Operation S.T.A.R.T succeeds in reducing crime, drugs in BSO districts
Operation S.T.A.R.T. (Sheriff's Targeted Anti-Crime Response Team), launched approximately three years ago to take drug dealers and violent criminals off the streets, has netted 4,429 arrests, seized more than 800 pounds of illegal drugs and confiscated 87 firearms and more than $250,000 since its inception, according to statistics just released by the Broward Sheriff’s Office.,Originally started in District 2 Dania Beach in 2000, the program has since expanded to Pompano Beach, Central Broward County, Deerfield Beach and Oakland Park. BSO plans to continue the program’s growth by implementing Operation S.T.A.R.T. in other BSO-patrolled districts.,In May of 2001, the initiative broke up a cocaine pipeline with tentacles that reached to Springfield, Missouri. BSO detectives, working with other agencies, secured federal indictments against the dealers. By the end of 2002, the Pompano Beach facet of Operation S.T.A.R.T. had resulted in more than 1,000 arrests along with the seizure of illegal drugs and drug money.,Later that year in Dania Beach, the initiative toppled a group of drug traffickers known as the "Barbershop Boyz" that were distributing crack cocaine to parts of Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, Arizona and northern Florida. The operation also busted a cocaine distribution operation in District 5 Central Broward that reached as far as Atlanta.,In 2002 in Deerfield Beach, BSO arrested a juvenile who confessed to more than two-dozen burglaries. By the end of the year, 879 arrests were made and nearly 395 pounds of drugs, 36 guns and more than $83,000 had been seized. Working with city code enforcement officials, Operation S.T.A.R.T. also cleaned-up neighborhoods, towed dozens of abandoned vehicles and worked with Habitat for Humanity to secure property for a new home for a deserving family.,After only four months in Oakland Park, residents saw dramatic changes: drug dealers were being arrested, crime rates were falling and decrepit properties were being cleaned up. By the end of 2002, S.T.A.R.T. in Oakland Park had scored 113 arrests and confiscated more than 100 pounds of illicit drugs, seven firearms and more than $15,000. Additionally, the initiative in Oakland Park resulted in the cleanup of 62 trash-strewn lots and the removal of more than 50 derelict vehicles.
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