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'I Hear The Sirens': DeSantis Addresses Tallahassee Gun Violence, Offers FDLE's Help

Ryan Dailey

A recent rash of gun violence in Tallahassee hasn’t been lost on Governor Ron DeSantis. The governor was asked after Tuesday’s cabinet meeting about crime in the City.

DeSantis was asked by a Tallahassee Democrat reporter, who presented the governor with 2019’s numbers: 61 shootings in the area resulting in 19 deaths. Those shootings are listed, along with their location, on a datamap maintained by the Democrat.

DeSantis’ response? He’s noticed.

“I hear the sirens at night – at night, it’s pretty constant for that,” the governor said.

DeSantis acknowledged he made crime in Tallahassee a point of attack against then-Mayor Andrew Gillum on the 2018 gubernatorial campaign trail.

“That was an issue that was politically involved in the last campaign,” DeSantis said, then quickly returning to referencing current City leadership. “I’m willing to work with them, I mean obviously we have a state law enforcement agency, but I see it, for sure.”

DeSantis says the state is willing to help out, but gave no specifics about how the Florida Department of Law Enforcement would assist local law enforcement agencies, or in what capacity.

“The City folks can do – if they want help from the state on something, we’re willing to look at it,” DeSantis told reporters. “We’ve got some folks with FDLE who do this stuff a lot – and we’d be happy … It’s not for me to micromanage how they run their city.”

WFSU has reached out to Mayor John Dailey for a response to the governor’s offer, but did not hear back Tuesday afternoon.

Ryan Dailey is a reporter/producer for WFSU/Florida Public Radio. After graduating from Florida State University, Ryan went into print journalism working for the Tallahassee Democrat for five years. At the Democrat, he worked as a copy editor, general assignment and K-12 education reporter.