What do cops do when they don't have enough to do? This kind of nonsense.
No one should be surprised that crime rates in Hillsborough County, where this nonsense occurred, have declined for years. That's likely the problem.
Cops want to keep their jobs; elected cops like high arrest numbers that look good in the next campaign. So schemes like this are win-win for law enforcement that might not have enough to do. Or maybe they're compensating for poor performance in other areas -- arrests per capita in the county are in the bottom quartile, per capita, of all Florida counties.
Anyway, I hope that's the explanation because it makes more sense than a coordinated attack on the societal scourge of, you know, fix-it guys.
That's my cynical take. My visceral, political take? Politically beat on the Sheriff and his department until the rubble bounces.