The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has analyzed the results of Operation Stop Watch, a patrol-based project targeting criminal behavior in Laurel and Nokomis, and determined the two-week effort in early September has proven effective.
The operation included making multiple contacts with Prolific Offenders and those on probation to ensure they knew there was an increased law enforcement presence. Support from personnel in the Crime Analysis Unit, the Tactical Unit and Intelligence allowed Patrol personnel to develop daily action plans for the specific areas.
During the operation there were 17 arrests with 22 criminal charges. The arrested subjects had 541 prior felony and misdemeanor charges combined. More important than the physical arrests was the 68 percent drop in total Part 1 crimes from the two weeks before Operation Stop Watch to the two weeks that followed.
“Our Intelligence 2 Action philosophy identified subjects responsible for many of the crimes in the target area,” said Sheriff Tom Knight. “By increasing our presence we were able to become familiar with these individuals and their associates and ultimately disrupt and displace illegal activity.”
One example involved suspect Ryan Lawrence, who was arrested for Vehicle Burglary on September 3 and released on bond three days later. Due to the constant flow of actionable intelligence, deputies were able to quickly identify him as the primary suspect in several residential burglaries that occurred over the next few days. Because of the rapid deployment of resources he was located and re-arrested September 12 for Residential Burglary and False Imprisonment.
Other phases of the operation included gathering information through Field Interviews with 130 subjects, documenting suspected drug houses, monitoring them with visible and covert surveillance, and conducting random checks with personnel from Probation and Parole.
Sheriff Knight continued, “We stand with the hardworking citizens who refuse to tolerate illegal drug sales and other crimes in their community and remain committed to maintaining the ground that has been gained during this operation.”