Special to the Daytona Times – Nearly 300 felons were taken off the streets in Volusia County during a coordinated statewide sweep organized by the Florida Sheriffs Association. A total of 43 Sheriffs’ Offices in Florida participated in “Operation Felon Sweep,” an aggressive initiative that focused on combating violent crime, rounding up wanted felons and checking up on sex offenders to make sure they’re complying with their residency and probation requirements. The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office netted 290 arrests during the three-week operation, which concluded late last month. Statewide, the operation resulted in 11,875 felony arrests. “This was an extremely successful operation that has made a very positive impact on the safety of our community,” said Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson. “Our Florida Sheriffs are committed to working together to maximize our crime-fighting efforts and deploy our resources where they’re needed most.”
The operation was organized by the Florida Sheriffs Task Force, which pools resources from the 67 Sheriffs’ Offices to address specific crime issues on a statewide basis. Past initiatives have targeted on-line sexual predators, prescription drug abusers and child support scofflaws. “Operation Felon Sweep” was one of the most comprehensive and intense efforts of its kind to check the whereabouts and activities of sexual predators and felony offenders across the state.
In Volusia County, the 290 arrests by the Sheriff’s Office included 100 arrests for aggravated assault, 20 for aggravated battery, four for forcible sex offenses and two for firearms-related offenses. Additionally, deputies made 305 sex offender checks in Volusia County that resulted in 20 arrests. Also, six meth labs in Volusia County were dismantled during the operation.
More operations are planned in the future, according to Highlands County Sheriff Susan Benton, President of the Florida Sheriffs Association. “Felony crimes are considered most dangerous, and the Florida Sheriffs Association is proud to lead this initiative to get the most serious criminals off the streets,” said Sheriff Benton. “The Florida Sheriffs Task Force will continue to work tirelessly to make Florida one of the safest states in the country.”