More than 30 motorists found themselves behind bars when the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office’s STEP Unit paid Land O’ Lakes and Wesley Chapel a visit earlier this month.
The STEP Unit, which is short for Selective Traffic Enforcement Program, is charged with patrolling different parts of the county looking for impaired and aggressive drivers, speeders and other law breakers. The unit rotates throughout the county, focusing its attentions on one area at a time to deter traffic-related crimes.
“We’re looking for crimes before they happen,” explained Deputy Shane Metzler, during a previous interview.
Although the unit focuses on getting impaired drivers off the roads, it also serves to educate motorists, Metzler said. When only minor speeding is involved, for example, the unit’s deputies will issue warnings rather than write tickets.
“We try to educate people,” he said.
The STEP team was assigned to Central Pasco May 1-14. Its members also came out a few days early to look into some neighborhood.
Here’s a look at the unit’s statistics for arrests and citations during its two-week assignment in Land O' Lakes and Wesley Chapel:
Week Ending May 6
- Arrests – A total of 16 people were arrested on a variety of charges, including DUI, criminal traffic offenses and warrants.
- Citations – 50
- Warnings – 34
- Vehicles seized – 2
Week Ending May 13
- Arrests – A total of 20 people were arrested, including 11 DUI charges.
- Citations – 81
- Warnings – 87
- Vehicles seized - 3
The unit will likely return to Central Pasco within the next few months.