College students feel unsafe with crime in Leon County

Despite a decrease, Tallahassee remains top ranked in crime. Photo Courtesy:

Crime rates in Tallahassee have increased over the past couple of months, and students are feeling unsafe and worried about the direction Leon County is heading in.

Despite reports in Leon County indicating that crime rates fell by 14.9% in 2020, compared to 2019, Leon County is now ranked 6th among 67 counties in having the highest crime rates in Florida.

The violent crime rate in Tallahassee surpasses the national crime rate with a percentage of 44.7. Tallahassee has become one of the major high-ranking crime cities in America.

With two major colleges being in a town where crime and drug rates are constantly rising, and many students living away from home, students and parents are questioning the sustainability of the Tallahassee community.

Destiny Gaines, a fourth-year animal science major, recalls a dangerous incident while peacefully studying for a test and listening to music in the comfort of her own apartment.

“… I went outside to grab something [and] saw at least ten police cars outside telling me to get back inside immediately. Five people were injured and it happened right outside my window; it could’ve been me,” Gaines pleaded.

Brian McKay, a junior at Florida A&M University, gives his stance on whether Tallahassee is a safe community.

“I’m not from the Tallahassee area,” said McKay. “I’ve never experienced this much drug use and senseless violence. Tallahassee is not a safe place for me because violence seems like a common thing that doesn’t seem like it’s going to get better.”

Tallahassee Police Department’s Deputy Chief, Maurice Holmes, addressed the recent shootings that have been occurring.

“Please just lock up your weapons,” Holmes begged. “It is one of the easiest and most important things people can do to prevent gun violence… If we are able to get them under control, violent crime will drop significantly.”

An emergency town hall, put in place by Tallahassee Police Department’s Citizens Advisory Council addressing the community on how to prevent other shootings, occurred on Oct. 14. To report any crimes in Tallahassee, call 911 or online report to TPD.