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Escambia County Sheriff Office closes TAC unit
ESCAMBIA COUNTY -- The Escambia County Sheriff's Office is reshuffling its forces due to a loss of people.
As a result-- the Sheriff has disbanded.
The TAC Unit, which was assembled in 2010--
TAC stands for "Tactical Anti Crime Unit".
It's a specialized group of deputies who focus on high crime areas-- and quickly respond to violent crimes.
Anthony: "The Escambia County Sheriff's Office lost 50 deputies to retirement last year-- and another 30 or so are expected to retire this year--
Because of that there are fewer deputies patroling the streets."
The scene in March 2011--
A neighborhood uproar on Erress Boulevard and Diego Circle--
The Sheriff's TAC Unit was on scene-- Sheriff Morgan remembers it vividly--
David Morgan "It was a drug take down, they fled and the TAC officers chased them and they caught them and all of a sudden, it was almost a flash mob situation."
Sheriff Morgan says he was glad they had their TAC Unit to help control the crowd that day--
Now he says they will have to do without them--
The thirteen deputies in the TAC team will be reassigned to street patrols.
Morgan says the department normally has about 470 deputies.
Right now they have 420.
People in the Warrington neighborhood say safety is their top concern--
A recent car crash was the scene of the area's latest murder.
Sara Loakim "Whatever the sheirff's office is doing or our governmental bodies can afford, to the John Q citizen is invaluable."
Mary Caldwell "I just hope whatever our county is gonna do, and whatever way Sheriff Morgan is going to do this, I hope we can be feeling safe about it."
The Sheriff says law enforcement begins with boots on the ground.
David Morgan "You got to have your best trained officers ont he street because if they roll on the scene of a shooting or homicide, they don't secure the scene or wittness, your case is bungled from the very beginning."
Morgan says mass retirements are something that happens every few years--
But there are new deputies in the pipeline-- and they could join his force in the next few months.
Anthony "Sheriff Morgan says he will look at the issue again in a year or a year in a half-- Depending on what staffing numbers look like then- he could bring back the TAC Unit."