Crime Drops in Pensacola
Crime in Pensacola was down 14% across the board in 2013, compared to the previous year. That’s according to the Pensacola Police Department’s Uniform Crime Report.
The numbers are based on the 2012 population for the City of Pensacola, which was given at 52,340. Inside the overall numbers for violent and non-violent crime, there were 319 residential burglaries reported within city limits in 2013 compared with 525 the previous year. Police Chief Chip Simmons says that’s a 39% reduction.
Seven homicides in 2012 dropped to three last year, and arrests were up 6% at nearly 3,400. The clearance rate – cases in which an arrest was made – totaled 40%, compared to the statewide mark of 25%.
Another success story, says the Chief, has been teaming up with other local, state and federal authorities as the Regional Gun Crimes Task Force.“
We started to do that, just as a test to see if it would work,” said Simmons. “It’s been so successful that [Escambia County] Sheriff [David] Morgan and I have decided we’re going to keep that thing going. We’ve put some bad guys in jail for a long time.”
Much of the extra work has involved overtime for personnel, funded by the city and by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. When the federal money runs out, Simmons is hopeful that the grant can be renewed for the next couple of years.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will review, record and release the department’s report with those from other law enforcement agencies statewide within the next few months.