St. Lucie County Sheriff Mascara, Fort Pierce Police Chief Baldwin discuss Operation Street Peace
At a news conference today in north-Fort Pierce today, Fort Pierce Police Chief R. Sean Baldwin and Sheriff Ken J. Mascara discussed the recently concluded joint operation called "Operation Street Peace."
Chief Baldwin noted that 2012 went without a homicide in Fort Pierce during the first six months of the year. The last time that happened, the Chief said, was 30 years ago.
Sheriff Mascara said that the joint Fort Pierce Police Department - St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office summer concentrated law enforcement operations began a decade ago as a way of combatting street crime in northern Fort Pierce. The Sheriff said that the close partnership of the two law agencies led to the success of this year's Operation Street Peace.
The news conference took place in the heart of northern Fort Pierce at the city's Willie B. Ellis Substation at Avenue D and Means Court.
The two law enforcement leaders pointed to several sgnificant statistics about the operation that took place from May 31 - Aug. 18:
- Number of Officers/Deputies: 14 (6 from Fort Pierce Police Department, 8 from St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office )
- 503 people arrested, with 142 arrested for at least one felony and 361 arrested for at least one misdemeanor.
- Of those arrested, 138 were charged with a criminal traffic offense, and there were 141 moving violations. There were 629 written warnings.
- The total value of drugs seized (marijuana, cocaine and prescription drugs) was $15,615. Currency seized was $11,219.
- Police officers and deputies confiscated 20 firearms which are no longer available to criminals.
The chief said that last year's summer operation resulted in the confiscation of 42 firearms. He attributed this year's lower total to a diminished number of weapons available due to the community's increasing willingness to report violent crime, particularly that caused by gangs.
Chief Baldwin emphasized that people who are reluctant to give their names in calling the 9-1-1 system to report crime can do so anonymously by calling Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-800-273-TIPS (1-800-273-8477) or by texting "Tip 151" plus the tip to 274637.
Sheriff Mascara said:
"Experience has shown that when we pay close attention to seemingly minor street crime, we can arrest law violators before they commit more serious crimes. Equally important, we send a message to two groups:
" - We show the law abiding people living in neighborhoods that we care about their safety and security; and
" - We show the criminals that we will not put up with their criminal activity.
"I want to thank the good people of Fort Pierce and St. Lucie County for their overwhelming support and for the many tips they gave us leading to arrests."
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