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13-250 Sheriff Bob Gualtieri Announces Results of Florida Sheriffs Task Force “Operation Safe Families” During Joint Press Conference

Who:
Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, Florida Sheriff’s Association Task Force Chairman
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Patrol Operations Bureau
Investigative Operation Bureau
Detention and Corrections Bureau

Florida Sheriffs Association
Florida Sheriffs Task Force

Bernie McCabe, Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney

J. Thomas McGrady, Chief Judge, Sixth Judicial Circuit

Bob Dillinger, Public Defender, Sixth Judicial Circuit

Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence

CASA

The Haven of RCS

The Spring

What:
Sheriff Bob Gualtieri has announced the results of “Operation Safe Families,” a month-long Florida Sheriffs Task Force statewide operation targeting subjects wanted for Domestic Violence and Writs of Bodily Attachment for Non-Support. The initiative resulted in over 5,500 arrest charges statewide; and moreover was aimed at raising awareness regarding the problem of Domestic Violence in our State.

When:
“Operation Safe Families” began on Sunday, October 13, 2013 and ran through Saturday, November 9, 2013.

Where:
“Operation Safe Families” was a statewide effort with 33 counties participating.
The press conference was held at the Criminal Justice Center located at 14250 49th Street North in Clearwater.

Why/How:
During a joint press conference of the Florida Sheriff’s Task Force, Task Force Chairman, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced the results of “Operation Safe Families”.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s 2012 Uniform Crime Report (UCR), 108,046 domestic violence offenses were reported to law enforcement agencies last year. 202 individuals died as a result of domestic violence, this represents approximately 20% of all homicides in the State of Florida.

As a result of the staggering statistics and in an effort to create a renewed consciousness and make the public aware of the very serious problem of domestic violence, the Florida Sheriffs Task Force launched “Operation Safe Families.” The initiative set out to target two classes of fugitives- outstanding warrants for domestic violence and writs of bodily attachment for non-payment of child support.

Across the state 33 sheriff’s offices joined the effort. The month-long operation resulted in over 5,500 arrest charges, including service of 387 Domestic Violence Warrants and 772 Writs of Bodily Attachment. The unified effort was also successful in making 2,586 probable cause arrests for domestic violence; and in placing 89 children into protective custody. Additional arrests stem from other domestic violence related charges, among them resisting arrest with violence and without violence.

“Domestic violence impacts the lives of countless families and innocent children. Besides the immediate physical pain and emotional trauma often caused by domestic violence, I am greatly concerned because it is a cyclical behavior that harms the growth and development of the next generation—our children. While the formal task force known as Operation Safe Families has ended, citizens should rest assured knowing that no matter what day it is, the Sheriffs of Florida will continue working to combat domestic violence,” said Pinellas Sheriff Gualtieri.

State Attorney Bernie McCabe, Chief Judge J. Thomas McGrady, and Bob Dillinger were present at the press conference, as were state and local domestic violence partners.

“The partnership between law enforcement agencies, certified domestic violence centers and the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence is critical in our collective efforts to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable for their violence. We always encourage anyone needing assistance to contact their local certified domestic violence center or the statewide Florida Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-500-1119,” added Tiffany Carr, President/CEO for the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Various arrest scenarios were also presented during the press conference to raise awareness; and to remind victims of abuse to get help and report the crime.

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