The mission of the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention team is to create an active and involved partnership to educate and provide resources to assist in keeping our community, families, and businesses safe. Law enforcement cannot overcome crime without the support of its community citizens. To achieve this, CCSO offers resources that can be truly effective in preventing crime, such as our C.A.T. (Combat Auto Theft) Program and Security Watch Requests. In addition, citizens are asked to be alert for suspicious activity or person(s) in their neighborhoods.
If you see a crime being committed, report it immediately and as accurately as possible. Even a five-minute delay in reporting can significantly reduce the likelihood of catching a potential suspect. Don’t hesitate to call our non-emergency line at (352) 249-2790 if you think something may be wrong. Even if your suspicions turn out to be unfounded, you still have contributed to keeping your community safe from crime. Think about what could happen if you don’t act.
But the responsibility of crime prevention doesn’t fall on one person – it’s everyone’s business. Law enforcement agencies, however, often are the focal point in community crime prevention.
What is Crime Prevention?
Crime Prevention is the anticipation, recognition, and appraisal of a crime risk, and the initiation of action to remove or reduce it. Crime Prevention is an active approach utilizing public awareness and preventive measures to reduce crime. This approach reflects a philosophy of self-defense where the police and the community take action before crimes are committed. Crime Preventions programs will reduce crime, stimulate public awareness concerning crime prevention and enhance our communities. It is cheaper, safer, and healthier for communities to prevent crime than to have to treat its victims, deal with its perpetrators, and lose civic health and productivity.
Neighborhood watch plays a central role in keeping our community safe. Citizen involvement is essential to combat crime. By cooperating together, we can fight crime in the most effective way – before it begins.
Some things to keep an eye out for include:
- Someone running from a car, home, or business.
- Excessive traffic to and from a specific residence, especially during unusual hours.
- An individual screaming or an alarm going off.
- A person who has no purpose or is wandering the area.
- Strangers offering services or products for an extremely low price.
- Abandoned property.
- Motorists stopped to talk to a child who is visibly uncomfortable or is resisting.
Additional safety warnings to prevent crime are:
While at home –lock all doors and windows, turn on lights to give the appearance someone is home, and have your mail picked up or held if you are away.
Children should – always be kept close to you, know their full name and address to assist in their safe reunification, and should always be taught to seek out law enforcement for help.
If you are out shopping – remember to avoid wearing expensive jewelry or carrying large amounts of cash (use credit cards if available), shop in groups (there is always safety in numbers), and don’t overload yourself with packages as this makes for an easy target.
Lastly, your vehicle – should be parked in a well-lit area and doors should be locked with valuables out of sight.
For more information about the programs and services our office offers, please visit our ‘Programs & Services’ tab here on our website or contact us at (352)726-4488.
As always if you have an emergency please dial 9-1-1.
Commercial and residential property owners can request a free security survey from our Crime Prevention team, and employees are always willing to speak to community or civic groups about personal safety or child identification programs.
Child ID Program:
The Child ID Program was designed to assist parents in gathering important critical information of their child in the event of a kidnapping, runaway incident, or if they become lost. Sheriff’s volunteer members will capture a photograph, the child’s fingerprints and a DNA sample. The parent or guardian is provided with this information and it should be kept in a safe location. For privacy concerns, the Sheriff’s Office does not maintain a database, only the parent or guardian. The program is free. Groups, businesses or organizations can have the program brought to their location for special events.