Union County Sheriff's Office

  • Agency: Union County Sheriff's Office
  • Address: 55 West Main Street, Courthouse Room 102, Lake Butler, 32054 FL
  • Chief:
Phone: 386-496-2501
Fax:

Union County Sheriff's Office is located at 55 West Main Street, Courthouse Room 102, Lake Butler, 32054 FL. The Union County Sheriff's Office phone number is 386-496-2501.

Union County Sheriff's Office News

***U.C. School Bus Accident*** Our Sheriff’s Office units and Florida Highway Patrol are currently on scene of a Union County School Bus vs vehicle accident at SR238 and S.W. 9th Avenue in Lake Butler, Florida. No serious injuries to report. Rescue units assessed all students on the bus and those involved in the passenger car. One student transported for minor precautions. School officials arrived and all emergency contacts (parents) were notified immediately. Accident investigation is turned over to Florida Highway Patrol.

***UNANNOUNCED MANDATORY SCHOOL LOCKDOWN DRILL – LAKE BUTLER MIDDLE SCHOOL ONLY*** This is to notify you that Lake Butler Middle School administrative staff will be participating in a LOCK-DOWN Drill TODAY, November 8, 2018 at 8:20am. The Lake Butler Middle School is conducting an unannounced lock-down drill today at 8:20am. In the past few months since the law went into effect we have made prior notifications and informed every one of these drills. To make sure that the schools are properly trained in the event of a real emergency sometimes these drills must be conducted without prior announcements. The lock-down drill going on now will last less than 10 minutes. Again we will ensure the safety of our schools, staff and all children. We strive to complete each drill quickly, while working with school officials, to ensure as little disruption as possible to their day. We believe these drills are necessary and vitally important in the overall preparedness of any emergencies that can occur. Other drills, to include fire drills, bad weather drills and further lockdown drills will occur throughout the year as required and necessary. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact our agency at 386-496-2501.

***K-9 SEARCH PARKING LOT – U.C. HIGH SCHOOL*** Yesterday, November 1, 2018, in a mutual aid agreement with Bradford County Sheriff’s Office, K-9 Drug Enforcement Teams did a random unannounced search of the Union County High School parking lot. This search concentrated only on the parking lot and vehicles in an effort to alert of illegal narcotics. We routinely numerous times throughout the year bring in K-9 narcotic search drugs throughout our High School, Middle School and Alternative School. Since this particular search did not involve going into the schools, neither school was placed on lock-down during this operation. This is all part of a current on-going drug operation throughout the county where a number of suspects have been arrested and will be arrested at the conclusion of this investigation. More details about drug arrests will be posted as we can release them. During this operation the K-9 alerted on a number of vehicles. Standard procedure is to assist the school in search of these vehicles on school property with the presence of the student. These highly trained K-9 drug detection dogs can alert on vehicles that had past narcotics in it, legal (or illegal) prescription pills or other suspicious scents. No illegal narcotics were found during this operation. Sheriff Brad Whitehead stated, “This is just another tool and effort to keep our children safe and away from illegal drugs or other harmful activities. This routine search, in partnership with our schools, shows a strong stance against illegal drug sin our community.” More routine drugs searches to come.

***UNANNOUNCED MANDATORY SCHOOL LOCKDOWN DRILL – ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ONLY*** This is to notify you that Lake Butler Elementary School administrative staff will be participating in a LOCK-DOWN Drill TODAY, October 31, 2018 at 1:20PM. The Lake Butler Elementary School is conducting an unannounced lock-down drill today at 1:20PM. In the past few months since the law went into effect we have made prior notifications and informed every one of these drills. To make sure that the schools are properly trained in the event of a real emergency sometimes these drills must be conducted without prior announcements. The lock-down drill going on now will last less than 10 minutes. Again we will ensure the safety of our schools, staff and all children. We strive to complete each drill quickly, while working with school officials, to ensure as little disruption as possible to their day. We believe these drills are necessary and vitally important in the overall preparedness of any emergencies that can occur. Other drills, to include fire drills, bad weather drills and further lockdown drills will occur throughout the year as required and necessary. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact our agency at 386-496-2501.

***GIRL SCOUTS TROOP 1251 TOURS U.C.S.O.*** On Monday, October 30, 2018, local Union County Girl Scout Troop 1251, under Troop Leader Becky Elixson, toured the Union County Sheriff’s Office and our operation center. After the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, Sheriff Brad Whitehead hosted the Girl Scout troop and showed them the Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Management Operation Center, Union County Dispatch Center and outside area of our Union County Jail. Deputy Shelby Ellis and Deputy Erik Krueger demonstrated the workings of a Union County patrol vehicles and the tools that we use each and every day for the protection of Union County. The girls asked many questions about the history of the Sheriff’s Office and our operations. This was all part of earning their Girl Scouts Safety Badge.

***UCSO AND ADDITIONAL AGENCIES INVESTIGATES ANIMAL CRUELTY CASE*** UCSO was alerted to a possible animal abuse case off of S.W. 100th Place, (just South of CR18) Lake Butler, Florida involving 53 horses. This has been an intensive on-going complex investigation. Investigators and Deputies with UCSO found 53 horses in various stages of neglect and abuse. UCSO has a long time great working relationship with ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and requested their assistance for this large-scale investigation and removed 51 horses from their property. ASPCA, along with Ag Deputies from Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, Marion County Sheriff’s Office and Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, worked with our agency for evidence collection, documentation and removal/treatment of all the horses. Many of the horses were living in inadequate conditions and showing signs of neglect. Four equine veterinarians were also on scene assisting with this investigation. Two horses were found dead on the property and many others required immediate treatment. ASPCA and assisting agencies worked hard to transport all of the horses off of the owner’s property. The majority of the horses were transported to an equine hospital where they will receive the necessary ongoing medical treatment before they can be responsibly placed with the ASPCA’s network of equine rescues. Animal cruelty charges and arrests are pending based on evidence collected by ASPCA forensic and equine veterinarians and our agency investigators. Our agency considers this a serious crime and animal cruelty will not be tolerated.

***HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS - UNION COUNTY*** On Saturday, October 27th, 2018 from 6:00Pm to 9:00Pm, the Reception and Medical Center (RMC) Prison on CR231 will have their Annual Fall Festival/Trick or Treat throughout the housing area – (located just South of the prison), These events are open to everyone and all ages. There will be a Haunted Tent, bounce houses, and activities for the kids. On Tuesday, October 30th, 2018 from 6Pm to 8Pm the City of Lake Butler, will observe “Trick or Treat”. There will also be a Lake Butler Small Business Trunk or Treat located next to Little Rainbow Learning Center from 6Pm-8Pm. There will be many other festivals and events throughout the county. Please check with local churches and communities for specific dates and times. It is the goal of Sheriff Brad Whitehead and the Union County Sheriff’s Office that all remain safe and alert during this time of year. The Union County Sheriff’s Office is offering these safety tips for kids, parents and motorists to ensure that Halloween and the activities involved are enjoyable for all. TIPS FOR KIDS: • Attend an organized festival, or it is a good idea to stay in your own neighborhood, go with a friend, or in a group with an adult • Go only to homes with lights on or Halloween decorations displayed. • Do not eat any treats until they have been checked by an adult. • Watch for cars when crossing the street. TIPS FOR PARENTS: • Make sure your child’s costume allows freedom of movement and good visibility. • Carrying a flashlight or light stick makes kids more visible. (Union County Sheriff’s Office will be providing light sticks up until and night of Halloween observation) • Young children should always go with an adult. • Insist that children trick or treat with a group. • Before children eat any treats, check them. Use your discretion about homemade treats. TIPS FOR MOTORISTS: • Exercise extreme caution when driving and be alert for excited children, whose vision may be obscured by masks or costumes. • Use caution and be aware of children while backing vehicles out of driveways or parking spaces. • Use caution if transporting children from house to house. Extra patrol units will be on high alerts for speeders, drunk drivers and registered sex offenders. Specialty units with the Sheriff’s Office will be monitoring all registered Sex Offenders in Union County. They are not allowed to have any Halloween decoration and required to have their front light off during Halloween events. Other Sheriff units will be targeting potential drunk drivers. If you have any questions or need to report any suspicious incidents please contact the Union County Sheriff’s Office at 386-496-2501. **Feel free to share this information**

***UCSO WINS!!!!*** In the First Annual UCSO vs UCEMS/Fire Dept., UCSO comes out victorious with a 20-11 WIN!!!! The real winner is the American Cancer Society as both teams raised money for this important cause that is so close to so many of us. Over $3,000.00 dollars raised for Amercian Cancer Society. Guns beat the hoses and take home the trophy. Sheriff Brad Whitehead congratulated EMS Director Wayne Clemons on a great game and a great effort.

***UNION COUNTY BATTLE OF THE BADGES*** Union County Sheriff's Office vs. Union County Fire/Rescue Saturday, October 20, 2018 starting at 10AM. O.J. Phillips Complex. Come out and support both teams. Concession will be available and donations accepted. Fundraiser to benefit American Cancer Society.

***U.C. High School Lockdown Drill*** The Union County High School conducted an unannounced fire-drill today at 11:00am and afterwards followed that up with a mandatory “lock-down” drill of all students. In the past few months since the law went into effect we have made prior notifications and informed every one of these drills. To make sure that the schools are properly trained in the event of a real emergency sometimes these drills must be conducted without prior announcements. The fire-drill lasted less than 10 minutes and then the “lock-down” drill also lasted approximately 10 minutes. This was done to limit further interruption of the school day as testing occurs later this week and into next week. The only occurred at the High School and they successfully passed both drills. Our agency was on campus to assist in both drills.

***Hurricane Michael Update*** Overnight Hurricane Micheal strengthened to strong CAT4 Hurricane with substained winds of 145mph and still gaining strength. Michael is still on the same path to make landfall in the Florida panhandle. Michael is moving toward the north near 13 mph and a slight turn toward North-Northeast is expected later this morning and into this afternoon and tonight. As for Union County, FL. we are still expecting rain up to 3" and 30-40mph sustained winds with gusts around 50mph possible. We will see the worst of it in our county between 4pm today and 4am tomorrow. At this time we do not have any plans to open any storm shelters in our county. We have increased patrol deputies to monitor and respond to calls for assistance. We are asking everyone to be Hurricane prepared. Make sure you have Hurricane supplies in case of power outages from downed trees, make sure to put up any lawn furniture or other outside items that can become deadly. Take measures to protect your pets and elderly neighbors and family members. We are asking everyone to stay off the roads during the time of high winds and rains for your own protection. TODAY: All Non-essential Governmental Offices our closed. All Public Schools are closed throughout remainder of week.

***UNION COUNTY SCHOOLS CLOSED WEDNESDAY, OCT. 10TH, - FRIDAY, OCT. 12, 2018*** UNION COUNTY, LAKE BUTLER, FLORIDA Due to bad weather and affects from Hurricane Michael, ALL Union County Schools will be closed (tomorrow) Wednesday, October 10, 2018 and THURSDAY, October 11, 2018. This is for the safety of our buses and children and those staff/teachers/parents affected by Hurricane Michael. Friday, October 12, 2018 was already scheduled as a Professional Development Day - No School. Hurricane Michael continues to head toward West Florida as a CAT 2 Hurricane. Our area will still experience heavy rain and tropical storm force winds with potential of flooding in low lying areas. We are at a moderate risk for tornado activity. Unless storm track changes we are not planning to activate any storm shelters within Union County. Michael is moving toward the north-northwest near 12 mph (19 km/h). A north-northwestward to northward motion is expected through tonight, followed by a northeastward motion on Wednesday and Thursday. On the forecast track, the center of Michael will move across the eastern Gulf of Mexico through tonight. The center of Michael is expected to move inland over the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend area on Wednesday, and then move northeastward across the southeastern United States Wednesday night and Thursday. Data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that the maximum sustained winds have increased to near 100 mph with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is expected, and Michael is forecast to be a major hurricane at landfall in Florida. Weakening is expected after landfall as Michael moves through the southeastern United States. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles. We will continue to keep everyone updated.

***UNION COUNTY, FL – HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS*** The Union County Sheriff’s Office and UCSO Office of Emergency Management are monitoring the current path and possible effects of Hurricane Michael. Michael is currently a CAT 1 Hurricane and expected to intensify as it enters into the Gulf of Mexico, possible hitting Florida as a CAT 3 Hurricane. Areas of Florida (currently track shows areas closer to Florida Panhandle) can expect storm surge flooding, destructive winds and flash flooding rainfall. Our area can expect heavy rainfall (2”-4”), strong wind gusts and possible flash flooding. Citizens throughout our area can expect Tropical Storm force winds and rain as early as Tuesday evening. We can expect the worst conditions in our area Wednesday through the early morning hours of Thursday. Our agency will keep everyone informed as we have our multiple daily briefings with the State Office of Emergency Management, Governor’s Office and National Weather Service. We will notify you of any possible school closures in our county just as soon as decisions are made. We want everyone to be safe and as we are hurricane prepared, you should be too.

***HOMECOMING PARADE TODAY*** ***ROAD CLOSURES/BLOCKAGE TODAY*** HOMECOMING PARADE: FRIDAY, OCT. 5, 2018 TODAY at 12:00noon the Homecoming Parade will start from Sprinkle Field (CR231/SR121) and travel through the Elementary School bus pickup, then travel East on S.W. 6th Street (SR121), North on Lake Avenue, West on Main Street (SR100), and then South on S.W. 6th Avenue (CR231) (back to Sprinkle Field). (SEE MAP) Detours and Road Closures will occur throughout the city! You are encouraged to avoid the all roads throughout the City of Lake Butler between 11:30AM and 1:30PM on Friday. Deputies will be at every intersection and you can expect delays and detours throughout the parade route during this time. If you are watching the parade, you can find great viewing areas on West Main Street, SW 6th Avenue or Lake Avenue. Make sure to park your vehicle off of the main parade route. Early release from school after the parade will continue to cause increased traffic after the parade. Be careful of children crossing the street and those not paying attention. Please share this information with family and friends. HOMECOMING GAME: TIGERS VS SANTA FE, FRIDAY NIGHT 7:30PM COME OUT AND SUPPORT OUR TIGERS! GO TIGERS!!!

***HOMECOMING EVENTS THIS WEEK*** ***ROAD CLOSURES/BLOCKAGE FRIDAY*** CELEBRATE U.C. TIGER HOMECOMING THIS WEEK: HOMECOMING PARADE: FRIDAY, OCT. 5, 2018 Tomorrow, Starting at 12:00noon. It will start from Sprinkle Field (SR231/SR121) and travel through the Elementary School bus pickup, then travel East on S.W. 6th Street (SR121), North on Lake Avenue, West on Main Street (SR100), and then South on S.W. 6th Avenue CR231 (back to Sprinkle Field). (SEE MAP) Detours and Road Closures will occur Friday throughout the city! You are encouraged to avoid the major roads throughout the City of Lake Butler between 11:30AM and 1:30PM on Friday. Deputies will be at every intersection and you can expect delays throughout the parade route during this time. If you are watching the parade, you can find great viewing areas on West Main Street, SW 6th Avenue or Lake Avenue. Make sure to park your vehicle off of the main parade route. Early release from school after the parade will continue to cause increased traffic after the parade. Be careful of children crossing the street and those not paying attention. Please share this information with family and friends. HOMECOMING GAME: TIGERS VS SANTA FE, FRIDAY NIGHT 7:30PM *TIGER GROWL – TONIGHT - THURSDAY NIGHT 7PM COME OUT AND SUPPORT OUR TIGERS! GO TIGERS!!!

***MANDATORY SCHOOL LOCKDOWN DRILL TODAY & TOMORROW*** This is to notify you that Union County High School and Middle School will be participating in a LOCK-DOWN Drill TODAY, September 27, 2018. Lake Butler Middle School will be at 1:20PM today and Union County High School will be at 1:50PM today. Lake Butler Elementary School is scheduled for Friday, September 28th, 2018 at 8:15AM. By LAW all schools must experience a “Lock-Down – Practice Drill” MONTHLY. Students are NOT evacuated and will remain in a locked classroom. School administrators and Law Enforcements Deputies will be on scene to assist and verify that the school is on “lock-down”. During this time it would be rare for any child to have any interaction with law enforcement or school officials. Each lock-down drill will last approximately 15 minutes and then they will continue with their studies. Each teacher has the responsibility to ensure each child is aware of what is occurring and that their classroom is locked and children are safe. Again we will ensure the safety of our schools, staff and all children. We strive to complete each drill quickly, while working with school officials, to ensure as little disruption as possible to their day. We believe these drills are necessary and vitally important in the overall preparedness of any emergencies that can occur. Other drills, to include fire drills, bad weather drills and further lockdown drills will occur throughout the year as required and necessary. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact our agency at 386-496-2501.

***Traffic Accident - Road Blocked - SR100 West*** Sheriff's Office and Emergency Units are currently on scene of a bad 2 vehicle traffic crash on West SR100 a few miles out of town toward Lake City. SR100 is currently blocked while emergency units assist those involved in the accident. Avoid this area if at all possible. Our units have worked a number of traffic accidents this morning. Reminding everyone to travel safe and avoid distracted driving.

***Hurricane Florence Update*** Hurricane Florence will be a major hurricane upon possible land impact in the Southeastern United States. However, the forecast has improved greatly for the Union County, Florida area since Saturday morning. We now expect little to no impacts if the storm continues on the current projected track. As you can see in the graphic, there is less than a 5% chance that we will see Tropical Storm conditions in Union County. The official track anticipates the storm turning more NW mid-week and approaching the Carolinas. Continue to monitor forecasts, as any westward shift in track COULD increase local threat potential. Pay close attention to the tropics this month since September is the peak of hurricane season. Make sure you are supplied and ready before a storm is imminent, as it is common for stores to run out of supplies. There will be additional updates from the Union County Sheriff's Office - Emergency Management Department should forecasted conditions change.

The Florida Sheriff's Association today honored and recognized the outstanding group of hard working School Resource Deputies and Sheriff Brad Whitehead of the Union County Sheriff's Office. Thank you F.S.A. for the recognizition and the strong dedication to excellence in law enforcement throughout the State of Florida.

***MANDATORY SCHOOL LOCKDOWN DRILL TODAY*** This is to notify you that Union County Schools will be participating in a LOCK-DOWN Drill TODAY, Friday, August 17, 2018. This will occur at ALL schools, Lake Butler Elementary School, Lake Butler Middle School, Union County High School and Alternative School. These lock down drills will begin at 8:30AM for Elementary School, 9:30AM for High School and 10:30AM for Middle School. By LAW all schools must experience a “Lock-Down – Practice Drill” during the first week of school and regularly thereafter. Students are NOT evacuated and will remain in a locked classroom. School administrators and Law Enforcements Deputies will be on scene to assist and verify that the school is on “lock-down”. During this time it would be rare for any child to have any interaction with law enforcement or school officials. Each lock-down drill will last approximately 15 minutes and then they will continue with their studies. Each teacher has the responsibility to ensure each child is aware of what is occurring and that their classroom is locked and children are safe. Again we will ensure the safety of our schools, staff and all children. We conducted these drills last school year with lots of success. We strive to complete each drill quickly, while working with school officials, to ensure as little disruption as possible to their day. We believe these drills are necessary and vitally important in the overall preparedness of any emergencies that can occur. Other drills, to include fire drills, bad weather drills and further lockdown drills will occur throughout the year as required and necessary. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact our agency at 386-496-2501.

***SCHOOL LOCK-DOWN DRILL TOMORROW*** This is to notify you that Union County Schools will be participating in a LOCK-DOWN Drill tomorrow, Friday, August 17, 2018. This will occur at ALL schools, Lake Butler Elementary School, Lake Butler Middle School, Union County High School and Alternative School. These lock down drills will begin at 8:30AM for Elementary School, 9:30AM for High School and 10:30AM for Middle School. By LAW all schools must experience a “Lock-Down – Practice Drill” during the first week of school and regularly thereafter. Students are NOT evacuated and will remain in a locked classroom. School administrators and Law Enforcements Deputies will be on scene to assist and verify that the school is on “lock-down”. During this time it would be rare for any child to have any interaction with law enforcement or school officials. Each lock-down drill will last approximately 15 minutes and then they will continue with their studies. Each teacher has the responsibility to ensure each child is aware of what is occurring and that their classroom is locked and children are safe. Again we will ensure the safety of our schools, staff and all children. We conducted these drills last school year with lots of success. We strive to complete each drill quickly, while working with school officials, to ensure as little disruption as possible to their day. We believe these drills are necessary and vitally important in the overall preparedness of any emergencies that can occur. Other drills, to include fire drills, bad weather drills and further lockdown drills will occur throughout the year as required and necessary. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact our agency at 386-496-2501.

***FIRST DAY BACK TO SCHOOL*** New Uniforms (check) Boots Shined (check) Badges Polished (check) Haircuts (check) New Lunchboxes (check) Union County Sheriff's Office - School Resource Deputies on the job and ready for the 1st Day of School. Go Tigers!

***SCHOOL'S BACK IN*** Reminder that Union County Schools starts back today! There will be heavy traffic all week in the areas of our schools, SR121, CR231 and Lake Avenue during the hours of 6:30am-8:15am and 2:00pm-3:10pm. Use extra caution when traveling around the school zones and watch for children and crossing guards. Be aware of children at bus stops and drive safe. Working together to keep our schools and children safe!

***UNION COUNTY SCHOOL STARTS TOMORROW*** Just a reminder that Union County Schools start back tomorrow morning!!! Traffic will be very heavy on SR121 and CR231 and Lake Avenue in and around our schools. Those dropping off students should expect delays in travel and should leave earlier in preparation for the increased traffic. Be extra careful when traveling around bus stops throughout the county and our school zones and school crossing guards. You will see increased patrol units around our school zones in morning and afternoon reminding you to stay safe and reduce your speed. Reminder that State Statutes says ALL speeding fines are doubled within the school zone. Watch for children crossing the road and for the heavy traffic. Those not dropping off children may wish to avoid this area while traveling through Lake Butler. Reminder that increased traffic during school zones of 6:30am-8:15am and 2:00PM-3:10PM daily. Help us keep our schools and children safe!

***SCHOOL STARTS BACK MONDAY*** Just a reminder as Union County schools start back on MONDAY, AUG. 13th for everyone to stop and be aware of all your surroundings. Be aware of the increased traffic on SR121 and CR231 in and around the school zones, especially around 6:30am-8:15am and 2:00pm-3:15pm each day. Be aware of the school crossing guards helping to get our children across the roads. Be aware of the school buses throughout our county picking up children at each of our bus stops, Be aware of any suspicious vehicles and/or persons that might be around and report any unusual behavior to law enforcement immediately. Please be safe and remember to always slow your speed in the school zones areas. Increased law enforcement patrol will be throughout our school zones. If you are not dropping off students in a Union County, it would be advised to avoid SR121 and CR231 area if at all possible during the next week or two starting this Thursday. Also please make sure the school has the most current and accurate emergency contact information on file for your children. We frequently need to get a hold of parents/guardians for various reasons throughout the year. Teach your children to always CHECK FIRST before changing their plans before or after school. Teach your children to never leave school with anyone unless they CHECK FIRST with you or another trusted adult family member. The Sheriff's Office responds to numerous calls each year of missing children from our schools because of lack of communications with their travels after school and ways to get home. We are here to make sure our schools and children remain safe at all times! Again, as always increased patrol units will be in and around the school zone before and after school each day.