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Deputy Gerald Andrews Works to Keep Lutz Streets Safe

Andrews has been with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office for 15 years.

He started his career as a detention deputy with the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

Now, Deputy Gerald Andrews serves as community resource deputy for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, handling public safety incidents like complaint calls for the community of Lutz.

Andrews - a Chicago native who put his Windy City pride aside to become a diehard Tampa Bay Lightning fan - also handles homeless issues in District 1 of the sheriff's office.

"He has taken a lot of time to develop a rapport with homeless people in the area and get them services," said Maj. J.R. Burton of District 1. "He's got a wealth of experience with community service type things, and that's the biggest reason I selected him for that role."

We recently talked to Andrews, a married father of four, about misconceptions about Lutz crime and what he wants residents of Lutz to know.

Patch: What are some of the crime trends you see in Lutz?

Andrews: Burglary is one of the top trends for crimes. One of the biggest issues with burglaries is residents need to properly secure items. Don't leave doors unloked because you believe you live in a safe, friendly area. It's 2012, and we have to realize things have changed.

Patch: What are some misconceptions about crime in northwest Hillsborough?

Andrews: People say their house was robbed, but it was a burglary. And the general public usually thinks law enforcement has the answers for everything that's out there, but we are based around crime.

Patch: What's special about the Lutz community and its residents?

Andrews: They are a very tight community. They like to keep the old town aspect of Lutz. They are very much about their old town library, old town fire department. They want to hold that old town element. It seems like a stronger community basis.

Patch: What do you want people to know about your job?

Andrews: I don't want anybody to be afraid to approach a police officer. At the sheriff's office, we're based on our professionalism and friendliness. There's been times in the past when people ran into law enforcement and didn't feel comfortable. Our job is to be a public servant to Hillsborough County. Our doorways are open to answer and help out in any way.

Have you met Andrews or Dep. Chris DePolis in Northdale? Tell us in the comments.

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