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MACCA Holds Unlicensed Contractors Meeting with Manatee & Sarasota County Sheriffs

The Manasota Air Conditioning Contractors Association (MACCA) held a panel discussion with Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells and Sarasota County Sheriff Kurt Hoffman focusing on Unlicensed Contractors on June 3, 2021.

Sarasota County Sheriff Kurt Hoffman, Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells and Sarasota County Law Enforcement Division Commander Major Brian Woodring
Sarasota County Sheriff Kurt Hoffman, Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells and Sarasota County Law Enforcement Division Commander Major Brian Woodring

Both County Sheriffs suggest the best way to curb the issue of Unlicensed Contractors within our community and businesses is to stay up to date with current technology trends and to educate others, especially our seniors. An example of advancements to technology is Automated license plate readers (ALPRs) equipped with Geofence technology which capture numbers that come into view, record the location, date, and time and alert officers when there‚Äôs a hit against a national database. Our local Sheriff’s departments use these surveillance mechanisms to determine whether a vehicle was at the scene of a crime, to identify travel patterns, and even to discover vehicles that may be associated with each other.

Manatee and Sarasota counties both plan to continue to combat unlicensed contractor activities on a multitude of fronts. Sting operations are extremely effective. However, there are substantial expenses behind these operations that require extensive planning and observation which does create limitations. Both counties plan to continue to hire more employees to shorten dispatch times at the Sheriff’s Office. Sarasota County has put in a third tactical unit to address neighborhood calls. To address this issue in the future, both counties stated they will be focusing on monitoring social media operations.

They suggested the best way for our members to help is to educate others through social media, prevent victimization by educating seniors within the community, be an ambassador and report any suspicious unlicensed contractor activity by collecting a tag number and description of the person or vehicles involved in the crime prior to making the report.

Please report any unlicensed activity to Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) Hotline #1.866.532.1440 or email the department at ULA@DBPR.state.fl.us.
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