I went on the streets with Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar recently.
His SWAT team was focusing on homes with suspected drug and weapons caches.
The search netted four arrests.
Sheriff Loar told me, “We know there is a direct correlation with misdemeanor felony crimes, directly tied back to drug activity and drug use.”
Flakka is a growing worry—a synthetic drug that often drives users to violent behavior. Loar added, “You are going to continue to see the dreaded drug, flakka, all over the Treasure Coast.” It is one of the fights he calls a priority in 2016.
Not all the priorities, though, are about crime fighting.
Crime prevention, in the best sense, is always on Loar’s mind too.
He beamed when we walked through the doors of the Daisy Hope Center in Wabasso. “
We have talked several times,” Loar noted, “about hitting the reset button in our community. Know us before you need us.”
There nearly 80 boys and girls who come to the center after school each day.
Loar is on the board of directors.
He, and many others, relish the roles of teacher, mentor, role model.
The center has been a path to college for some students.
Sheriff Loar says he sees involvement with such organizations at the core of law enforcement’s community involvement.
He summed up his thoughts by saying, “We believe we start with the children in our communities. We perpetuate goodwill for the rest of their lives.”