Public safety workshop provides update on crime initiatives

By: Mariel Carbone
November 8, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV)—City leaders and local law enforcement agencies met Wednesday afternoon to discuss progress on local crime initiatives.

At the table was Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo, Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil, State Attorney Jack Campbell, and representatives from Crime Stoppers, FSU police, FAMU police, TCC Police and more.

Some noted that although crime is an issue, the acts are not random acts and that residents have no reason to fear.

"We are not the wild wild west. You don't need to walk around being afraid of our community,” said Commissioner Curtis Richardson. "We don't have roving groups of gangs praying on citizens wherever they are."

According to data provided during the workshop, there have been 21 homicides and 28 shootings throughout the community so far this year. That includes information from all responding agencies. In total, there have been 53 victims.

So far this year, violent crime is up 1.2 percent in Tallahassee. When adding in crime in the Leon County crime rate, the total city-county crime rate is up only 0.1 percent. Non-violent crime is down 14.2 percent for city-county rates.

The group also discussed some of its latest initiatives, including the placing of cameras at six high crime intersections in the Bond Community. Those include Floral and Saxon, Floral and Russell, Osceola and Holton, Osceola and Poppy, Saxon and Nassau, and Gamble and Perry.

The cameras will be in public areas and not pointed at private property. They won't be actively monitored and will be used to deter crime as well as solve crime.

"One, it'll hopefully deter some criminal activity. People see the cameras and obviously when people commit a crime they don't want to be caught. And in the event that a crime does occur they'll be recording the information and it'll give us a better ability to follow up,” said Chief DeLeo.

DeLeo said he hopes to purchase ten more cameras in the near future. The cameras cost around $3,000 each.

The group also discussed the TEMPO program, which targets “disconnected youth.” Disconnected youth are those ages 18 to 24 who are unemployed and not in school; the group is typically the people that are most affect or involved in gun violence. The TEMPO program helps assist those people by providing bus passes, assisting with GED’s and more.

"Education is a key component to keeping people out of the criminal justice system and more productive in the community,” said DeLeo.

The commission voted to approve $50,000 to help support the program. It also plans to continue engaging with the community to solve the issue of crime.

"To the general public, to the chamber community, and the various chambers that we may have here in this city... what obligations they might be able to stand up and help,” said Mayor Andrew Gillum.

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