On Thursday, May 20, 2021, Deputy First Class (DFC) Steve Williams of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) Agricultural Unit was elected as the President of the Florida Agricultural Crimes Intelligence Unit (FACIU) for the 2021-2022 year.
The FACIU’s mission is to promote and facilitate the exchange of agricultural related intelligence to law enforcement officers, specializing in agriculture crime investigations in the state of Florida. Types of cases investigated by the FACIU range from cattle theft, animal cruelty and abuse, animal complaints,
equipment theft, loose livestock, diesel fuel theft, copper theft, farm-crop theft, beehive theft, palmetto berry theft, and trespassing. The Agriculture/Ranch Unit is a necessity in Flagler County and throughout Florida, since there are approximately 47,500 commercial farms in the state, with farm sizes averaging 195 acres. Florida agriculture provides over 1.35 million jobs, generates an economic impact of $148 billion and accounts for 65% of the U.S. citrus production.
DFC Williams began serving on FACIU in 2004. He began his law enforcement career with FCSO in 2006 with the Community Policing Division (CPD). He holds a Graduate Certificate in Agricultural and Life Sciences from the University of Florida and is the only Certified Agriculture Expert with FCSO. Currently, DFC Williams serves on the FCSO Agricultural Crimes Unit and works closely with the FCSO Marine Unit and Florida Fish and Wildlife. “I am very proud of DFC Williams and congratulate him as he takes on a new leadership role with FACIU,” Sheriff Rick Staly said.
“This is another example of how our deputies go above and beyond to serve this community and in this case the Florida agricultural community. This is also a great honor for our agency and is reflective of the outstanding employees that serve our community. DFC William’s passion for agriculture is inspiring and I know that he will serve well as the FACIU President.”
The FACUI continues the mission and dedication in developing solutions to the unique crimes that affect agriculture, livestock, rural communications and agricultural related businesses throughout the State of Florida. The FACIU has over 200 members and continues growing and currently represents 41 Florida Counties. DFC Williams will serve as the President of the FACIU until May of 2022.