By Tamas Mondovics

Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee is known for his love of crunching numbers, especially when the end result puts his agency on the right side of the equation, as it serves and protects those under his care. Gee was proud to announce that once again the overall crime rate for unincorporated Hillsborough County has been reduced, which would make the rate drop for the ninth straight year.

“Together, we continue to make Hillsborough County a safer place,” Gee said. Putting the numbers in perspective, compared to 2014, the overall crime rate in 2015 was reduced by three percent. The violent crime rate is also the lowest in Hillsborough County since 1985. More specifically, with last year’s 905,007 residents (an increase of 17,125 from 2014) in the unincorporated area of Hillsborough County, the number of victims of crimes was also reduced from 18,086 in 2014 to 17,552 in 2015, which equates to a total of 19.4 victims of crime per 1,000 residents versus 20.4 victims in 2014.

The news or the results of major investigations such as the arrest of dozens of violent gun wielding criminals, or the shutting down huge illegal drug grow house operations in Hillsborough County, reaching the general public could cause concern. For Gee and his more than 4,000 employees however, it is not a sign of an increase of crime, but instead the fruit of the great partnership between the public and law enforcement as well as the support of the local agencies as they work together for the benefit of all.

Gee made sure credit is given where credit is due, emphasizing what has been accomplished through community partners, such as Neighborhood Watch, Business Watch, Crime Stoppers and Citizen Patrol working together.

“We can all be proud of what we have accomplished in the past nine years,” he said.

Adding to the positive report is the fact that while Hillsborough County’s population continues to grow, the number of deputies on the street has not. HCSO’s Public information Office said that there are 1.4 deputies per 1,000 residents in Hillsborough County, which is lower than the national average for law enforcement agencies of 2.3 officers per capita.

Gee confidently addressed the future of his community he serves when he said, “I look forward to even more reductions in crime in the years to come.”