Central Sarasota County Operation Yields Dozens of Arrests

NEWS RELEASE #: 16-157

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has concluded Operation ShortStop, a 20-day targeted effort to prevent crime and enhance community safety in the unincorporated areas of central Sarasota County.

Based on the agency's Intelligence to Action philosophy of intelligence-led policing, the operation was developed to address criminal activity and the perception of an environment conducive to criminal behavior within the general borders of Honore east to Beneva Road and between Webber and Proctor roads in Sarasota.

The three-phase plan began with a dramatic increase in law enforcement presence to focus on high-risk individuals at what data analysis indicates are high-risk places at high-risk times. The operation also included the identification and arrest of wanted and known prolific offenders; and highway interdiction along major thoroughfares to educate traffic violators and arrest impaired drivers.

Operation ShortStop, conducted from July 11-31, 2016, resulted in a reduction in criminal activity and traffic crashes within this area. There were 39 arrests on 43 felony and 22 misdemeanor charges. The 39 people arrested had a combined 208 prior felony charges and 232 prior misdemeanor charges. Four were prolific offenders. Deputies performed 198 field interviews, and issued 168 traffic citations, and 71 warnings. There were five DUI arrests, five arrests for Burglary and one arrest for Homicide.

"This is part of our Intelligence to Action model of policing," said Sheriff Knight. "By taking a proactive approach to reducing crime in targeted areas, we are letting criminals know their behavior isn't welcome in our community while at the same time assuring residents that their quality of life won't be affected by criminals who prey on their neighborhood."

Similar operations have been conducted in north Sarasota as well as the southern end of the county to include Venice, Nokomis, Englewood, North Port and Warm Mineral Springs. After initial results of an operation are realized, crime analysts continue to monitor these specified areas for crime trends and calls for services.