Crime Rate Lowest in Years in Gadsden County

By: Lanetra Bennett
August 20, 2014

Gadsden County, FL - There's a corner in Gadsden County that resident Linda Jones describes as "active"; and she doesn't mean that in a good way.

She says, "The crowd that used to be there, they're not there anymore." That, she says, makes her feel safe now. "It makes it okay for my grandchildren and I to walk to the store. It means that it's okay to walk pass that corner because nobody's going to proposition you. It's okay to take a stroll."

Crime has disappeared from more than just that one corner. "The violent crime here in Gadsden County is down tremendously." Says, Gadsden County Sheriff Morris Young.

Florida's annual crime report shows there were 52 violent crimes reported in the first half of this year. In the same time period last year, there were 57; 191 in all of 2013.

In 2005 -- the most violent year within the decade -- that number was 478.

Comparing 2013 and 2005, murders went down from 6 to 3; rape from 24 to 19; robbery from 55 to 20; aggravated assault from 393 to 149.

The report shows zero murders for the first half of 2014.

Sheriff Young says he's beefed up patrolling over the years and started a task force. He says, "They go out in numbers. We look for wanted folk and some of the worst people int he community and we try to pull them out and place them in jail."

The sheriff says they've also done a lot of education on crime throughout the communities. He also credits community members for helping the crime rate go down. He says, "We try to educate them to be the police of their community. Of course, they understand that it's their own neighbors sometimes and they got to call us and let us know what's going on."

He adds, "We get anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 calls a month. So, we know that people are calling. We know that they want their community cleaned up. We go in aggressively and make sure that we get the assailants who cause problems."

Sheriff Young will be on CNN Wednesday night speaking with Don Lemon on the county's efforts on keeping the crime rate down.

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