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 October 4th, 2012  
St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office Crime Prevention Unit named Crime Prevention Unit of the Year by statewide association, Sheriff Mascara announces
The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office Crime Prevention Unit has been named "Crime Prevention Unit of the Year" by the Florida Crime Prevention Association, according to Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.

"The Crime Prevention Unit takes a proactive, modern approach to partnering with residents and businesspeople throughout St. Lucie County, giving people the tools they need to reduce the possibility of crime at their homes or businesses," Sheriff Mascara said. "This is a highly cost-effective way to fight crime. I'm proud of the members of our Crime Prevention Unit, and I'm glad they are receiving the recognition they deserve."

The Sheriff's Crime Prevention Unit will receive the award Oct. 18 at the Florida Crime Prevention Association's annual training conference in Orlando.

The six-member unit is headed by Sgt. Chris Cicio. In addition to his crime prevention duties, Sgt. Cicio supervises Sheriff's Explorer Post 400 and the substation deputies.

The Crime Prevention Unit's programs include:

- Fleet Watch, which now encompasses all governmental jurisdictions in St. Lucie County, with training for drivers to observe and report crime to the 9-1-1 Emergency Operations Center;

- Neighborhood Watch;

- Business Watch;

- Stop Watch, in which parents of school-age children are stationed at school bus stops to provide added safety for school children;

- Citizens Observation Patrol, which includes land-based patrols of neighborhoods and volunteers who patrol waterways by boat;

- The FirstCall Reverse 9-1-1 system which enables the Sheriff's Office to make pre-recorded phone calls to people in neighborhoods where there is an immediate law enforcement challenge;

- The Sheriff's Office's television show, "10-8," which airs on local government channels and the Sheriff's You Tube channel. The Crime Prevention Unit writes and produces this show.

The Crime Prevention Unit reviews criminal law enforcement reports and follows crime trends to keep  neighborhood-based groups informed of law enforcement challenges in their communities.

Crime Prevention deputies routinely respond to burglary and theft calls for service and provide prevention tips to residents and business owners.

In addition, through Operation Identification, the Crime Prevention Unit allows residents to record their serial numbers and place numbered decals specifically referenced to their information on larger pieces of property.

To learn more about these and other programs of the Sheriff's Crime Prevention Unit, people can call 871-5303 or visit the Sheriff's Office website stluciesheriff.com.

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