Sheriff candidate Walt McNeil held a press conference today to comment on the newly released crime data by FDLE showing Leon County leading the state in crime-rate for the second consecutive year.
McNeil said “I do not see the outrage, the efforts, or a plan to address the issue. No one seems concerned.”
He criticized local media outlets for not reporting on information that was released last week. Tallahassee Reports was the only local media outlet to cover the crime data as of this morning. TR’s story was posted on Sunday and can be read here.
McNeil discussed his plan to address the crime issue which included more focus on violent offenders and gangs, the creation of a Leon County Youth Ranch, intervention with juveniles and the development of more effective community partnerships.
McNeil has been aggressive in tying the current Sheriff, Mike Wood, to the crime issue even though state numbers show that the crime-rate in the Sheriff’s jurisdiction is below the state average.
McNeil argues that the Sheriff’s Department, who he says patrols within the City and makes arrests in the City, needs to show more leadership and take more responsibility for the deteriorating crime numbers in the community.
During the press conference, McNeil said “some have settled for a new normal.” When asked who has settled, he would mention no names but said his colleagues and leaders in the community.
McNeil’s campaign handed out a flyer which showed that crime fell by 45% in the eleven years during McNeil’s tenure as Chief of Police. TR did confirm the accuracy of the claim.