CRA, TPD focusing on public safety

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According to the Community Redevelopment Agency, most crimes occur in specific neighborhoods.

Talethia Edwards has lived in the Greater Bond Neighborhood for a few years, and she wonders when her community will get better.

“Twenty-two years ago I remember that the crime rate was 6.9%. That was a shock for me coming from the big city Miami and I remember the big deal when it went up to 13%,” she said. “That was also while I was still in college and as a resident, we are in the top 100. Which is very alarming.

“I still stay over in the greater Bond community and so to see it as it is it’s very disheartening,” Edwards added.

Crime prevention, effective use of police resources, and making quicker arrests are policing strategies that community leaders are working on to help prevent crime. As Tallahassee’s crime rates increase, city leaders are promoting public safety.

Several communities in Tallahassee such as Griffin Heights, Levy Park, Greater Bond and South City have high crime rates.

Stephen Cox, director of the Community Redevelopment Agency, says that he’s working with the Tallahassee Police Department to craft a budget for community policing over the next five years.

According to TPD, the most recent statistics show that there have been 89 homicides since 2020, including 19 homicides so far this year, and the overall violent crime rate has increased by over 6%.

Local leaders have made several attempts to push safety protocols such as locking your doors and being aware of your surroundings. The CRA says if the money is approved, it’ll be incorporated into TPD’s budget for the year.

Cox says he wants a million-dollar budget set aside for community policing over the next five years, and he is working then TPD to make that happen. If it’s approved the CRA director says that he is working to improve public safety.

“So part of our strategy is to have the funding available. The first step is to engage with the community, bring the Tallahassee Police Department in, and figure out what areas we can tackle and what’s the best approach. And then kind of driven by TPD saying this is what we can do and can’t do. Then we have funds that are going to be available for them to address that,” Cox said.

Safety is essential, he added. Part of the solution to gun violence involves more resources in the community. As the crime rate rises in Tallahassee, community leaders wonder what they can do to reduce the violence.