The Coast News Group
The Sheriff's Sergeant and eight deputies of the new SADLE team will use intelligence-led policing strategies to see where the crime hot spots are and why. Photo courtesy of the San Diego Sheriff’s Department

SADLE team takes to solving crime in unincorporated areas of county

SAN DIEGO — The County’s first-ever SADLE (Sheriff’s Analysis Driven Law Enforcement) team is dedicated to solving and preventing crime in the unincorporated areas of the county. 

The team, which became fully operational at the end of January, includes eight seasoned-deputies from all over the county and a Sheriff’s sergeant, said Sgt. Chris May.

“We’ve never had a team like this put together for our county,” he said.

SADLE follows a very specific model of intelligence-led policing strategies to identify crime “hot spot” areas and why those areas exist; deputies work with crime analysts who help direct the team to those certain areas.

He said the department has used intelligence-led policing for several years, and SADLE is a concentrated model of that business model.

“It gives the department the ability to put resources where they are needed,” May said.

An advantage of the concentrated team is that they have the ability to share information to countywide law enforcement agencies, such as police departments.

“There’s no magical force field at the end of a city limit,” he said. “Ultimately, if that’s where we need to go, we have the ability to be fluid.”

Another attribute of SADLE in their countywide policing allows deputies to be the link between San Diego’s north and south counties, which they have done so three times already in solving crimes since the unit was formed, May said.

Deputies aim to attack problems in areas that have been found to have a string of crimes, such as stolen cars, or assaults, he said.

They look at factors such as the location, conditions, chronic or known offenders of the crime, and develop strategies for the specific problem.

Law enforcement also works with probation and parole officers to check into past arrests and any new violations of either probationers or parolees.

SADLE’s goal is to reduce crime in the area, and one of the methods used is saturation patrol, which gives the community a high-visibility of sheriff’s presence in a hot spot area.

Another crime prevention and awareness tool SADLE uses, and promotes residents and businesses to use, is, a web site that populates types of crimes and locations on a map.

“The more informed the public is, the less they will be victimized,” May said.