News from the desk of Sheriff James Potter


“The Proactive Approach to Preventing Crime”
Hey DeSoto County,
You may have seen an uptick in crime on television, or know of a friend who has been a victim of a crime, which leads me to explain how we can come together to get a handle on crimes such as burglaries and theft, to better protect you and your belongings.
The DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office’s fundamental obligation to the citizenry is public safety. The safety and security of a person and their property is widely viewed as basic human rights and are essential to the community’s overall quality of life.  Our deputies work hard every day to keep you safe and secure. It is important for me to convey to you information to help you avoid being a victim of a crime.    
According to the National Crime Prevention Council, crime prevention is a pattern of attitudes and behaviors directed at reducing the threat of crime and enhancing the sense of safety and security, to positively influence the quality of life in our society, and to develop environments where crime cannot flourish.
The different types of crime prevention include punitive, corrective and protective. Punitive justice believes criminals will accept responsibility for their actions through punishment, which can eventually change and influence behavior. Punitive crime prevention is enforced through criminal laws, law enforcement, courts, jails and prisons.
Corrective prevention attempts to reduce crime by avoiding certain conditions which can lead to crime, such as reducing overcrowding and creating viable neighborhoods. This can include employment, education, counseling, mentoring, and different resourceful programs such as Head Start or D.A.R.E.
Protective crime prevention is focusing on methods to reduce the opportunities to commit crime. This can be implemented in several ways such as a neighborhood watch program, community policing and public education. To proactively take action to prevent crime, you must understand the criminal’s actions when committing the crime.
It starts with the person being driven by the desire to commit the crime. Without desire there is no intent to commit a crime, therefore a crime cannot occur. It then leads to the ability to commit the crime. This side addresses whether a person can commit the crime they have the desire to commit. Finally, comes the opportunity to commit the crime. Crime can be prevented when we remove an offender’s desire, ability or opportunity. It only takes getting rid of one. What do you have most control of?
We have considerable control over the opportunities we provide to criminals to commit crimes against us. Whether it’s in the workplace, at your child’s school or in your community, there are strategies you can implement in your daily life to limit opportunities for criminals. Some of the most basic actions you can take to remove the opportunity is locking the doors of your home or vehicle. When you remove the opportunity, the “Crime Triangle” breaks down. Remember, the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office is working on the other parts of the “Crime Triangle” every day.  When we all work together, we can hamper the criminal element from victimizing our county.     
Overall, the most efficient and effective way to successfully work together to reduce or remove crime is by eliminating the opportunity side of the triangle. As individuals and as a community, we have the most power to control what opportunities are presented to criminals.
Be the change to prevent crime in DeSoto County!

Be Safe, Be Kind, God Bless,

Sheriff Potter