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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary


Media Advisory
September 11, 2013
For More Information
Contact: Communications
(850) 488-0426

Community Corrections and Law Enforcement Strike Teams Target Violent Offenders; Make 50 Arrests and Seize 5 Weapons

~Strike Teams are examples of community partnerships between FLDOC and local law enforcement~

FLORIDA- In July and August 2013, the Florida Department of Corrections (DOC) probation officers and various law enforcement agencies worked alongside each other in nine Florida counties, making surprise face-to-face contact with over 400 offenders, including known sex offenders, gang members, and violent felons. As a result, 50 arrests were made.

These strike teams were made up of DOC Probation and Parole Officers from the Department's Office of Community Corrections, County Probation and Department of Juvenile Justice Officers, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Officers, Sheriff Deputies, and/or local police officers. These agencies are all part of the Community Justice Coalition (CJC), which began as a three-county initiative in 2007. Since then, the team has taken part in numerous sweeps. Law enforcement agencies from Brevard, Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, Orange, Polk, Seminole, St. Lucie, and Volusia County were involved in this latest operation. 

During this Planned Compliance Initiative (PCI), officers visited homes of targeted felony offenders and conducted status checks and walk-throughs of their residences. In Polk County, the aim of these home contacts focused on offenders with active warrants and those with curfews as a condition of their supervision. In Brevard and Seminole County, officers arrived unannounced at offender residences for compliance checks of offenders under supervision and who are known gang members/affiliates or are associated with gang activity. Volusia County focused on violent offenders, including those with weapon charges, burglary charges, and aggravated assault charges. In Orange County a special emphasis was placed on youthful violent offenders. Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, and St. Lucie County focused on sex offenders.

The majority of offenders were in compliance with their probation and court-ordered mandates. Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, and Volusia County did not find any offenders with violations and therefore no arrests were made during their PCI surprise contact visits.

This initiative resulted in the discovery of offenders who were in violation of their supervision; 25 offenders were accused of a Felony Violation of Probation and 11 with a Misdemeanor Violation of Probation. Additional charges included seven new felonies, four new misdemeanors, and other related allegations leading to a total of 50 arrests. This operation also led to the seizure of five weapons and various drug contraband.

Department of Corrections' Secretary Michael Crews believes strongly in the partnership between the Department and local law enforcement agencies.

"In an operation like this, everyone involved has a common goal, protecting and maintaining public safety. By working together, our resources are greater and our purpose is stronger. These partnerships are not only good for law enforcement, they are good for all Floridians. Working together takes crime off of our streets and ensures there are not new crime victims," said Secretary Crews.

Reporters interested in additional details may call the media contact listed for the specific counties listed below:

Brevard County:  Public Information Officer (PIO) Deputy Maria Fernez, (321) 264-5209, maria.fernez@bcso.us

19 offender contacts
7 law enforcement teams involved
8 offender arrests
Contraband seized: 25.5 grams marijuana

Participating Agencies:
FL Department of Corrections: 18th Circuit Community Corrections – Brevard County
Brevard County Sheriff's Office Game Over Task Force to include officers from:
Brevard County Sheriff's Office
Cocoa Police Department
Melbourne Police Department
Palm Bay Police Department
Rockledge Police Department
Titusville Police Department

Indian River County:  PIO Thom Raulen, (772) 978-6075, traulen@ircsheriff.org

13 offender contacts
2 law enforcement teams involved
No offender arrests

Participating Agencies:
FL Department of Corrections: 19th Circuit Community Corrections – Indian River County
Indian River County Sheriff's Office

Martin County:  PIO Christine Weiss, (772) 320-4736, ccweiss@sheriff.martin.fl.us

12 offender contacts
2 law enforcement teams involved
No offender arrests

Participating Agencies:
FL Department of Corrections: 19th Circuit Community Corrections – Martin County
Martin County Sheriff's Office

Okeechobee County:  PIO Michele Bell, (863) 763-3117, mbell@okeesheriff.org

5 offender contacts
1 law enforcement team involved
No offender arrests

Participating Agencies:
FL Department of Corrections: 19th Circuit Community Corrections – Okeechobee County
Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office

Orange County: PIO Captain Angelo Nieves, (407) 254-7346, (407) 448-6148, angelo.nieves@ocfl.net

182 offender contacts
12+ law enforcement teams involved
17 offender arrests
Contraband seized: 3 Firearms, 16.8 grams of marijuana, and drug paraphernalia

Participating Agencies:
FL Department of Corrections: 9th Circuit Community Corrections – Orange County
Orange County Sheriff's Office
Orlando Police Department
Winter Park Police Department
University of Central Florida Police Department
Ocoee Police Department
Oakland Police Department
Apopka Police Department
Florida Department of Law Enforcement
Department of Juvenile Justice

Polk County: PIO Polk County Sheriff's Office, Carie Eleazer, (863) 298-6217, celeazer@polksheriff.org; PIO Winter Haven Police Department, Jamie Brown, (863) 295-5905, jbrown@mywinterhaven.com; PIO Lake Wales Police Department, Chief Deputy Troy Schultz, (863) 678-4223, tschultz@cityoflakewales.com

87 offender contacts
9 law enforcement teams involved
10 offender arrests
Contraband seized: 6 grams of methamphetamine and 0.5 grams of marijuana

Participating Agencies:
FL Department of Corrections: 10th Circuit Community Corrections – Polk County
Polk County Sheriff's Office
Winter Haven Police Department
Lake Wales Police Department

Seminole County: PIO Heather Smith (407) 665-6748, hsmith@seminolesheriff.org  

77 offender contacts
11 law enforcement teams involved
14 offender arrests
Contraband seized: 263 Rounds of Ammunition, 2 Firearms, and 2 Crack Cocaine pipes

Participating Agencies:
FL Department of Corrections: 18th Circuit Community Corrections – Seminole County
Sanford Police Department
Lake Mary Police Department
Seminole County Sheriff's Office
Seminole County Probation
Altamonte Springs PD
Florida Department of Law Enforcement
Homeland Security

St. Lucie County:  PIO Mark Weinberg, (772) 461-7300, weinbergm@stluciesheriff.com

9 offender contacts
2 law enforcement teams involved
1 offender arrests

Participating Agencies:
FL Department of Corrections: 19th Circuit Community Corrections – St. Lucie County
St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office

Volusia County: PIO Gary Davidson, (386) 736-5989, (386) 804-3973, gdavidson@vcso.us  

45 offender contacts
6 law enforcement teams involved
No offender arrests

Participating Agencies:
FL Department of Corrections: 7th Circuit Community Corrections – Volusia County
Volusia County Sheriff's Office Volusia County Sheriff's County
DeLand Police Department
Orange City Police Department

***Photos of illegal weapons that were seized during the initiative***

Box of Drugs

Assorted Drugs

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As Florida's largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs more than 25,000 members statewide, oversees more than 100,000 inmates and supervises nearly 120,000 offenders in the community.

Partnering for Fewer Crimes, Less Victims, Safer Communities. Visit our website at www.dc.state.fl.us. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.