Pasco News

Sheriff’s Office gives community-business safety training

The Pasco Sheriff’s Office held a three-day course this week designed to reduce the threat of criminal activity in neighborhoods and around businesses.

Developed in the late 1960s and early ’70s by a criminologist and an architect, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design relies on design elements to reduce crime, such as the placement of fences, lighting and entrance ways that control access.

The CPTED course, open to business groups, community leaders, members of civic organizations, and law enforcement members, was taught by Lt. Troy Fergueson of the Pasco Sheriff’s Office and held at Safety Town.

“The goal of the course would be for people to never look at their environment the same way again,” said Fergueson, who has taught the course throughout Florida and other states. “(To) not take subtleties for granted but learn how to use the built environment as well as the social environment around a community, around a neighborhood, around a business to control human behavior, (and) limit crime potential.”

In addition to ensuring bushes are properly cut or removed to eliminate hiding places for criminals, well-lit neighborhoods provide a less likely playground for thieves, he said.

“You can’t place a dollar amount on this (course),” Mario Grasso, field operations manger for the Oakstead community in Land O’ Lakes, said. “This is such pertinent information that will only benefit us, the residents, and the public in general.”

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