Pasco County, Florida

Pasco County Sheriff Badge

Site LE Agency
Pasco County Sheriff's Office

Site Researcher
Bryanna Fox, Ph.D., University of South Florida

Site Focus
Violent crime and criminal activity associated with the opioid epidemic

SPI Strategy
Offender-based policing, Focused deterrence, Multi-agency collaboration, Intelligence-led policing

Site Cohort

Site Profile
Large rural county area of 704 sq. miles with a population of 525,643

Project Overview

Violent crime in Pasco has steadily increased over the last five years, with an elevated incidence of aggravated assaults, robberies, and opioid-related violent crimes, often committed by a core group of repeat offenders. Academic research consistently suggests that a small number of offenders are responsible for the vast majority of crimes. Therefore, finding ways to identify, target, and deter these prolific offenders is an effective and evidence-based approach to crime prevention. The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office (PSO) currently utilizes a prolific offender list aimed at identifying those committing the majority of the “big four” property crimes (auto burglary, residential and business burglary, and vehicle theft). Utilizing the same approach, the goal of this project is to develop and implement a prolific offender list focused specifically on repeat violent and drug offenders, particularly those using guns, and individuals responsible for illegal distribution of narcotics, specifically opioids. An intensified and coordinated focus on the offenders who commit the majority of these offenses, combined with a continued strategy of focused deterrence, will provide some relief. Additionally, PSO will implement enhanced patrol strategies through Strategic Targeting Area Response (STAR) teams.

Data Highlight

  • Pasco County showed a 40.5% increase in violent criminal offenses involving a firearm in the five years prior to the SPI. Aggravated assaults showed a 25% spike between 2016 and 2017 alone.
  • In 2016, 136 overdose deaths were recorded, of which 104 were attributed to opioids. By 2017, there were 165 overdose deaths, with opioids responsible for 122 of the recorded deaths. Pasco County recorded 34.1 annual drug deaths per 100,000 residents, compared to the state average of 17.1.
  • PSO’s property crime prolific offender list resulted in a 22% reduction in residential burglary, 20% reduction in auto burglary, and 10% reduction in vehicle theft.