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Wakulla Times April 2011-FDLE Crime Statistics

WAKULLA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE CLEARED MORE CASES IN 2010 AND SERIOUS CRIME DECLINED

As the calendar changed from December 2010 to January 2011, the Records Division at the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office submitted our crime statistics to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). The statistical section of FDLE combs through the information sent to Tallahassee and compiles an extensive report which is eventually available to the public through the FDLE web site.

But before it becomes public, law enforcement officials have an opportunity to review the numbers and see how our county compares to the previous year. The FDLE comparisons paint a picture of fewer crimes in 2010 compared to 2009 and a high clearance of the crimes that have been committed.

One of the major goals of my office is Keeping Wakulla Safe. Lower crime rates keep the quality of life high making Wakulla County a desirable place to live. We are pleased that Wakulla County’s crime rate declined in 2010 and the number of cases my office was able to clear increased, according to statistics compiled by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). The statistics will be compiled into an annual report noting crime trends in Florida. The annual report will be released later this year.

I am proud that our serious crimes, referred to as “Index Crimes” by the FDLE have also declined. Most importantly, we did not have a single murder in 2010 after reporting one in November 2009.
The total number of index offenses, which include murder, forcible sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft, were down 8.7 percent from 838 in 2009 to 765 in 2010.

Looking at the breakdown, we had one murder in 2009 and none in 2010. Forcible sex offenses increased from 26 to 28. Robbery decreased 58.3 percent from 12 in 2009 to 5 in 2010. Aggravated assaults were down 37.6 percent from 85 to 53. Burglaries were down 26.2 percent from 187 in 2009 to 138 in 2010. Larceny was up slightly at 2.6 percent from 503 to 516. Motor vehicle theft increased by one case from 24 in 2009 to 25 in 2010.

In 2009, the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office cleared 32.1 percent of our crimes while in 2010 the WCSO cleared 37.9 percent of crimes.
Looking at other sections of the crime report, domestic violence cases were down 17.6 percent as 68 cases were reported in 2009 and 56 were reported in 2010. Aggravated assaults were down from 13

in 2009 to seven in 2010. Simple assaults were down from 52 to 48.
The total number of index crimes varies each year but we were pleased to discover that we had 73 fewer crimes in 2010 compared to 2009. The number of violent crimes was 86 which made 2010 the year with the fewest when comparing all years back to 2005.

Crime trends also compare crime rates which calculate the total number of crimes, both violent and non violent, and create a crime rate per 100,000 residents. The chances of a Wakulla County resident becoming a victim of a crime decreased 10.4 percent in 2010 after increasing 10 percent from 2008 to 2009. The bottom line for residents to know is that you stand a smaller chance of becoming a victim of a crime in our community.

Of the 56 domestic violence cases reported in 2010, 32 were committed by a spouse, 12 by a parent, five by a child, three by a sibling, one by “another” family member, two by cohabitants and one by “other.” There were 42 arrests made.

Of the total of 92 crimes committed by juveniles, 77 were committed by males and 15 by females. Of the 653 adult crimes, 477 were committed by males and 176 were committed by females. There were 80 juvenile crimes in 2009 and 92 in 2010, but the increase in juvenile crimes was offset by a decrease in adult crimes which dropped from 717 in 2009 to 653 in 2010. The 8.9 percent adult decrease translated into a 6.5 percent overall decrease.

The FDLE also keeps track of the number of law enforcement officers who were killed or assaulted from our department during the calendar year. Thankfully we did not have any deaths to report and only 12 cases where a deputy was assaulted. Of the 12 cases, eight of them did not involve any injury and the other four involved minor injuries. All of the law enforcement victims were white males.

A total of $867,973 worth of property was reported stolen in 2010 and the WCSO recovered $229,116 worth of property.
The WCSO investigated one homicide during the year. It involved a 22-year-old white female driver and a 23-year-old white male victim who died in what was ruled a vehicular manslaughter.
Once FDLE puts together the final report for 2010 it will be released to the public and posted on their web site. The Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office will be able to see how it compares to other law enforcement agencies and we will be able to make a comparison of how safe citizens are in Wakulla compared to the other 66 Florida counties.

We are confident Wakulla County will compare favorably with other counties as the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office continues to keep Wakulla Safe.

 

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