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  • Florida

    My brother has decided that he wants to get into law enforcement. He is looking at departments in Florida. I have been looking at crime statistics all over florida and I have found that crime rates in most places seem to be extremely high. My question for those of you from FL is, are these statistics misleading? Are there parts of the state where you can live without bars on your windows? I have been trying to tell my brother that he has to find someplace where he can settle down and live. Right now though he's just all fired up looking at departments. What can I say? I made that mistake too.
    "Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion."
    -Norman Schwartzkopf

  • #2
    I'm not sure where you are looking or getting your numbers from, but crime in most areas of FL is on the low end of the scale.

    In fact, a city in my county was named the safest of it's size a couple of years ago.


    • #3
      He is looking specifically at the St Petersburg area. I know sometimes statistics can be misleading though. But I do remember hearing that either last year or the year before that FL had the highest per capita violent crime rate in the nation.
      But I also know that Cape Coral (?) I believe is supposed to be one of the safest in the US. Correct me if I'm wrong.
      What about the more major metropolitan centers though???
      "Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion."
      -Norman Schwartzkopf


      • #4
        Crime rates are distorted in tourist areas because the total number of crimes reported is divided by the number or residents, without taking tourists into account.

        For example: a town only has 100 actual residents, but sees 10,000 tourists every year. Let's say that 5% of the people that are in the town in a given year are the victims of crime. That means that there have been 500 crimes reported to police, but the town's population only has 100 people. The official crime rate will indicate that, on average, citizens of this town are victims of crime 5 times a year.

        "Bones heal. Chicks dig scars. And the United States of America has the best doctor-to-daredevil ratio in the world!" -- Captain Lance Murdoch, The Simpsons


        • #5
          I lived in Fort Myers from 92-95. We never had to put bars on our windows!
          "It is easier for a king to have a lie believed than a beggar to spread the truth."---Robert Strecker


          • #6
            Unless it's changed, stay away from TAMPA. When I was a deputy in Florida('90-'92), we were always hearing 'how bad' Tampa was. Orlando was VERY nice, though....especially for a city its size.....unless THAT has changed too.
            "When you guys get home and face an anti-war protester, look him in the eyes and shake his hand. Then, wink at his girlfriend, because she knows she's dating a *****."
            -Commanding General, 1st Marine Division


            • #7
              Your brother needs to look at the national picture.

              St. Pete's 2002 modified crime index number is 10,770

              I counted at least 38 cities (100,000 population or more) with higher numbers, including:

              Albuquerque- 18178
              Atlanta- 23953
              Baltimore- 27459
              Columbus, Ohio- 31509
              Dallas- 54367
              Detroit- 43800
              Honolulu- 27879
              Houston- 74324
              Indianapolis- 22056
              Las Vegas- 26735
              Memphis- 31801
              Oklahoma City- 23080
              Omaha- 14315
              Phoenix- 55199
              Portland, Oregon- 22231
              San Antonio- 46465
              San Diego- 24865
              Seattle- 21499
              St. Louis- 24381

              And the BIG WINNER------ Los Angeles- 95634

              St. Pete ain't all that bad.


              • #8

                This is where I got some of my info. I do have a problem with some of their rankings in which I am familiar with the area though. Niteshift, where did you get those stats from?
                I am not accusing anyone of living in a $h!thole, obviously I know where I live , I am just doing research. If I trusted some desk jockey's stats, I wouldn't be asking.

                [ 05-05-2003, 03:18 AM: Message edited by: bmbl ]
                "Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion."
                -Norman Schwartzkopf


                • #9
                  Those are from the FBI Uniform Crime report. They are the most current numbers (first 6 months of 2002).

                  BTW, I'm not busting your b#lls, it's just our crime rate is about as low as it has been. It has dropped fairly steadily over the past 15 years (about the time we passed a liberal CCW law).

                  [ 05-05-2003, 05:02 AM: Message edited by: Niteshift ]


                  • #10
                    Unless it's changed, stay away from TAMPA. When I was a deputy in Florida('90-'92), we were always hearing 'how bad' Tampa was.
                    This is a post I made a couple of months ago regarding crime in the south:

                    From a very funny novel by Tom Dorsey (a Florida writer in the vein of Carl Hiaasen and Dave Barry) called "Triggerfish Twist":

                    Jim Davenport had never planned on moving to Tampa, or even Florida for that matter. Everything he knew about the state came from the Best Places to Live in America magazine that now sat on the Aerostar's dashboard. Right there on page 17, across from the feature on the joy of Vermon'ts covered bridges, was the now famous annual ranking of the finest cities in the U.S. of A. to raise a family. And coming in at number three with a bullet -- just below Seattle and San Francisco -- was the shocker on the list, rocketing up from last year' 497th position: Tampa, Florida. When the magazine hit the stands, champagne corks flew in the chamber of commerce. The mayor called a press conference, and the city quickly threw together a band and fireworks at a riverfront park; the news was so big it even caused some people to get laid.

                    Nobody knew it was all a mistake. The magazine had recently been acquired by a German media conglomerate, which purchased the latest spelling and grammar-check software and dismissed its editors and writers, replacing them with distracted high school studends in Walkman headsets. The tabular charts on the new software had baffled a student with green hair, who inadvertently moved all of Tampa's crime statistics a decimal point to the left.

                    The entire novel is based around how bad the crime is in Tampa.

                    Caution and worry never accomplished anything.


                    • #11
                      Crime in Tampa is no worse than in a lot of large cities, less than many others.


                      • #12
                        Just something about St. Pete...

                        Their police department has been having lots of problems recently, basically stemming from bad policies that make officer morale extremely low. If you look at the FDLE's statistics on attrition, you'll see that St. Pete has a VERY high amount compared to other departments in the Bay Area.

                        People have said bad things about the crime in Tampa, but think about these thigs:
                        • TPD's retirement system is the best in Florida (70% after 20 years)
                        • TPD's pay is just about the best of any agency outside of South Florida
                        • TPD's supervisors and administrators have the highest base pay in Florida
                        • TPD works a 4 days on - 4 days off schedule
                        When I was going through the application process with them, I rode several different times both in District One and District Two. We didn't get any really bad calls, and every officer I came in contact with liked working for TPD. While every department has its problems, the pay and benefits there are second to none in Florida.


                        • #13
                          Living in the area in question, I would have to say, as a layperson that Tampa and St. Pete SEEM to be roughly equal. You have your bad areas and your good areas. Personally, I live closer to the Tampa side and have been the victim of crime once in the 16 years I've been back in the area. That was a burglary by the local teenage crackhead.

                          I will say that I am vigilant about locking doors, I have 2 German Shpeherds, a security system and a safe full of firearms. I have no bars on my windows and will not live in a firetrap home that has them.

                          KIRCH--Have you read all the Tim Dorsey books? I just about pee my pants every time I read one and what's really funny is that you can recognize some of the local characters. I can't remember what book it was, but he did a hysterical story about the Medfly spraying they did a few years back. "It's so safe, you can drink it!" I'm so glad to know I'm not the only person with such a twisted sense of humor.
                          "Sometimes, I guess there just aren't enough rocks." -Forrest Gump


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