Analyzing Assaults in Charlotte County; Using Education as a Prevention Tool

This letter to the community from Sheriff Bill Prummell was featured in the Charlotte Sun on August 9, 2018. 

“Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome” is a mantra ingrained in the Marine Corps that constantly addresses complex situations and then develops solutions to be successful. Since the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office implemented Intelligence Led Policing (ILP) in 2013, we have continuously been in the process of improvising, adapting, and overcoming to consistently create positive results in our operations.

Every Thursday, supervisors from our specialty and intelligence units, investigative teams, and districts come together for an Actionable Intelligence Meeting. During this meeting, we discuss current crime trends and threats to our community. The goal of these meetings is to create best practices to address issues, discuss innovative and creative solutions, and utilize intelligence and information to help us make the best decisions.

In Charlotte County, we are grateful to see a reduction in many types of crime, but we are also dismayed at a crime that remains consistent across all districts in our community – assaults and physical violence between subjects who are familiar with each other. An assault is when someone threatens a physical attack.  A battery occurs when there is physical contact.  Although we are often able to respond prior to actual violence taking place, our goal is prevention. Many of these assaults occur inside residences, which makes more traditional methods of extra patrol or enforcement ineffective.

In an effort to innovate a solution for the prevention of these crimes, my Intelligence Unit conducted an evaluation of the underlying cause of violent crimes in our community. Their research showed that an intoxicated aggressor was the primary catalyst in these disturbances. Surprisingly, it also revealed that cell phones were the second most prevalent catalyst of violent crime in Charlotte County. Almost half of all violent crime reported involved domestic violence.

We are continuing to see an increase in disputes related to technology – frequently over someone’s actions on a social media platform. As our dependency and usage of mobile devices grows, we must be aware of the impact they have on our relationships with others, positive and negative.  If you follow the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office on social media, you are likely familiar with our frequent traffic warnings related to the usage of cell phones. In the coming weeks, in partnership with local mental health providers, you will see educational posts on how technology can affect your relationships with others, highlighting tips for “safe” usage – both practical and holistic.

As with all of our crime prevention strategies, we strive to partner with our community and achieve our vision of a safer community through collaborative problem solving.

Be safe.

Sheriff Bill Prummell

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