The Florida Department of Law Enforcement yesterday released crime statistics for counties and cities, showing an impressive decrease for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office for the first half of 2016.
Between January and June of this year, areas of the county patrolled by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office showed a decrease in major crimes of 19.3% over the same time period in 2015. Most of that decrease was in property crimes like theft, grand theft and burglary.
And the clearance rate for crimes in the Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction was an impressive 28.9%. This is slightly lower than the same period last year, but still considerably higher than before Sheriff Rick Ramsay took office, when the clearance rate for crimes was consistently running at 23% or less. It is also higher than the overall state clearance rate of 25.7%.
“We are continually working to increase our clearance rates in Monroe County,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay. “Clearing crimes in our highly transient county is tough – many South Florida criminals come here to commit crimes and then return home to other jurisdictions; this, coupled with transient victims who often leave and return home to other states or countries makes solving crimes difficult.”
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office does considerably better at clearing cases than other counties in Florida. For instance Orange County reported a 24.1% clearance rate; Miami-Dade County a 18.7% rate; Palm Beach County a rate of 20.8% clearance rate.
There are two ways to clear a case: by arrest or "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 that the offender is dead, extradition from another jurisdiction is denied, or the case involves a juvenile offender who cannot be charged for some reason.
“I am very happy to see such positive numbers in the first six months of 2016,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay. Our efforts at cleaning up our community and making it more safe is having a consistent and visible effect on our crime,” he said.