Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office is proud to report another drop in crime. Deputies say the success is contributed to a the institution of  Intelligence-Led Policing, a model set in motion in 2009.

For the fourth straight year, crime is down in Hillsborough County.

While the Sheriff’s Office and its dedicated deputies continue to make great strides in crime reduction, credit is also given to the extra eyes and ears of community partners such as Neighborhood Watch, Business Watch, Crime Stoppers and Citizen Patrol.

“Community support is vital to the department’s success,” said HCSO District II Major Clyde Eisenberg, a 30-year veteran, 24 of which in District II. “They are the eyes and ears who let us know about suspicious activity and persons, all of which led to the district’s crime reduction rate.”

Eisenberg  proudly referred to the most recent statistics, which he said gives testimony to the work being done not only in District II, but throughout the County’s four different districts.

In 2010, the total number of crimes, compared to 2009, was reduced by 16.2 percent. Eisenberg was pleased to note that the overall crime in the district had dropped by 17.8 percent in 2011.

Some of the specifics include a major drop in murder (58 percent), rape (21 percent), robbery (39.2 percent) and aggravated assault (28 percent).

While even just one of the above crimes is one too many, but the effort and diligence of finding new ways to put the bad guys behind bars and bring down the crime rate is what counts and it does not go unnoticed. 

Eisenberg explained that the decline in crime rate specifically can be attributed to the department’s  the institution of  Intelligence-Led Policing, which focuses on the small percentage of those who commit crimes and developing tactical methods to monitor, catch and jail them.

“There is a small percentage of people that actually commit major crimes,” he said, but added that the focus continues on being more proactive. “It is working.”

Referring to Hillsborough County’s population growth, compared to the number of deputies serving on the street, the Major emphasized that the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office are working harder to reduce crime with one important addition.

“The difference is that we are doing it smarter,” he said.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office District II covers roughly 250 sq. mi. of eastern Hillsborough County, including Brandon, Seffner, Valrico, Dover and Lithia.

Besides the daily routine of his patrol deputies serving the more than 200,000 residents, Eisenberg also gave credit to the detectives and special units that prepare and work relentlessly on behalf of the community.

A good example of such preparation is the upcoming republican convention scheduled to be held in Tampa, requiring even more for each deputy, many of whom will work with no days off throughout the duration of the event.

Eisenberg specifically wants to remind residents of the basics, “Keep your valuables safe, vehicles locked, garage doors closed and secured, not to mention—if  you own one—keep guns in a safe and most importantly, don’t take matters into your own hands.”

A recent incident involving HCSO Deputy Craig Lariz serves as a reminder the what law enforcement officers face on a daily basis.

According to reports, while in the area of McIntosh Rd. and I-4, Lariz observed a stolen motorcycle being operated by George Farmer, 46, of Zephyrhills. 

After Farmer exited Interstate 4 east bound on Alexander Street, Lariz attempted to stop Farmer.

Farmer,  however, used the motorcycle as a weapon, ramming into the deputy’s motorcycle. As they both came to a stop, Farmer took a fighting stance toward Lariz deputies said.

Lariz engaged Farmer and was assisted by other deputies that had arrived and Farmer was into custody. Lariz suffered minor abrasions in the incident.

Deputies found a large quantity of a methamphetamine as well as cash in Farmer’s possession.

That was not the first time for Farmer to find himself in this situation. According to a recent HCSO report, Farmer was released from State Prison on January 26, 2011 after serving one year for Fleeing Law Enforcement and Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer.

The incident also confirms Major Eisenberg’s comments on repeat offenders who make up the majority  of the crimes.

To contact District II’s non-emergency number, call 247-8500. The office is located at 2310 N. Faulkenburg Rd. in Tampa.

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