As the holiday season began in late November, Lee County Sheriff’s Office presence could be easily seen in and around Lee County shopping centers. LCSO surveillance towers were placed in mall parking lots and moved regularly around sections of the parking area. Deputies have real-time phone and laptop video from each of the four cameras atop every surveillance tower. Marked and unmarked vehicles move slowly up and down the many rows of cars and trucks. “I have reallocated many resources to ensure that the holiday shopping season is safe and pleasurable for all of our residents and visitors,” stated Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno. “Additional deputies, many of whom are in plain-clothes, will be assigned to patrol shopping areas around the county.” When asked about the surveillance towers, Marceno remarked, “The towers are a great resource. Manned or unmanned, we can see everything. We’re moving them around each parking lot on a regular basis.” The placement of Community Outreach Centers in Miromar Outlets and Bell Tower appears to be paying dividends, as well. On December 11th, LCSO deputies caught and arrested a four-person shoplifting ring at Miromar Outlets in Estero. “Without an outreach center on-premises, it is unlikely that we could have responded in time to locate and detain these women,” said Sheriff Marceno. “It’s an enormous advantage.” The sheriff also indicated that he has increased road patrols and that the LCSO Traffic Unit is out in full force. “It’s my responsibility,” remarked Sheriff Marceno. “Keeping the roads safe for our residents and guests is a definite priority. We are looking for impaired and aggressive drivers. I’ll do whatever it takes to ensure that everyone makes it home safely.” So far, the sheriff’s efforts are showing a quick and dramatic success. The “Semi-Annual Crime Report” for the first half of 2019 demonstrates significant reductions in crime, in Lee County including, but not limited, to homicide, sex crimes, robbery, burglary, and theft. Non-violent crime has been reduced by 22.58 percent, with an overall crime reduction of 18.77 percent. “Proactive policing is about reducing opportunity, showing a law enforcement omnipresence and creating a system that allows for quick movement of resources,” said Marceno.