Pubdate: Wed, 25 Oct 2006
Source: Fort Pierce Tribune (FL)
Copyright: 2006 The E.W. Scripps Co.
Author: Adam L. Neal


FORT PIERCE - Most of the people committing crimes within the Weed &
Seed target area live outside of the program's enforcement parameters,
according to reports released Tuesday.

Of the 4,130 people arrested since the program started three years
ago, about two-thirds, or 2,757 people, live outside the target area,
acting Fort Pierce Police Chief Sean Baldwin said in a news release.

The remaining 1,373 people live within the target area bounded by
Orange Avenue on the south, 17th Street on the east, Juanita Avenue on
the north and 33rd Street on the west.

"These statistics show that external influences are contributing
greatly to the amount of crime we are experiencing in the Weed & Seed
target area," Baldwin said in the news release, adding he will adjust
the operations to target those people coming to the area to commit

Weed & Seed is a law-enforcement effort involving law-enforcement
agencies in St. Lucie County to arrest street-level criminals and
encourage law-abiding residents to strengthen their efforts to build
safe neighborhoods.

The program takes a "zero tolerance" approach to crime, having
officers arrest anyone breaking the law in the target area. The
Community Mobilization Team put up 15 Weed & Seed signs throughout the
area that remind residents about the program and encourage them to
report criminal activity.

Additional patrols, including community policing activities such as a
new bicycle patrol unit, also will be incorporated into the program.

Sheriff Ken Mascara said the program's message is clear: If you
violate the law you will go to jail.

"We want to send the message that if you come into this community and
commit a crime, zero tolerance will be strictly adhered to," he said.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake