Sarasota County’s overall crime rate continued to decline in 2013, according to a recent Sarasota County Sheriff’s report.
The Sheriff’s Office 2013 annual report highlighted the agency’s achievements last year, as well as the implementation of new tactics and technologies to continue lowering the area’s crime rate
The report details the success of the agency’s high-profile busts last year, including Operation Booster Buster — a crackdown on retail theft and organized crime that resulted in 59 arrests last August.
The report also outlined the area's continually falling crime rate under Sheriff Tom Knight’s leadership.
Sarasota County crime dropped nearly 16% in 2013 compared to 2012. Since Sheriff Knight took office in 2009, violent crime decreased 35% and total crime is down 28%.
Major crimes decreased more than 11% in 2013, and the number of violent crimes, such as murder, robbery and aggravated assault, went down nearly 16%. Burglary dropped more than 16%. The number of civil traffic citations written in 2013 was 34,415 and there were 653 DUI arrests.
While Sarasota County’s falling crime rate parallels a national trend, the percentage by which crime has fallen in the area outpaces the national average.
Knight credits programs like intelligence led policing — known as I2A — for decreasing the crime rate without requiring significant spending or manpower increases.
"Our innovative programs and public safety initiatives have had a measureable impact that citizens can see in our crime reduction alone," Knight said in a statement. "There is, however, so much more that goes on behind the scenes so the annual report is a great tool to showcase the many ways the sheriff's office serves this community."
The Sheriff’s Office 2013 annual report is available HERE.
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