Hi everyone I am Walter Lynch and I am the team leader for the COP program here on South Hutchison Island. COP stands for Citizen’s Observation Patrol and we are part of the Crime Prevention Unit of the St Lucie county Sheriff’s Office. We provide an extra set of eyes and ears for local law enforcement. We patrol in a vehicle which is supplied and maintained by the St. Lucie Co. Sheriff’s Office. You may remember that I took over leadership of the team when Bruce Murray retired last year.
We have experienced a relatively quiet year. With a couple notable exceptions which I will discuss later.
We drove 9,134 miles in 1,028 hours on patrol. That’s an average of 8.8 MPS.
We requested and received 27 law enforcement responses most of which were by the Fort Pierce Police Department with several Sheriff’s Office responses in the unincorporated south end of our district. The FPPD and Sheriff’s Office have been very supportive and appreciative of our efforts.
We had 5 incident reports which did not involve law enforcement.
An example would be Signs down or missing.
We preformed 249 house checks and 168 Close Patrols. For those of you that are not familiar with this service, we check unoccupied homes for unusual activity. A house check can be requested by calling the Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Unit (772-871-5303) or by filling out a form on the St. Lucie County Sheriff’S Office web site under House Checks.
Our drivers were flagged down 112 times for information or complaints. NO WE DO NOT GIVE TRAFFIC TICKETS
I can always tell when parking enforcement has been on the island by the number of flag downs.
Some of the notable exceptions to the quiet were:
I worked with a Fort Pierce officer to return a lost wallet with over $400 cash in it to it’s rightful owner.
I was training two of our new drivers, Joan and Bill Stewart, when
we were passed by a truck going a very high rate of speed on Ocean Drive just south of Archie’s. The truck almost drove us off the road. When I contacted 911 they indicated that several officers were in pursuit. We pulled over and were passed by 6 pursuit vehicles. The truck was later stopped with spike strips by a deputy just north of the power plant. The ladies in the truck had been caught breaking into cars on the island. We were later stopped by a Deputy Sheriff who instructed us to continue our patrol and look for broken car windows.
The Citizens Observation Patrol on the island needs additional drivers. The commitment is only 8 hours a month and the schedule is very flexible. If you are can help, please call the Crime Prevention Unit at 772-871-5303.
I would like to share my time with one of the hardest working most dedicated people I know. She is working on a very important project called L.O.S.T. To explain the program here is Deputy Lindstadt.
“L.O.S.T. is a program which Uses technology to locate missing people. I f know of someone with Alzheimer’s, Autism or issues that might cause them to go missing please contact Deputy Lindstadt at the Sheriff’s Office Crome Prevention Unit (772-871-5303).”