Ocala, Florida — On September 16, 2014, Ocala Police Chief, Greg Graham, called for the forming of a task force due to the numerous violent crime incidents, which have occurred in the City of Ocala in recent months. He wanted squads of officers out in the areas where our violent crimes have been occurring in order to make contact with, and identify, persons of interest in the violent crimes currently under investigation, prevent more incidents from occurring, and to show a marked presence in the community.
They were to be proactive in their efforts to prevent violent crimes from occurring.
There were two teams put together — each including a sergeant in charge and four officers. The teams would work 12-hour shifts on opposite days, and the hours would run from mid-afternoon until early morning hours. The officers assigned to each squad would vary at times and would be made up of officers from various units, to include the Special Deployment Unit, UDEST, Patrol, etc.
Since the formation of the squads, they have logged the following numbers:
Traffic Stops – 50
FIR’s (Field Interview Report) – 15
Assists – 8
Arrests – 48
The activity and information generated by this squad has assisted in numerous investigations, resulted in arrests that range from criminal traffic violations, to outstanding warrants, to felony drug charges, and have been key in the protection of our citizens from violent incidents.
Chief Graham said he is extremely pleased with the proactive efforts of the task force and wants to emphasize that the ongoing violent incidents in our community need to stop.