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Leon County crime rate No. 1 in state for 5th consecutive time, leaders fight to curb crime

The county saw a 7.2 percent decrease in crime
tallahassee capitol
Posted at 10:15 AM, Jun 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 19:11:28-04

LEON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — For the fifth straight year, Leon County has Florida's highest crime rate. While that might sound alarming, the county is making improvements when it comes to keeping your family safe.

Right now. your safety is one of the biggest goals for Leon County, especially with recent shootings in the county and city of Tallahassee.

Just days ago, a man was shot inside a barbershop.

"This happened in broad daylight. In a barber shop where we all go, where we all think that we are safe... where we think our children are safe," said Talethia O. Edwards, the President of Greater Bond Neighborhood Association. "So it is changing where sanctuaries are and where our safety is."

Anton Elwood, the pastor at New Mt. Zion AME Church said, "This is not the Tallahassee that we know. I have been here for 10 years. There are other individuals that have been here all of their lives, and this is just not the Tallahassee that we know."

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Uniform Crime Report shows that Leon County's crime rate has been the highest in the entire state for five years running. But a closer look at the numbers from 2018 shows some improvement.

The number of murders, burglaries and larceny all went down in 2018 compared to 2017 along with robberies and aggravated assaults. But crimes of rape and motor vehicle thefts have increased.

"I have often said in our community over and over again, I am absolutely going to do everything I can as your sheriff to arrest every criminal in our community that violates the law," said Sheriff Walt McNeil.

The Leon County Sheriff's office newest push to fight and reduce crime, the All-In Initiative, is including not only law enforcement, but everyone in the county.

"'All in Leon' speaks to all of us working on this problem. It is not a law enforcement problem that can be solved by law enforcement, but it will take each and everyone one of us working diligently to make sure we do our part to drive the violence out of the community, " Sheriff McNeil explained.

Proving that its going to take an all in effort to reduce the crime in Leon County.

Report: Leon County crime rate still highest in Florida despite decrease in crime

A new report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement reveals Leon County had the highest crime rate in Florida last year, marking the fifth year in a row the county has taken the top spot.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Annual Uniform Crime Report, the county saw an overall 7.2 percent decrease in crime from 2017 to 2018.

Last year's reported crime rate was 4,455.9, which is reflective of a decrease of about 800 crimes in 2018. The calculation is based on population and the total number of index crimes reported per 100,000 people.

According to the report, there were less murders, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries and thefts in 2018, but the reported rapes ticked up by 9 and the number of motor vehicle thefts went up by nearly 50.

Overall, there were 5.8 percent less indexed crimes from 2017 to 2018. Still, Leon County ranked first among all Florida counties in overall property crime per 100,000 people.

As for the state numbers, the crime rate in Florida fell by 9 percent, marking the 48th consecutive year Florida has seen a drop in its crime rate. The report also shows a 7.4 percent decrease of total index crimes, with 45,154 fewer reported offenses compared to 2017.

Across the state, violent crime offenses dropped 4.2 percent in the state while property crimes fell 7.9 percent.

“The fall of overall crime rates in 2018 is great news for all Floridians, but there’s still more work to be done,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “... My administration will continue to stand with our law enforcement personnel and move forward on key policies to protect our residents and keep our communities safe.”

However, murder offenses increased by 50 total homicides, which is reflective of a 4.7 percent increase that includes the 17 victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting.

To see the full county-by-county crime rates in the state for 2018, click here.