The Special Operations Unit is fully funded through a millage and grant funding provided by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Division Personnel are responsible for Marine, ORV and Snowmobile Patrols, Dive Team, Volunteer Search and Rescue and Rescue Unit 131.
Throughout the year, personnel from the Special Operations Division conduct ORV, Boater and Hunter Safety Courses to residents of Marquette County. The following courses are scheduled a this time:
Call Community Schools @ 475-4173
Marine Safety, ORV and Snowmobile Enforcement
More than 1,500 hours of watercraft patrol are logged each year, along with conducting boat livery inspections. These patrols are an effort to deter reckless boating and reduce accidents on the county’s many lakes and waterways.
Officers patrol the county’s remote areas on ORVs, providing camp checks in the spring and fall. Snowmobiles and rescue sleds are used to patrol during the winter. They also help transport injured snowmobilers to safety.
With the addition of a Sno-Cat in 2000 these deputies are able to reach virtually any location within Marquette County.
Deputies from other divisions within the Sheriff's Office work with Special Ops on the underwater rescue/recovery team. The eight-member dive team has 12 training sessions a year; it provides underwater rescue and recovery throughout the county.
Search and Rescue
Rescue services are also provided by Special Operations personnel. This includes land, water, ice and high-angle rescue. The unit oversees the all-volunteer Search and Rescue unit. Search and Rescue members are highly dedicated, attending 40 training sessions a year. They are called out on average 30 times a year. The unit is also equipped with a fully certified and trained bomb tracking dog.Search and Rescue members assist in the search for lost hunters, hikers, and snowmobilers as well as providing security and first aid at special events. Volunteers must complete an application to be returned to the Sheriff's Office.
Volunteer Search and Rescue Application
Rescue Unit 131
Also assigned to the unit is Marquette County Rescue Unit 131. This unit is manned by on-call personnel. The unit specializes in technical rescue and vehicle extrication, is trained in Haz-Mat procedures, trench rescue and stabilization, and Bio-Hazard and weapons of mass destruction decontamination techniques.