The Polk County Sheriff's Office is cracking down on people engaging in sexual activities in county parks.
- Deputies cracking down on sexual activity in Polk County parks
- Three men were arrested in an undercover operation
- Lewd acts often occur at Saddle Creek Park and Gator Creek Reserve
Three men were arrested Thursday during an undercover investigation at Gator Creek Reserve.
Deputies said that park, along with Saddle Creek Park, are the two main parks where these lewd acts often occur. Investigators said the majority of arrests are men searching for other men to engage in sexual activity.
"Whether the detective is in the bathroom or on a trail somewhere in the woods, just standing around minding their own business, they will have someone approach them, grab them, touch them inappropriately, or ask them to commit some type of lewd act. Definitely something we don't want happening in our public places and in our parks,” said Carrie Horstman, a spokeswoman for the Polk County Sheriff's Office.
People visiting the park with their families said they supported the undercover operations.
"I think it needs to be done. If that type of activity is out there.
These parks are prone to be having families and children. If that's happening the children aren't safe," said William Butts, visiting the park with his family.
The sheriff's office said it conducts the vice undercover operations in the parks about once a month.
According to news releases, since March of 2016, there have been nine lewd behavior arrests at Gator Creek Reserve, 14 at Saddle Creek Park, and three at the Lake Fannie Boat Ramp.
Along with getting arrested, the sheriff's office said those caught in the act are also banned from visiting all county parks in the future.