HCSO Reports 50 Percent Drop In Area Crime Since 2007

By Tamas Mondovics

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office was pleased to announce that its deputies are making a difference in the quality of life in our county.

Led by Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee, who has just begun his third term, the department has seen the reduction of overall crime in Hillsborough County for the sixth straight year.

“While compared to 2011, the overall crime in 2012 was reduced by 7.2 percent and, since 2007, crime in the county has dropped by more than half, or 53.2 percent,” said HCSO spokes person Larry McKinnon.

With a population of 848,660 residents in unincorporated Hillsborough County, the number of victims of crimes was also reduced from 21,617 in 2011 to 20,072 the year 2012, which equals 23.6 victims of crime per 1000 residents down from 25.9 the year before the report said.

“This violent crime rate is the lowest violent crime rate since recording started in 1985,” McKinnon said.

It is further reported by the department that there are 1.5 deputies per 1,000 residents in Hillsborough County, which is also lower than the national average for law enforcement agencies of 2.5 officers per capita.

McKinnon emphasized that while Hillsborough County’s population grew, the number of deputies on the street has not, concluding that such numbers are credited to the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office who are working, not only harder, but smarter to reduce crime.

For the recent results, the department also gives credit to the dedication, commitment and the efforts of the many community partners that includes Neighborhood Watch, Business Watch, Crime Stoppers and Citizen Patrol.

“Your eyes and ears let us know about suspicious activity and persons,” McKinnon said. “You reacted, and we acted. But we also redefined how we battle crime, from being less reactive to being more proactive.”

Sheriff Gee has been speaking highly of the department’s success of Intelligence-Led Policing— instituted in 2009—a policing model focusing on the small percentage of those who commit crimes and developing tactical methods to monitor, catch and jail them and it is working.

Detectives and crime analysts at the Intelligence Nexus Center, or LINC, sift through criminal intelligence, and then relay information to supervisors who craft decisions based on the best use of resources and devise plans of action to keep our communities safe.

“Once we started focusing on the top 10 people coming up on our radar and then work with our detectives on the street, crime started to drop.” Gee said in a speech about Intelligence-Led Policing, last year.

McKinnon said that the department would like to thank everyone who helps make Hillsborough County a safer in community in which to live.

For more information about HCSO please visit www.hcso.tampa.fl.us.