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Longboat Key Police Chief Pete Cumming attributes the island’s low crime rate with technology, such as license plate recognition cameras.
Longboat Key Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2016 5 years ago

Longboat Key named safest small city

Online insurance data provider ValuePenguin has named the island the fourth safest city in Florida, and the safest small city in the state.
by: Alex Mahadevan News Innovation Editor

Longboat Key is moving up the ranks of the safest municipalities in the state, at least according to personal finance aggregator ValuePenguin.

The website listed the island as the fourth safest city in the state, according to a news release from the town. In 2015, the study ranked the Key at No. 7 in Florida.

ValuePenguin used official 2014 FBI crime statistics in the analysis, because that was the most recent data, according to its methodology in the report. Then analysts weighted violent crime at 80% and property crime at 20%.

“Though property crime is more prevalent, we figured that violent crime is more concerning to town residents,” the report states. Longboat didn’t have any violent crimes in 2014.

Police Chief Pete Cumming said the fact that the Key is an affluent barrier island with older residents, it’s hard to distinguish what contributed to Longboat rising in rank.

“It’s the chicken or the egg theory,” Cumming said “Do we have a low crime rate because we’re doing such a good job, or are we doing such a good job because we have such a low crime rate — I think it’s a combination of both.”

Technology could be a factor.

The Longboat Key Police Department uses its license plate recognition cameras to identify suspicious vehicles or solve crimes, which makes it stand out in the local barrier island community.

“Most of the bad guys who use any part of their brain will know coming out here isn’t a smart idea,” Cumming said.

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