NR 14-34 Brevard County’s 2013 Crime Rate Down

May 8, 2014 - 8:17 pm Author: Category:

chiefsOverall, Brevard County observed a significant 7.3% decrease in the reported Crime Rate for 2013 as compared to 2012. This is the lowest crime rate (per 100,000 residents) reported over the past 18 years.

The Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) contains official data on crime that is reported to law enforcement agencies across the United States. UCR is a summary-based reporting system, with data relating to city, county, state, and other geographic levels. UCR is used as an indicator of criminal activity. Florida UCR numbers reflect the crimes reported by law enforcement agencies to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Crime statistics are compiled from UCR data and published annually by the FBI. UCR focuses on 7 major crimes, which include: homicide, robbery, forcible rape, burglary, aggravated assault, larceny/theft, and arson. The Crime Rate per 100,000 residents is calculated by dividing the Total Index of Crimes reported by the population.

While there are many factors that have aided in lowering the crime rate, collective partnerships between Brevard County Law Enforcement agencies have been one of the most impacting. By partnering together with programs like the GAMEOVER Task Force, the Economic Crimes Task Force, and one of the first in the country Crime Prevention Task Force, Brevard County Law Enforcement agencies have worked together to protect the citizens of Brevard County.

For example, the GAMEOVER Task Force and the Graffiti Busters Program where initiated to combat violent crime and gang activity within Brevard County. Resources from various agencies were used to identify, monitor, and arrest violent offenders. By working together and sharing resources, intelligence information, and analysis, inter-agency communication was greatly enhanced and the goal of safer communities and a safer county has been realized. The initiative was designed to measure success not by the quantity of arrests, but in the quality of arrests made. By targeting and aggressively pursuing the “worst of the worst” criminals, a clear message is sent to criminals that Brevard law enforcement agencies are serious about taking them out of the game.

In 2013, Brevard County’s law enforcement community launched two new innovative partnership concepts, the Economic Crimes Task Force and the Brevard County Crime Prevention Task Force that were both designed to share resources to protect our citizens.

The Economic Crime Unit is responsible for investigating identity theft, exploitation of elderly, schemes to defraud, income tax fraud, public assistance fraud, money laundering, and/or any substantial fraudulent type crimes where the victims suffer a loss. This initiative, through a three-prong approach of coordinated efforts in the areas of Aggressive Investigation, Victim Advocacy, and Prevention demonstrates a “Best Practice” approach to combating this pressing problem. In their first eight months of operation the team members initiated over 600 cases where Brevard County citizens had been victimized.

The Brevard County Crime Prevention Task Force is a multi-agency partnership designed to work collaboratively on crime prevention initiatives in an effort to reduce crime throughout Brevard County. In addition to the creation of consistent crime prevention messaging, the partnership works collectively to develop innovative crime prevention programs for our communities. The Task Force serves as a force multiplier in the area of Crime Prevention for all participating agencies and their communities. Combining personnel and resources allows each participating member to broaden their respective crime prevention efforts. While developing this concept, other programs around the country were researched regarding their respective operations, effectiveness and efficiency. While other prevention programs exist, this concept appears to be the first where multiple law enforcement agencies, volunteers, and citizens have partnered for the purpose of reducing crime. This unique concept is based upon educating our citizens and equipping them with the knowledge and tools necessary to safeguard themselves, their families and their homes.

Through an aggressive prevention program we provide our citizens with the information needed to protect themselves from becoming a victim. Our advocacy program provides victims with the resources needed to recover from their losses while our investigative efforts identify and arrest those who prey upon our citizens.

Each of these initiatives were created using existing personnel with no additional financial impact to the citizens of Brevard.

Sheriff Wayne Ivey stated, “I am so proud of the cooperative initiatives between Brevard’s entire law enforcement communities. The efforts of Brevard County’s law enforcement officers, coupled with strong prison sentences for violent offenders, are making a difference. If we keep violent criminals behind bars, the crime rate goes down. It is really that simple. Criminals have no boundaries, so partnerships with law enforcement and our citizens are vital to lowering our crime rate and making Brevard a safe place to live, work and raise our families.”

Rockledge Police Chief Joseph LaSata stated, “Brevard’s successful crime prevention achievements are apparent county-wide. The success is attributable in part to the wide range of comprehensive services provided by law enforcement, coupled with the experience and resources needed to make those priorities a reality. Brevard has a crime prevention model that works, and we are very proud to be a part of such a successful partnership.”

Cocoa Police Department Acting Chief Michael Cantaloupe stated, “The cooperative efforts of Brevard’s law enforcement agencies are making our communities safer. The aggressive response to violent criminals coupled with effective crime prevention and increased outreach programs for our at-risk youth is truly making a difference.”

Palm Bay Police Department Chief Doug Muldoon stated, “The Palm Bay Police Department has an outstanding working relationship with all of Brevard law enforcement agencies, which makes our efforts to put the criminals in jail so much easier and is reflective of our UCR countywide.”

If you have any questions regarding this release, please contact Deputy Maria Fernez at 321-636-4665.