Pasco Sheriff's Office targets prolific offenders in Lacoochee during their START operation

LACOOCHEE, Fla. - If you live in Pasco County, particularly Lacoochee, you may have noticed law enforcement out in alarming numbers on Thursday.

For approximately six hours, multiple agencies including the Pasco Sheriff's Office, parole and probation, code enforcement and animal services went street to street during an operation called START. 

"The whole concept behind this is to enable a community to kind of take back itself," said Pasco Sheriff's Office Cpl. Alan Wilkett.

The Sheriff's Office has been organizing this growing effort for the last several years. They typically target a neighborhood that's recently seen an uptick in crime.

In Lacoochee, deputies with the fugitive warrants unit targeted prolific offenders while deputies with the mounted posse worked to open the lines of communication with the rest of the community.

"We're here to let them know we are here to help," said Deputy Margaret Bushell. "We don't have windows rolled up. We're out here in the open with them and it's real easy to communicate."

"It's always nice to have the sheriff's office around, always nice to have the police around, you never know," said Lacoochee resident Charise Norris-Reddick.

START operations typically result in multiple arrests. Future START operations are already in the works for later this calendar year.

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