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Cleveland County Sheriff’s deputies launched Operation Vigilant Shepherd a month ago, and the project has already triggered a sharp decrease in property-related crimes.
Crime statistics from Jan. 1, to the beginning of the operation showed a monthly average of 7.75 burglaries and 22 other property theft incidents. During the first full month of this operation there have been two burglaries and five other property theft incidents in the targeted areas. This calculates to a 74.19 percent reduction in burglaries and a 77.27 percent reduction in other reported property theft. In August, Cleveland County Sheriff’s deputies collected data and identified locations from June 15-Aug. 15, where property crime and vehicle accidents occurred more frequently than other areas of the county. The campaign brings additional focus to the northeast and southeast portions of the county. On the north side, deputies have increased patrol efforts in the Pecan Valley area along 192nd Avenue NE. Deputies assigned to the southeast region of the county, have placed an extra patrol emphasis on a square region that ranges from 60th Street to 156th Street and Etowah to Slaughterville Road. A deputy has been assigned as a point of contact in each section and is available around the clock during the operation. Operation Vigilant Shepherd spans from Sept. 1 through Dec. 1. Since this operation began, CCSO deputies have recovered a stolen truck, a skid steer, trailer and tools. Sheriff Joe Lester said results show the procedure is working. “I credit the success of this operation to the partnership between the community and our agency,” Lester said. A trusting relationship between residents, business owners and deputies is one of the best approaches to preventing crime and makes these areas safer for citizens.” Any questions regarding this press release and/or information can be addressed to Meghan Jackson, Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office, community liaison/public information officer. Jackson can be reached at (405) 701-8847.