‘Operation Coin Toss’ yields 24 arrests

Stock photo

For the past two months, the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office Tactical Impact Unit (TIU) has covertly executed Operation Coin Toss, a comprehensive operation aimed at cracking down on the distribution of illegal narcotics within our county.. This effort has been a resounding success.

After securing over 20 arrest warrants with the help of the State Attorney’s Office, the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) executed four search warrants throughout the west side of Citrus County.

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Prendergast’s vehicle strikes, kills pedestrian

Shortly after 9 p.m. on Wednesday,Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast was involved in a vehicle crash in Hernando County.

Sheriff Prendergast was traveling north on U.S. Highway 19 in his agency vehicle and was returning home from a board meeting with the Sheriff’s Ranches Enterprises, Inc.

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County closes temporary animal shelter, old one back in business

The the official Citrus County Animal Shelter is open for business

Animal Services is closing their temporary shelter at the Fire Station located at 9658 S. Pleasant Grove Road in Inverness.

Residents looking for their lost pet, or who would like to adopt a pet, are asked to visit the official Citrus County Animal Shelter at 4030 S. Airport Rd., Invernessl.

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Text-to-911 now available in Citrus County

In an effort to increase accessibility to 9-1-1 emergency services, no matter the situation, the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) will be implementing text-to-9-1-1 beginning on Aug. 9 .

Citrus County citizens who are deaf/hard of hearing, or have a speech-impairment will be among those most impacted by the text-to-9-1-1 implementation.

In situations such as domestic altercations, where a caller may need to seek help secretly, or in the event of an intruder, the ability to simply text 9-1-1 can help to alleviate many dangers.

The grant that is being used to fund the implementation of text to 9-1-1 was awarded by the State of Florida Division of Management Services E9-1-1 Board.  CCSO was awarded this $40,158 grant in June of 2018. The Emergency Operations Division and Communications Center have been working extensively to get the program up and running.

The NENA agreement between the “Big 4” wireless companies (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile) ensures that our citizens will have the most access to coverage. A bill, passed through the Florida legislature and signed by Governor DeSantis, requires all Florida counties to implement text to 9-1-1 services by January 1st, 2022.

Things to remember when texting 9-1-1:
Traditional voice communications should be the first choice when contacting 9-1-1 during an emergency. Text-to-9-1-1 should only be used if you are not able to verbally communicate, or if your emergency situation makes speaking dangerous.
Messages should brief and should describe the type of emergency and the help needed.
Quickly answer the questions, and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker.
Do not use abbreviations.

“We are excited to begin offering text to 9-1-1 services to the citizens of Citrus County,” said Sheriff Mike Prendergast. “The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office strives to best serve every member of our community, and this is another step in the right direction.”

Citrus County names new assistant Administrator

Steven Lachnicht, Assistant Citrus County Administrator (PHOTO: Cynthia Oswald)

Citrus County has named Steven Lachnicht, AICP, MPA as the new Assistant County Administrator.

Lachnicht was unanimously confirmed by the County Commission on July 23rd and began his new position on July 29.

Steve is a professional planner certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners with more than 25 years of experience in comprehensive planning and land development.  Steve is also a Certified Public Manager with more than 20 years of experience as a supervisor, manager and director.

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