The decision by the City of Tallahassee to begin adding more police officers in mid-2014 after ignoring request for years, has finally begun to show consistent dividends in the fight against crime.
At the next city commission meeting, Police Michael DeLeo will report that mid-year crime rates in 2018 are down when compared to 2017.
This report follows a 2017 decline in crime rate. The crime rate increased in 2014,2015 and 2016.
However, even though the crime-rate was down in 2017, Leon County led Florida in crime per capita for the fourth year in a row.
Following four years (2009-2013) of not providing funds for more police officers, the city commission voted to begin adding officers in mid 2014 for the fiscal year 2015.
Based on current information, since 2015 the city has added resources for approximately 60 police officers. The budget for patrol operations has increased approximatel 25% from $20 million in 2014 to approximately $25 million in 2018.
However, while the crime rate – a measure of all crime – has declined in 2017 and 2018, the murder rate has increased despite more officers. For example, in 2017 the city of Tallahaseee had a higher murder rate than Miami and Orlando.
From Chief DeLeo’s report:
Crime fell approximately 14% in calendar year 2017 and the crime rate reached five-year low. The trend has continued into 2018. During the first six months of 2018 there were 217 fewer reported Violent Crimes, which is a 24.4% reduction in comparison to the first six months of 2017. Also, there were 352 fewer reported Property Crimes resulting in a 7.6% reduction. Overall, crime is down 10.3% during for the first six months of 2018. Additionally, TPD’s 2018 clearance rate has increased to 21.2% vs. 16.1% in 2017.