Crime continues to vex local law enforcement


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Even with a 15 percent decrease in crime from last year, Leon County continues to have the highest per capita crime rate in the state, according to data compiled by eh Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Yes, the state capital is a college town, and this means a higher number of student complexes. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, Leon County is ranked first in property crime among Florida’s 67 counties. Property crimes often occur most during long-term breaks when students leave their apartments vacant for long periods of time and their cars parked at their property. Tallahassee Police Department has plans and programs to help decrease the crime rate.

“In a perfect world we would love to have a police officer in front of every business, and every home and every university,” says Officer Damon Miller, Jr., a TPD spokesman.

The Bond community, which is the neighborhood surrounding Florida A&M, has a negative impact on the crime rate on campus.

Nearby prostitution and drug-related crimes have forced TPD to place cameras on poles in the neighborhoods. Lower-income neighborhoods have become a part of what is known as the broken window theory. The theory suggests that abandoned homes are used for drugs, prostitution, and other related crimes.

TPD has equipped some of their cars with cameras to capture crimes, while motorcycle units were the first to have body cameras. The department is the first agency in the nation to have this policy approved by the Department of Justice.  

Officer Miller suggests tips such as traveling in pairs, sharing location with friends and coming up with a safe word in efforts to combat potential crimes. The use of a safe word, a simple statement that can be said over the phone to alert friends or family members without alerting the potential threat, has saved many lives, Miller said.

Community events such as Evening with the Chief or Coffee with a Cop, give people from the community an opportunity to come out and ask questions regarding their safety. TPD says it is always willing to give out as much information as it possibly can. TPD also encourages students to come to City Commission meetings to stay in the know of what is transpiring in Tallahassee.

“If you see something, say something,” Miller said as he explained the importance of citizens working together with the police department. TPD encourages residents to call crime stoppers for any suspicious activity they see or know about at 850-574-TIPS (8477).