The acronym, F.O.C.U.S., stands for "Filtering Out Crime United with Students".  It was created by Deputies Kevin Purinton, Phil Gaffney, Scott Farmer, and Tim Langer of our School Resource Officer Program.  We felt that our drug and violence education program at the Citrus County Sheriff's Office should be tailored to the students of our county, so we developed this program especially for them.  We began using this new drug and violence education program in August 2000.  Some of the topics that are covered include drug education, resolving conflicts, gang awareness, assertiveness, peer pressure, consequences, self-esteem, and cyber safety.

FOCUS is 10 weeks long and therefore is a little shorter than the 17 week DARE program.  This allows for greater flexibility.  With only about 18 weeks of school in each semester, it was hard to accommodate all 17 weeks of DARE due to school holidays, school testing, field trips, law enforcement training days, and other unforeseen events such as hurricane days.

Our mascot is Otis the Owl.  We also use various "eyeball" related items to represent FOCUS.  The eyeball stands for "FOCUSing" on crime.  The FOCUS t-shirt is given to each student who completes the FOCUS program.

FOCUS is taught in the 5th grade by the elementary school resource officer that serves the school.  In addition to FOCUS, another program, known as Junior FOCUS, is taught to all 1st graders in Citrus County.

If you have any questions please contact a School Resource Officer at 352-726-4488.