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IN BRIEF / FLORIDA

Police Pose as Homeless to Catch Errant Drivers

May 23, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

Police in Kissimmee went undercover as homeless people in tattered clothes to catch drivers running red lights.

The undercover officers watched for lawbreakers, then radioed ahead to other officers, who pulled the motorists over and gave them tickets.

Homeless advocates called Operation Vagrant, a sting involving Kissimmee police and the Osceola County sheriff's office, silly and offensive.

During the operation this week, officers carried small cardboard signs reading: "Sheriff's traffic sting in progress. Buckle up."

In all, 171 drivers were ticketed. Most were accused of running a red light, an $83 violation.

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