Sarasota News Leader

10/11/2013

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EXPANDING A STRATEGY Lt. Pat Ledwith (far left) and Chief Bernadette DiPino (right) listen as Vice Mayor Willie Shaw addresses the audience. Shaw is a strong proponent of the High Point strategy. Photo by Stan Zimmerman THE SARASOTA POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS INITIAL SUCCESS ON ITS 'HIGH POINT' MODEL FOR REDUCING CRIME By Stan Zimmerman City Editor The "scared-straight" policing strategy pioneered by High Point, NC, and adopted by Sarasota has widened beyond street-level drug dealers to include prostitution. on High Point's experience, intelligence is gathered and gleaned to locate crime "hot spots." Undercover officers then are assigned to gather more intelligence in those areas and Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino begin building cases against violators. announced at a press conference on On June 11, the Police Department's narcotWednesday, Oct. 9, that the six individuals ics squad made 25 arrests in an area defined who entered the "deferred prosecution pro- as a drug market hot spot. Six of the arrestgram" in August remain crime-free. Further, ees did not have a criminal record for violent a roadside roundup of prostitutes last month crimes or gun offenses, nor had any of them netted five women who have all volunteered served a lengthy prison sentence. The six to enter the program as well, DiPino said. were offered "deferred prosecution" if they Sarasota Police call the program DMI, the would participate in rehabilitation, and all of drug market intervention strategy. Modeled them accepted the offer.

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