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Tallahassee Police Department works to curb crime

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Tallahassee Police Department works to curb crime
Posted at 5:28 PM, Dec 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-29 14:08:01-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Sometimes, it feels like all we hear about are new shootings, stabbings, and robberies, but according to the Tallahassee Police Department, we are making progress.

"In 2016, we saw a significant decrease in violent crime," said Chief Michael DeLeo. "It was about 14% and this year through November, we've seen an overall decrease of crime to 12%."

Crime is a constant in any city. As long as you have people living there, you'll have people breaking the law.

However, for many in Tallahassee, it's the type of crime they're worried about.

Statistics from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement show rapes, robberies and overall violent crime went down from 2016 to 2017. However, the murder rate went up slightly.

Many community meetings were held in 2017 to discuss ways to stop the violence.

"This last year, we started the Public Safety Collective to continue to really more collaboratively work with our law enforcement partners," said DeLeo. "We continue to make sure that our resources are focused in the right place and we're complimenting each other's efforts."

In 2018, you'll notice some immediate changes at the Tallahassee Police Department. They're adding new body cameras and they're swearing in 13 new officers in January.

However, Chief DeLeo tells WTXL, it's not just the short-term changes that'll make Tallahassee a safer city. They're also planning ahead, like deciding how to use their new headquarters.

"The new facility will make it easier for people to participate in programs with us," said DeLeo.

One bright spot this year has been TPD's "9 P.M. Routine." Every night, a new social media post reminds residents to lock their cars and homes. In the past, property crime plagued the city.

"That's one of the areas we've seen the biggest decrease in crime this year and it's that partnership," said DeLeo. "We've got officers out looking and patrolling and trying to protect things, but it's a big city. We have 103 square miles. We can't be everywhere at once, so everyone takes responsibility for their property and helps us out that way, it helps make it safer."

Chief DeLeo says the Tallahassee Police Department has hired a new company to update its records management system, making it easier to collaborate with other area policing agencies. They hope to begin construction on their new headquarters in 2018.