One day after lauding the actions of Mayor Andrew Gillum’s handling of the crime problem in Tallahassee, Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil revised his remarks.
In a statement released by the Gillum campaign and picked up by the Tampa Bay Times, McNeil said, “Under Mayor Andrew Gillum’s leadership, violent crime is down 24 percent, and overall crime is down 10 percent with crime at a five-year low in Tallahassee. Mayor Gillum’s investments into more police officers, restorative justice, and community policing have made Tallahassee safer than when he became Mayor, period.”
However, during an appearance on the The Morning Show with Preston Scott, Scott asked if McNeil’s comments regarding his assessment of Gillum’s action should have included the qualifier “since you have been sheriff?”
McNeil responded by saying, “Perhaps you are right. The caveat should have been this is my perspective since I have been Sheriff.”
McNeil was elected in 2016, which means his comments would be relevant for just less than two years.
Ironically, during his campaign in 2016, McNeil made a campaign issue out of Leon County’s high crime rate and ran a dramatic television ad which showed a model home getting blown away by an apparent shotgun blast.
Also, in a press conference addressing the crime rate on June 7, 2016 – while Gillum was mayor -McNeil said, “I do not see the outrage, the efforts, or a plan to address the issue. No one seems concerned.”