Andrew Gillum, Tallahassee City Commission Ignored Pleas from Police; Murder Rate Increased 52%

Andrew Gillum, Tallahassee City Commission Ignored Pleas from Police; Murder Rate Increased 52%

From 2009 to 2013, public documents show that when gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum served on the Tallahassee City Commission, the Tallahassee City Commission repeatedly ignored pleas from law enforcement for help with a festering crime problem. Gillum served as a city commissioner from 2003 to 2014 and was elected mayor in 2014.

Documents also show that in 2013, Gillum and the Tallahassee City Commission declined to approve a Tallahassee Police Department request for five new police officer positions in fiscal year 2014 to address the crime problem.

Following these denials for public safety assistance, Leon County led the state of Florida in the crime rate in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

However, another even more troubling result during this period was the dramatic and consistent increase in the murder rate in Tallahassee, which occurred not long after the Tallahassee Police Department made the Tallahassee City Commission aware of a problem.

For example, from 2002 to 2009 the average murder rate per 100,000 citizens in Tallahassee was 4.6. During this period there were 63 murders, an average of 7.9 murders per year.

However from 2010 to 2017 the average murder rate increased 52 percent to  7.0 murders per 100,000 citizens. During this period there were 104 murders, an average of 13 murders per year. Source Crime Stats.

The chart below compares the 3-year moving average of murder rates in the state of Florida and the City of Tallahassee from 2002 to 2017. The graphic representation shows the dramatic change in murder rates that began in 2009. This was the same year when law enforcement officials began to sound the alarm.

The Tallahassee murder rate began climbing in 2009 and surpassed the slightly declining murder rate of the state of Florida in 2011.

The comparison also shows how the City of Tallahassee murder rate continues to be a problem. Since 2000 the City of Tallahassee’s highest murder rate (8.97) occurred in 2017 with 17 homicides. The second highest rate (8.51)  occurred in 2015 with 16 murders.

Also, the 2017 Tallahassee murder rate (8.97) was higher than Miami (7.55) , Orlando (8.22), St. Petersburg (7.58), Gainesville (3.08), and Fort Lauderdale (8.38). Tallahassee’s 2017 murder rate was lower than the rate reported by Tampa (10.45) and Jacksonville (12.2).

Ignoring Pleas from Law Enforcement

The city’s annual budget documents show that Andrew Gillum and the Tallahassee City Commission were given warnings about crime problems from 2009 to 2013.

City of Tallahassee data shows that the number of sworn officer positions has declined from 359 in 2008 to 355 officers in 2014. The number of patrol officers has declined from 216 in 2010 to 214 in 2014.

During this same period, 2008 to 2012, calls for service increased from 137,076 to 173, 484.

During the 2010 budget cycle, police officials informed upper management and the city commission that staffing was an issue.

“Over the last several years, the Police Department’s staffing level has not kept pace with population growth, workload, or staffing increases recommended by two (2) in-depth staffing studies.” Source 2010.

The report referenced above and completed in the early 2000’s by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), concluded that the department was approximately fifty patrol officers understaffed to meet a 50% goal of proactive time for patrol officers.

After the study, between 2003 and 2008, the City added 13 officers, but since 2008 the number of sworn positions has actually declined.

During the 2011 budget cycle, the police department reported that:

“even though the number of reported crimes decreased during 2009, the number of calls for service increased 4.9% between 2008 and 2009. Over the last five years the total number of calls for service increased over 11%. As a result of these calls for service, officers write approximately 70,000 reports annually.” Source 2011.

During the 2012 budget cycle, the police department informed upper management that:

“the number of reported crimes increased slightly during 2010, but the number of calls for service increased dramatically between 2009 and 2010. Over the last five years the total number of calls for service increased over 12.5%. As a result of these calls for service, officers exceeded 72,000 reports for the first time.” Source 2012.

During the 2013 budget cycle, the police department reported that:

“data obtained from the FBI’s 2011 Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report, Tallahassee’s crime index (total of violent and property crimes reported) has increased from 10,381 in FY10 to 11,024 in FY11. This represents an overall increase of 6.2%. Along with the number of reported UCR crimes increasing during 2011, the number of calls for service increased 1.0% between 2010 and 2011. In fact, the annual calls for service have increased from 41,746 in FY07 to 156,737 in FY11.” Source 2013.

During the 2014 budget cycle, the police department asked for more police officers. The request stated:

“The addition of five police officers and one sergeant will aid in reducing the response times for priority one and priority two calls for service. In FY12, the Police Department’s average response times for priority one and priority two calls were 6.5 minutes and 9.3 minutes respectively. The Department’s goal for priority one and priority two calls is 5.0 minutes and 9.0 minutes respectively.” Source 2014A.

The Tallahassee City Commission failed to approve the request for the five police officer positions. Source 2014B.

35 Responses to "Andrew Gillum, Tallahassee City Commission Ignored Pleas from Police; Murder Rate Increased 52%"


  2. Your’e absolutely wrong, as demonstrated by NYC and other big cities in the late 1990s. Crime is most often NOT a crime of passion, it is a crime of opportunity and planned revenge. And the people committing most of the big crimes ie rape, murder, robbery, are the same ones stealing cars, jumping turnstiles and yes even shoplifting. So, the solution was to aggressively go after small crimes. When cops stopped the turnstile jumper, they often found he had a warrant for say, robbery.

  3. If one simply distills down the main CONSTRUCTIVE comments here and on associated articles:
    1) We are all in VIOLENT agreement that this crime rate situation in Tallahassee is not acceptable;
    2) The Mayor (GILLUM) and Chief of Staff (DUSTIN DANIELS who is running for Mayor) has done nothing to intercede or stop this alarming trend AND are causative to the issue;
    3) The previous City Manager (Fernandez, and Anita Favor Thompson and also Mayor John Marks) ‘lead’ by unethical example for years which is what actually started this whole crime issue in the City of Tallahassee;
    4) The current City Manager (Goad) is completely and demonstrably unqualified to address this issue;
    5) The current Assistant City Manager over Police (Cynthia Barber who was hired at $189,000 per year) is beyond unqualified and completely uncredentalized to have any constructive direction to address this crime issue;
    6) To address this issue START OVER! – without Gillum, Daniels, Goad and Barber – and this is just for starters.

    New Mayor and Commissioners – PLEASE – properly address the root of this problem and address this issue at its source.

    Additional names of causative people to this issue employed by City of Tallahassee available at: your (TR), FBI’s, National News’ agency or Snidley’s request.

  4. You can tie this on Anita Favors as well. Better yet, lets name a lake or a plaza after her. Just wait until someone is murdered there.

  5. So, there seems to be a problem in the management Realm… at City Hall regarding the crime rate problem in Tallahassee? The Community should open this up for discussion and if there needs to be a change so be it.

  6. Ladies and gentlemen, I can’t agree or disagree with any statement set before my post. I have no political affiliation. I have only my feet and my family. I am a simple man who works to feed his family and raise them like I was raised. I am 41 yrs old and live a simple life. I love our city and have lived here since I was 6 yrs old. That was 1982. I have watched this city grow and build. I’ve watched our Seminole climb and fall. I’ve seen the rattlers play before Espn televised them. I’ve been to the TCC basketball games. My biggest thing after reading all these post is who’s gonna watch ur 6? The government or the local law endowment? Like I said I’m simple. I love my family, my friends, my city, and my country! God bless y’all. Even the person who hates this post!

  7. Here’s where I agree with the commission: no more money for the cops. They need to do their damn jobs without asking for more money. Don’t like it? Go be a cop somewhere else. I’m tired if these damn expanded costs to tax payers. I’m going broke with that high property taxes! No more money to cops or commissioners or CRA bullshit or City government. Just do your job!

    1. How about reclaiming the wasted money for things like Cascades Park, Edison and other CRA money? Rescind the “Emergency service fee” we pay too.

      Let us get back to basics, shall we?

      The Government is supposed to provide “emergency services” as a basic requirement. All of the other “fluff” needs to be discussed and decided on. If companies or people won’t come to Tallahassee because we don’t have a “performing arts center” then tehy probably won’t want to come here due to high crime either. Murder is a big deal. Having too few operators at the consolidated dispatch agency is a huge problem too. The CDA is a bust and another black mark for city government.

  8. Murder -100 percent unstoppable. Police should ignore and work on “stoppable” crimes like DUI and trespassing. Wow!! Sean Cava for governor!!!!!!!

  9. You A*****e. Murder is an act of impulse and 100% unstoppable. The biggest number you’ve produced in this article is 52%. 02′-09′ 4.6 murders and 10′-17′ 7 murders per year with a total of +/-6 Police Officers lost in an 8 year total from 08′-14′.

    The Police in no way, shape or form thwart murder or a murderer planning murder.
    That is FACT!

    You completely omitt the rise in population and the socioeconomic ties to the crimes you speak of, the types of calls that don’t require Police ( land disputes) and obfuscate the real crimes that are preventable like Trespassing, B&E, DUI, and other in situ crimes.

    This is just another hot air balloon of bullshit.

    1. Thank you for your example of just the type of mentality that is part of the problem. Do you know everything you write you don’t have to push send.

      Talk about Hot Heads who can’t control their language…

    2. You obviously know nothing about police work. Proactive police patrol can indeed cut down on the murder rate – patrol officers concentrate their “visits” to areas where less than stellar folks hang out to deal drugs, sell stolen property including guns & carry on prostitution. In doing so, many with warrants are picked up and guns confiscated. Instead of this effective type of policing, the Police Chief has been ordered, by the City Manager who knows nothing about police as well, to implement “Gentler Law Enforcement”. This is mainly to cut down on complaints from certain individuals in the community. The real result is more illegal guns out there, and people who should be in jail walking free. Doesn’t take a genius to figure out how this has led to the increase in crime

    3. Sean my man calm down. I will get Grandmom to buy you another pair of Nike’s that should make you feel better. BTW you are free to use your last name Pittman here if you want to. Knock Knock…is that the FBI at your door?

  10. A million dollars to his campaign treasurer, lobbyist, traveling companion, school friend… For a restaurant at Cascades Park. Gillium misused public funds in addition failing to focus on the needs and Public Safety of the citizens and law enforcement because he was focused on his political Kingdom.

    Mr. Gillum lied on national TV Sunday morning stating there was no crime problem in Tallahassee. This is not fair to the citizens to the people that send their children to Tallahassee to college or the citizens of Tallahassee and Leon County.

    Did Bernie not vet Gillum because endorsing someone under FBI investigation, someone who cannot handle hurricane management, or someone who gives millions of dollars to his friend in addition to having the number one crime rate in Florida on his watch is irresponsible.

    Hopefully the FBI will save us soon or voters will vote smart in November..

    Gillum chose to go down a path of greed and attending to his own political needs instead of the needs of the citizens

    We have a wonderful police chief and if it weren’t for him I believe it would be much worse. But, we need a mayor and governor who works for the people and not himself.

  11. Well let’s see now. Just what did the Gillum administration have money for in the same 2009 forward murder spike period? 1. The cascades 8 million dollar bridge to nowhere. 2. An unneeded but liberal feel good solar farm with difficult to calculate cost. But with kickbacks it was way over the bridge to nowhere. 3. A 100,000.00+ bogus payout to a city commishioner because his wife stubbed her toe on a sidewalk. 4. Millions in kickback money to local business owners in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars in political contributions. We can go on and on but your attention span limitations have been already reached or exceeded.

  12. Additional relevant issues should also be noted:

    Don’t leave out the fact that Cynthia Barber was promoted to Assistant City Manager specifically over Tallahassee Police and Consolidated Dispatch with ZERO Law Enforcement experience or credentials at an initial salary of $189,000 per year (via Rick Fernandez’s actions and supported/passed by Gillum and the Commission) and then she/they created a Neighborhood/Community Affairs group to encourage a gentler law enforcement presence. Then add to that the City’s ‘Ban the Box’ to not allow inquires about criminal history of future employees, then fire a TPD Officer (via Cynthia Barber’s direction) for legally and correctly using his weapon and THEN toss in a new WAY over-priced Police Station relocated in a southerly direction to further sanction these efforts; and now the causative factors of the ‘mystery’ of this crisis is in plain view.

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