Although the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has not publicly released their Major Index Crimes report for the state, preliminary information indicates crime in the areas patrolled by the Sheriff’s Office went down in 2015 by 8.3% over the previous year.
Sheriff Rick Ramsay attributes the lower rate of crime to the hard work of his deputies and the close partnership his agency has with the community. Since he became sheriff, the rate of Major Index Crimes, as tracked by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, has decreased a total of 26.7% in areas patrolled by the Sheriff’s Office.
“I believe the hard work of our deputies, and the close working relationship we have with the community we serve is responsible for the crime rate continuing to decrease year after year,” he said. “I think we are on the right track with our community initiatives and there is no reason why this downward trend in crime cannot continue into the future if we all work hard together.”
Preliminary information also shows the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office saw crime clearance rates increase, another positive trend. The clearance rate for crime in Monroe County has increased steadily from 24.2% in 2012 to 30.7% in 2015. This equates to an overall increase in the solve rate of 26.7% since 2013.
There are two ways to clear a case: by arresting someone for the crime, or by designating the crime "cleared by exception", which means an offender has been identified but there is something beyond the agency's control which keeps that offender from being arrested. An example would be the offender is dead, extradition is denied, or the case involves a juvenile offender who cannot be charged for some reason.
“This number – our clearance rate – is of particular significance to us. It tells us that not only is the crime rate steadily decreasing, but we are getting better at solving the crimes that occur,” said the Sheriff. “We are putting the criminals in jail where they belong, where they can’t prey on our law abiding citizens and visitors,” he said.
While this Major Crime Index information is preliminary and has not officially been released by FDLE to the public, Sheriff’s Office records show the following numbers for specific Major Index Crimes in Monroe County:
• Total Index crimes went down, from 1,607 in 2014 to 1,474 om 2015
• Murder increased from 0 in 2014 to 2 in 2015
• Forcible Sex Offenses increased from 17 in 2014 to 21 in 2015
• Robbery decreased from 21 in 2014 to 10 in 2015
• Aggravated Assaults increased from 150 in 2014 to 171
• Burglaries decreased from 257 in 2014 to 234 in 2015
• Larceny (which includes all types of theft related property crimes) went down from 1,102 to 1,008
• Motor Vehicle Theft decreased by from 60 to 28