New Davidson County Sheriff’s Office team cracks down on crime

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DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. -- When people break the law, it's expected that police and sheriff's deputies will catch them.

But preventing crimes is another matter.

The Davidson County Sheriff's Office now has a team to try and do just that: stopping criminals on streets and highways.

With K-9s and five deputies, the Davidson County TRACE TEAM drives around to prevent violent crimes.

TRACE stands for Traffic and Criminal Enforcement.

"We try to be proactive instead of reactive," Cpl. Ricky Beck said. "We believe it's better to curb crime before it starts."

They go wherever they're needed.

"Sometimes we go into the cities, sometimes it's out in the county," Sgt. Brian Saintsing said.

Beck and Saintsing brought FOX8 along for the ride.

It starts with a simple traffic stop.

The first driver Beck pulled over had a driver's license violation, but when he went up to the car, things changed.

"Do you have any marijuana in the vehicle? I can smell something... the odor of marijuana," he asked the female driver.

She was given a citation for an expired driver's license and marijuana in her car.

Things aren't always so simple.

At another traffic stop, for revoked tags, Saintsing noticed something strange.

"As I was talking to the passenger, he reached across and tried to throw a bag of what appears to be methamphetamine to the driver," Saintsing said. "At that point, we pulled them out of the vehicle."

They called for backup and searched the SUV.

"We have some methamphetamine. We also have some concealed firearms," Beck said. "We're going to run a field test kit on this."

The deputies took a sample of the methamphetamine, put it in the test kit and watched it turn blue, showing it was positive for meth.

They also found two guns hidden in the console and underneath the passenger seat.

"We've got one male and one female under arrest all resulting from a simple registration violation," Saintsing said.

Guns and drugs are pulled off the streets all because of one traffic stop.

"It helps drive our crime rate down low. That's ultimately what we want," Saintsing said. "To keep everybody safe and for people to know that we're out there looking for people committing crimes."

Because the TRACE team is not even a year old, the Davidson County Sheriff's Office was unable to share a total of how many guns and drugs they've pulled off the streets since the unit was formed.

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