Our Safe Kids Summer program has already connected with over 2, children throughout the Valley. This month we launch our annual, award-winning Friday Night Football Patrol, where we visit area high schools on game day and sign-up teens to pledge to stay drug and alcohol free. I also want to share with you some new strategies we are implementing in our ongoing mission to better serve the community and impact crime.
Our community is continually changing. Maricopa County is the fastest-growing county in America. New crime trends evolve and substance abuse continues to be a grave concern, particularly with the current opioid epidemic.
I believe that to serve you, our Office and the way we fulfill our duties, needs to evolve as well. With the news about successful programs and efforts, we also had tragic news the last weekend of July. Sadly, that weekend our community suffered the tragic deaths of two young lives Because of this tragedy, I want to remind every County resident we all have a duty to remain vigilant.
These are senseless tragedies that can be prevented. Never leave a child or a pet unattended in a parked car--not even for a minute. We will continue to work hard to make our community a place we are all proud to live, work and raise families in. MCAO Leading a Smart Approach to Prosecution MCAO is at the forefront nationwide of innovative approaches to prosecuting and reducing crime in our community and has recently launched an Intelligence Focused Prosecution strategy using data and research to impact crime.
When you think about professionals in our community who work to stop criminals and prevent crime, the first group most people think about are the police. These brave and dedicated men and women are on the front lines every day to help keep us safe. But you may not realize that prosecutors, too, play a vital role in the battle against crime. A commonly cited statistic is that roughly 20 percent of people commit 80 percent of the crime: By knowing who they are, prosecutors and judges can impose sentences that ensure the right people are in prison, and that they are serving terms that appropriately reflect their criminal behavior to protect our community from further instances of crime.
Crime analysts at MCAO have partnered with local law enforcement to use real-time data on crime and cases prosecuted to create a view of ongoing crime trends and the nature of criminal activity in our community and identify those perpetrators that over time are committing the most crime and causing the greatest harm.
This is a movement that is gaining attention. At the recent National Summit on Crime Reduction he attended in June, County Attorney Bill Montgomery participated in key breakout sessions extolling the need for an intelligence focus in jurisdictions nationwide.
A panel discussion underscored the need to perform detailed research on crime data to understand what approaches will work best and what truly has an impact on deterring crime. Intelligence Focused prosecution works hand-in-hand with the Community Based model that MCAO began in by creating four, geographically-based prosecution bureaus.
These bureaus have been uniquely positioned to build relationships with various communities in the Valley and understand the unique needs of each to improve public safety and enhance crime prevention.
By doing so, it is easier to identify the primary crime drivers for each area. At half-time, Reid draws one of the pledges from the box and that lucky winner receives a sponsored prize. Since the program began in , more than 20, students have signed the pledge.
On game day, MCAO staff volunteers visit the high school during the lunch periods for a pre-game rally and have students sign the teen drug-free pledge—giving an opportunity for students who may not be attending the game that night.
The season saw a record number of students signing the pledge, reaching an all-time high number of 8, pledges. This year, as an added incentive, the schools will compete for the highest numbers of pledges signed and the highest percentage per capita of pledges signed.
Operation Guardian established a task force to implement violent gang and gun crime enforcement, intervention and prevention initiatives. In late , a process began to identify the most violent street gangs in Phoenix. Information from Phoenix Police Department patrols as well as gang officers was analyzed and summarized during the audit. These gangs were ultimately found to be participating in crimes ranging from shoplifting, prostitution and party crews to drug sales, drive-by shootings and homicides.
The audit helped identify the specific gangs that Operation Guardian would target and also helped solidify the social service organizations available to help and the first offenders who would be contacted. The next step was to reach out directly to specific gangs and their members and deliver an explicit message that violence would no longer be tolerated.
In addition, appropriate criminal sanctions to include arrest and prosecution would commence each time violence occurred. This particular gang member was on probation for several felonies. One month after being informed of the swift consequences should he re-offend, he was arrested driving a stolen vehicle and charged with seven felony counts. Effective violence and gun crime reduction interventions need to be tailored to the specific jurisdiction and the gang and its membership in order to be effective.
His matter is currently being prosecuted. Operation Guardian increases law enforcement and prosecutors knowledge to effectively implement reduction strategies and increases awareness among those engaging in gang crimes on the consequences of their violent behavior, ultimately increasing awareness among the public on how they can prevent these kinds of dangerous crimes. Our prosecutors handle well over 30, felony criminal cases each year. The Citizens Academy takes you behind the scenes to show you how a case progresses from the initial investigation through final sentencing.
Academy classes are a full day once a month, and we are now accepting applications for fall classes resuming September As part of their commitment to serve our community they not only seek justice in cases involving these types of crimes, but they are also committed to preventing financial crimes before they occur.
The Fraud and Identity Theft Enforcement Bureau, or FITE, has recently developed an outreach program designed to help small business owners understand the issue of embezzlement and what tools they can use to safeguard themselves. FITE prosecutors have handled some heartbreaking cases of embezzlement involving local small businesses, and after seeing many of the same mistakes cost trusting employers thousands, they wanted to help educate our small business community and prevent future victimization.
This fall, FITE bureau members will be giving presentations directly to the small business community designed to alert businesses both to the warning signs of fraud and theft within their organizations, and steps to take to prevent it from happening. The training will highlight several areas where embezzlement may occur and why a system of checks and balances is important, especially in the areas of payroll, collections, and bookkeeping.
The training will also highlight several real life cases to help attendees understand why safeguards are necessary and explain what a small business owner can do if they find or suspect embezzlement.
Currently our prosecutors are working with small business associations to schedule trainings. Any small business group who is interested in scheduling this training can fill out a request form at MaricopaCountyAttorney. Or that the MCAO received nearly 1, new public records requests?
Also included are data tables that list the top offenses charged in various categories of crime and a breakdown of the case submittals received from the more than 30 different law enforcement agencies that work in partnership with the Office.
In Texas, seven children ranging in age from 3-years-old to just 7-months-old lost their lives after being left inside parked cars. In Tennessee an month old died after being left in hot car, marking the first time that state had a child die from vehicular heatstroke since Vehicular heatstroke is listed as the number one cause of deaths in non-collision fatalities for children 14 and younger, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
It is important to know the risk of vehicular heatstroke can occur in air temperatures of 80 degrees or less and even as low as 57 degrees. Interior temperatures can quickly rise to degrees even with the windows slightly rolled down.
Young children are especially at risk because they can fall asleep during a car ride making it easier for a driver to not notice them when the vehicle is parked. Those tips and more are available on our SafeKidsAZ webpage, www. Another component of the campaign includes reaching out on social media.