one another about on-the-job stress and difficult situations," acting Public Safety Director Jake Saur said. "Rucker can help ease some of the tension before those conversations even begin. Having him around helps people open up."

"When you're around dogs, it’s hard not to smile," says EMS Chief Jimmy Crutchfield. "Public Safety employees hear and see things that are difficult to forget. First responders have a high rate of suicide and PTSD. Rucker was on-boarded to make bad days a little better and to help employees open up and speak to their peers."

For more information on Manatee County Government, visit or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter @ManateeGov.
Nicholas Azzara
Information Outreach Manager
Office: (941) 745-3771
Cell: (941) 224-9393

  "Rucker" is Manatee County Public Safety's new in-house emotional support pup.

Manatee County Public Safety announces new EMS Chief James Crutchfield

James Crutchfield, who launched and has led the County's successful Community Paramedic program in 2016, has been named Chief of Emergency Medical Services.

Braden River High School utilized one of the lifeguard towers at Coquina Beach for their yearly marching band photo. Photo credit Photography by Bateman. 
Braden River MB

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Manatee County Marine Rescue Named Beach Patrol of the Year

The Florida Beach Patrol Chiefs Association recently awarded its most prestigious award, Beach Patrol of the Year to Manatee County Marine Rescue Division. The award goes to to the best agency in the industry in recognition of its elite public service to the community.

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