Tallahassee is known as home to two of the most prestigious colleges on different sides of the tracks: Florida A & M and Florida State. One is among the greatest HBCUs in the land; the other is one of the state’s only two preeminent universities and is also known for athletic excellence.
But as many of the residents who live in Tallahassee know, their city can get crazier than it may appear to be the surface.
Upon coming to Tallahassee I never suspected that it would have a crime rate like I have been exposed to.
In June of last year the blog Tallahassee Reports reported that Leon County ranked No. 1 for the highest crime rate per capita in the entire state of Florida for the third year in a row based off 2016 statistics.
The crime rate per 100,000 residents increased by 6.8 percent over 2015 numbers. Preliminary analysis shows that Leon County ranked No. 1 in violent crime rates with a population above 50,000. With the rate in which crime has been going this year there’s little doubt that Leon County may again take the title for highest crime rate for the fourth straight year in a row.
Forbes ranked Tallahassee No. 8 on its “Americas Most Dangerous Cities” list. According to Forbes, Tallahassee has 775 violent crimes per 100,000 residents.
Forbes also noted that its location on Interstate 10 makes the city an attractive point for drug runners bringing contraband north from Miami and the surrounding area. The city also hosted its record amount of homicides in 2017 at 21.
FAMU student Richie Raymond said that he feels like the crime rate in Tallahassee has been “outrageous.” He also said that “living on the south side where it seems like most of the crime seems to happen is unfortunate because we are literally right next to FAMU’s campus.”
Raymond stays in the Courtyard Apartment complex; the Tallahassee Democrat documented a drug-related robbery and shooting one neighborhood down from that complex last week. It was also reported that along with FAMU there is a church within 1,000 feet of where the shooting took place. Since late February the Tallahassee Democrat has reported seven shooting related articles in which someone was charged, convicted, or the event was detailed.
TCC student Lawrence Saunders, who also lives on the south side of Tallahassee, told me that he is acutely aware of the problem because “there are a lot of police officers who are always around here but the crime still continues to happen.”