Sarasota News Leader

11/16/2012

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THE BEST KIND OF DECLINE A Sarasota County Sheriff's Office chart shows the drop in crime rates from August 2008 to August 2012. Graphic illustration courtesy of the Sheriff's Office THE COUNTY'S METAL THEFTS RATE IS DOWN 92 PERCENT AND THE OVERALL CRIME RATE IS DOWN 18 PERCENT OVER THREE YEARS By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Through a combination of crime analysis and passage of new Sarasota County ordinanc- es, the county's crime rate is down 18 per- cent over four years and the theft of metals is down 92 percent over three years, Sheriff Tom Knight told the County Commission on Nov. 14. Regarding the overall crime rate, he pointed out, "We're way ahead of the statewide aver- age." He presented the commissioners a graph showing the following decreases: robbery re- ports are down 16 percent; burglary, 24 per- cent; larceny cases, 26 percent; and motor ve- hicle thefts, 41 percent. Using a methodology called "intelligence-led policing," Knight said, he has been able to maintain a smaller workforce in comparison to the state average but with demonstrable results in fighting crime. Statewide, Knight said, the average for sher- iff's offices is 1.7 deputies per 1,000 people. For his office, he pointed out, the figure is 1.3 deputies per 1,000 people. Knight noted he also has been able to return to the county $4 million in savings from his department over his past four years in office,

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