Leon County has seen increases in violent crimes since 2014. The Leon County Sheriff’s Department has implemented programs in the area to help reduce those rates.
Leon County murders, rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, larceny, and motor vehicle thefts all increased from 2014 by at least 10 percent. The only crime rate to decrease was burglary.
So why has Leon County’s crime rate risen?
Sheriff's Office Spokesman Grady Jordan says, “There are, you know, socioeconomic factors, there’s job numbers, there’s any different levels of impact from different environmental issues.”
Jordan says the Sheriff’s Office has implemented community outreach programs to try to curb these factors. Some programs include 50-sheriff youth mentoring, and a web-based program that allows Sheriffs to refer families in need to the proper help, such as job-related and mental health resources. There is a similar program in place at the Tallahassee Police Department.
Jordan says officers don’t know how many crimes have been “prevented” because of the programs. He says that’s harder to track.
“You don’t know what someone was about to do that didn’t do because that Deputy was sitting in the parking lot or that Deputy was out walking the street or making contact with someone else, and so that’s a very hard question to necessarily quantify,” Jordan says.
Sheriff Mike Wood has also announced that the department will be implementing body-worn cameras in an effort to promote transparency with citizens. These cameras will be in use by the end of the year.