FDLE: Statewide, local crime rates drop since 2018

By Bruce Hope Staff Writer
Posted 12/30/19

CLAY COUNTY – Overall crime is down 6.1% over the previous year in Florida, according to the Crime Florida Abstract, an annual report which breaks down total numbers and percentages of crime in the …

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FDLE: Statewide, local crime rates drop since 2018

Posted

CLAY COUNTY – Overall crime is down 6.1% over the previous year in Florida, according to the Crime Florida Abstract, an annual report which breaks down total numbers and percentages of crime in the state over the fiscal year.

Total index crime was listed at 265,202 in the fiscal year 2019 as opposed to 282,281 in the fiscal year 2018.

In Clay County, crime dropped 6.7%, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement revealed. Those numbers include a 5.5% reduction for the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, 5.7% reduction in Green Cove Springs and a 27.2% reduction in Orange Park.

Overall crime numbers across just about every category were down from the previous year.

“I would have to say that at the state level I think a lot of is, we have very good training in the state of Florida for our law enforcement academies and our officers,” said Green Cove Springs Police Department Chief Derek Asdot. “When you couple that with some of the technology advances that we've had in our field in the last 10 years, I think it’s kind of the perfect storm to have people that are well trained, well placed with technology at their fingertips be able to utilize those resources to be able to deter crime and solve crime. “

One of the technology items to which Asdot makes reference is the Mobile Data Terminals in the police vehicles which provide visual representation of individuals with a state ID as well as other information such as possible outstanding warrants, etc.

Another is the automatic license plate reader, which provides detailed information on the vehicle, as well as sometimes on the driver.

“Information is much more readily available than ever before,” said Asdot.

Asdot and his officers are very active in the community.

“In Green Cove, what have here, we have a very, very good relationship with our community,” Asdot said. “We don’t just go out and talk to people when we need them; we talk to them all the time. We’re public servants. We serve the community, and we take great pride in that.”

Sgt. Cody Monroe, the public information officer for the Orange Park Police Department, shares similar sentiments.

The OPPD is engaged in community events which they believe plays a key role in civilian cooperation to prevent and solve crimes.

Endeavors like Coffee with a Cop are designed to make the public feel more comfort and trust in police.

Code enforcement is another method of crime reduction according to Monroe. Constantly attending to small items like improper signage, noise complaints and animal complaints increase the quality of life for residents and potentially cut down on future crime.

As for the overall decrease, police departments in neighboring areas share intelligence. This helps crime trends from spreading.

Even though overall numbers are down, violent crime has seen the smallest decrease. That seems mainly to be due to domestic violence increasing by 0.9% compared to the previous year. The biggest jump was in the category of fondling, which saw a 25% increase.

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