James D. Steffens
Forensic Services and S.W.A.T. Tactical Commander
Pasco County (FL) Sheriff's Office

History and Specialties
James Steffens began his career with the Clearwater Police Department in 1988. He specialized as a Community Policing officer, a Burglary/Grand Theft Detective and a Robbery/Homicide Detective before being promoted to Sergeant in 1997. He supervised various personnel in the patrol division while serving as the supervisor of the North Greenwood Neighborhood Community Policing Patrol Team. In 2000 he was selected to become the Personnel & Training Unit Supervisor chiefly responsible for police recruitment/hiring and all sworn departmental training. Promoted to Lieutenant in 2001, Lieutenant Steffens took command of the Special Operations Section responsible for many high liability units including but not limited to The Special Weapons and Tactics Team; The Emergency Response Team and The Canine Team. He served as an operational member of SWAT from 1991-2006 and was the Team Commander (4.5 years). In 2006 he took command of the District II/West Side of the city. He was reassigned command of the SWAT Team in August of 2008 and also command of the Beach District. On January 30, 2009 Lieutenant Steffens retired after twenty years of service at the Clearwater Police Department. He went to work in the private sector developing/promoting tactical lines of equipment for law enforcement and certain military applications. In May 2011 he was hired as the Operations Lieutenant for the New Port Richey Police Department. In June he was asked by the Sheriff to be the SWAT Commander for the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office Unified SWAT Team after the teams of Pasco and New Port Richey combined. In October he was tasked with being the Acting Police Chief and was then appointed Chief of Police in December. In March 2013 he accepted a position with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office where he currently is the Chief Forensic Investigator overseeing all crime scene investigations and latent print examinations. He also retains command of the SWAT Team.

In 1999 he became an adjunct instructor for The St. Petersburg College in conjunction with The Florida Regional Community Policing Institute (RCPI). His three main disciplines are: the In Harm’s Way Law Enforcement Suicide prevention program; Community Policing based Problem Solving and Introduction to Community Policing. He also joined the college’s Multijurisdictional Counter Drug Task Force Training (MCTFT) group. He instructs on Surveillance Operations and the Mt. Everest portable Rock Climbing experience. He was also invited to instruct in Central America, specifically El Salvador, teaching Community Policing principles to multiple Central American Countries partnering with the US Embassy stationed in San Salvador. He has traveled to the region three times to co-instruct a 40-hour course. He instructed for the Pinellas County Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) School for approximately nine years. He has held numerous training certifications, citations, commendations and is a four-time recipient of the Supervisor of the Year Award (FOP Lodge #10). He is also a proud 2004 graduate of Leadership Pinellas and has been invited to be a guest speaker at a variety of different functions. He has been a consultant for articles published in publication such as Law and Order and Tactical Response.

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