Per Mayor Andrew Gillum’s request, Tallahassee Police Chief DeLeo made a presentation to the city commission on Wednesday and addressed a number of law enforcement issues.
The presentation was requested after the release of UCR data that showed Leon county had the highest per-capita crime rate in the state of Florida for the third year in a row.
Chief DeLeo talked about the 2016 crime statistics and discussed how violent crime was down and property crime was up when compared to 2015.
He also compared crime statistics for the first five months for 2015, 2016 & 2017.
The table below shows the statistics reported during the city commission meeting for violent crime.
For 2017, Chief DeLeo reported that violent crime has increased 10.5% over the same reporting period from 2016, but was down 4.2% from the level of violent crime reported during the same period from 2015.
For property crime, DeLeo reported a 20% decrease over the same reporting period from 2016. TR is waiting for a clarification on data before reporting detailed information on property crime.
Chief DeLeo also briefed commissioners on various law enforcement initiatives.
The Tallahassee Police Department is pursuing federal grant funding to implement a comprehensive body worn camera program.
The funding will also support additional personnel needed to manage the program, respond to public records requests, and maintain hardware, equipment, and storage.
The grant application was submitted in February 2017. Awards will be announced by September 30, 2017.
Property Crimes Task Force
The TPD has partnered with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) to create a Property Crimes Task Force (PCTF) within the Tallahassee/Leon County area. The PCTF was formed by assigning a Sergeant, two TPD investigators and two LCSO detectives.
The purpose is to identify suspects, enhance communication and share intel between the agencies allowing law enforcement to address the increase in property crimes. The officers and deputies assigned are co-located at the Tallahassee Police Department.
The task force meets with units outside of the task force to share intelligence and will utilize other units to include crime analysis, school resource deputies, and juvenile services from both LCSO and TPD along with technology from the other agencies.
Auto Theft Investigations
The Tallahassee Police Department observed the upward trend in auto thefts and as a result in early 2016 transferred an internal position from the Financial Crimes Unit to the property section for the specific purpose of investigating auto thefts.
High Risk Offenders Bureau
As part of the Five-Point plan to reduce gun violence crimes within the City of Tallahassee a Violent Crime Response Team (VCRT) was created as part of the 2015 budget. The “team” consists of five officers and a Sergeant who focus their day to day activities solely on the reduction of gun related crimes in Tallahassee.
VCRT employs a comprehensive approach in identifying violent offenders and other at-risk individuals by utilizing the Suppression-Prevention-Intervention-Referral-Intelligence Tool (SPIRIT). VCRT members provide a custom notification letter to those individuals that could benefit from service providers in areas such as; substance abuse counseling, medical assistance, mental health counseling, and employment assistance.
In September 2016, a second VCRT squad was implemented upon being awarded a 2015 COPPS Grant after commission approval. The department now consists of two squads providing coverage on the North and South side of Tallahassee.