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City of Tallahassee continues to focus on crime

By Darryl Darby | Staff Writer
On February 14, 2018

Photo credit: WTXL

In July 2017, it was reported that Leon County had the highest crime rate in the state for the third year in a row. Those were stats for 2016, according to annual figures released by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).

In 2017, there were a record 21 homicides in the capital city according to FDLE and over 2,000 violent crimes were reported. Violent crimes include but are not limited to homicide, rape, assault,and  kidnapping. There were over 10,000 reported property crimes, which consist of robbery, burglary, grand theft, and vandalism. These numbers are currently a seven percent increase from last year, despite statewide crime decreasing three percent.

Shootings have been a particularly worrisome act of violence that has been on the rise in Tallahassee. In 2017, there were three separate occasions in which three or more shootings have happened in a span of 24-hours.

Tallahassee resident Quintin Blount says the shootings are so scary because bullets have no name.  

“Anybody in the area can be a victim in that situation, especially if people are shooting in a populated area.”

The recent increase in shootings in the capital city understandably has residents on edge.  However, Tallahassee Police Department Chief Michael DeLeo says that shouldn’t be the case.

“While the shootings are concerning, they are not random acts, and are happening amongst people who know each other, in neighborhoods in which they live.”

DeLeo went on to say that they are currently searching long and hard for long term fixes for the increase in crime and more specifically the increase in shootings and homicide in the capital city.

Police Chief Michael DeLeo said they have implemented numerous programs to attempt to address crime but he pleads with the residence of Tallahassee who may be witnesses to some of these crimes to speak out in assistance to capture the perpetrators.

So far in 2018 the programs have been working. In the last quarter of 2017 crime was down 13 percent, with violent crime down more than eight percent.

Some of those numbers can be contributed to the Public Safety Collective made up of local police chiefs, who have joined in efforts to identify the top ten criminals in Leon County with the help of a special unity.

In addition to the Public Safety Collective, Tallahassee Police Department is currently looking for a new headquarters and has even acquired the service of a company to help with the software that keeps its records.

There is currently no timeline on when the new headquarters will be acquired.

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