BSO GOES HIGH-TECH IN SEARCH FOR “THUGS”
- Date: November 18, 2002
The Broward Sheriff’s Office recently tightened its vigorous pursuit of the county’s most notorious violent felony fugitives by going high-tech. BSO is adding these criminals to BSO’s Most Wanted List, a feature available on BSO’s web site, www.sheriff.org.
It’s all part of a crime fighting initiative called Operation T.H.U.G.S. (Taking Hoodlums Using Guns Seriously) which was developed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and is being implemented in seven Florida counties. The goal: to reduce gun violence by targeting fugitives with dangerous and violent criminal histories. In a joint effort with FDLE, BSO has designed a searchable database of felony fugitives who are wanted in Broward County or who have ties to the area. The public can access this database by visiting our web site, www.sheriff.org, and clicking on the “Most Wanted” prompt located on our site menu. A hyperlink titled, “BSO T.H.U.G.S.,” will then allow the public easy access to these individuals’ pictures and information. BSO hopes the increased visibility will generate arrests.
Criminals in the T.H.U.G.S. program are wanted for violent crimes such as homicide, robbery or sexual assault and have used a firearm in connection with the wanted offense. These individuals also have prior criminal histories and outstanding warrants pertaining to such serious offenses. The average “THUG” has 15 prior arrests. Coupled with the 10-20-Life statute, the operation has already successfully reduced gun violence, and problems with repeat offenders, in Florida.
To date, BSO has identified approximately 55 “THUGS” in Broward County. Statewide, approximately 476 individuals have been named to the list. So far, at least 224 of these have been arrested thanks to the public exposure provided by Operation T.H.U.G.S. Due to the essential efforts of participating local law enforcement agencies, less than 100 identified “THUGS” remain at-large.
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