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Ave Maria Now Has Sheriff's Deputy Patrolling Full Time

Ave Maria residents will be seeing Collier County Sheriff's deputies patrolling much more frequently due to a change in patrol districts that now has a deputy assigned to the Ave Maria area 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The increased patrolling of Ave Maria was one of a number of changes that occurred as a result of a realignment of the sheriff's office patrol districts. Since its inception, Ave Maria was the responsibility of the Estates patrol district, with its substation near Palmetto Ridge High School on Oil Well Rd. Now, the town is part of the Immokalee patrol district.

The assignment of a full-time deputy to Ave Maria, plus the greater resources of the Immokalee district, which has about 50 percent more deputies, will benefit the Ave Maria community, said the new commander of the Immokalee district, Lt. Andrew Prisco.

The increased police presence had an immediate impact overnight Monday when a resident noticed around midnight that people were vandalizing the Ave Maria entrance sign on Oil Well Rd. Because a deputy was on duty in Ave Maria, he was able to pull over a suspect vehicle within minutes of a 9-1-1 call being received.

The new Ave Maria patrol zone encompasses all of Ave Maria, beginning at Oil Well Grade Rd., along Oil Well Rd., and north to the intersection of Camp Keais Rd. and Immokalee Rd.

The new commander, Lt. Prisco, took up his assignment in Immokalee Jan. 1, after commanding the North Naples patrol district for nine years.

In an interview, he urged residents to report any suspicious behavior promptly. "We want to capitalize on citizens who stop, get a description and phone it in."

 

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