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Communities to get deputies of their own

Published Sep. 13, 2005

(ran NTP edition)

Coming soon to a neighborhood near you: a full-time community resource deputy _ or two _ of your very own.

"Take the beat officer concept, and now empower the beat officer to act with a great deal of independence and authority to move things along," said Maj. Al Perotti Jr., head of the Sheriff's Office's District I.

Now multiply by 13, and you get the number of community resource deputies in District I who will cover defined neighborhoods from Pebble Creek to Lutz.

"They operate within certain boundaries, but they're pretty much only limited by imagination and the law," Perotti said.

Sheriff Cal Henderson placed the district's first two community resource deputies within the Weed and Seed target area near the University of South Florida in 1994, Perotti said, and the concept quickly proved popular.

"It may be one of the most difficult jobs, but it can be the most rewarding," Perotti said.

"You've got a lot of freedom and a lot of latitude. There's also a lot of pressure to get things done and find non-traditional ways to solve traditional police problems."

The 11 new community deputies were carefully selected to face that challenge, Perotti said. They are teaming up with experienced community officers in other parts of the county, while they await special training.

After that, Perotti said, residents will begin to see the effect of having their own neighborhood deputy.

One out of every two or three workdays will be devoted exclusively to community deputy responsibilities. Even on patrol duty, community deputies will always work within their designated community.

"The whole purpose of this exercise is they're always in the area," Perotti said.

In addition to deputies Daria Core and Tom Wesolowski in the Weed and Seed area near USF, the new zones and their deputies are:

Forest Hills area: Kenneth Jaffe and Glen Scharfeld

South Lutz, from Bearss Avenue to Crenshaw Lake Road: Oneal Jackson and Belvin Sanchez.

North Lutz, from Crenshaw Lake Road to Pasco County: Katherine Poynter, Alan Anuszewski and Gordon Brown.

Morris Bridge Road area: Henry Alvarez and Theresa Sweat.

USF area, south of Bearss and west of Temple Terrace: Calvin Boyd.

Pebble Creek area: Marc Purvis.

Anyone with questions about the community resource deputy program can call Cpl. Frank Baker at 247-0630.

If you have a story about University North, call Amy Herdy at 226-3474.