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READ: ASO Sheriff responds to SAO special task force with letters

READ: ASO Sheriff responds to SAO special task force with letters
Published: Feb. 16, 2022 at 11:16 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Alachua County Sheriff Clovis Watson addressed the agency being left off of a new 8th Judicial Circuit special task force in two letters sent to the State Attorney’s office.

“So now what we’re doing is moving forward,” said Chief Deputy Investigator Darry Lloyd. “And the conversations went back to July and August of 2021.”

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The first letter to State Attorney Brian Kramer asked for a 72-hour notice of task force activities within Alachua County. It also said that Watson learned about the task force through the media and not Kramer’s office. The next asked Kramer 15 questions about the team’s logistics and policies if ASO were to join and mentions a “late invitation”.

“We want every partner that wants to be a part of the task force to join and be a party to what we see as a good effort in partnering with others to make sure we’re addressing the violence we see in our community, not to let it continue,” added Lloyd. “So whether they are going to be a part of, that’s certainly up to them.”

“What we have to do is we have to act now.”

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In early February, Watson pulled ASO deputies off various task forces. This is one reason that influenced Kramer initially to not invite ASO, according to Lloyd.

The task force was created to continue a joint effort by Gainesville Police, State Attorney’s office and other agencies to reduce violent crimes with a jurisdiction spanning seven counties.

“When you had a series of violence, gun violence included dealing with our youth and that’s where those conversations start and since that team we have relationships and this is a furthering relationship to make sure we address the concerns that we’re seeing and not repeat the level of violence that we’ve seen.”

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