The Orange Blossom Trail neighborhood has often been the target of intense police activity. Violent crime has also long been a tremendous concern for area residents. According to a recent Orlando Sentinel article, "Sheriff aims to decrease violent crimes near OBT neighborhood," the Orange Blossom Trail neighborhood, also known as the "OBT" locally, has become an area plagued by boarded-up homes, graffiti, prostitution, gang activity and the drug trade. From October 2014 until January 2015, the Sherriff's Department reported 85 phone calls from the area related to gun fire and three homicides were committed during that time period.
With a new initiative to combat violent crime called "Operation Across Town" officers hope to make their presence more visible. While efforts to reduce violent crime should be lauded, law enforcement officials must be sure that they are not seen simply as enforcers of the law. To reduce violent crime, law enforcement officers must be trusted by area residents. If they ostracize the very people they are trying to protect by engaging in overly aggressive tactics, any reduction in criminal activity in OBT may be impossible to achieve or may be short lived.