FCSO Holds ‘Addressing Crime Together’ Meeting To Discuss Crime & Initiatives

By on April 21, 2018 in WNDB News

Palm Coast, FL – Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly recently attended an “Addressing Crime Together” community meeting to discuss crime trends, department initiatives, and changes in domestic violence case policy.

On Thursday afternoon, Staly addressed community members at the Hilton Garden Inn in Palm Coast. He discussed crime trends in the area, the initiatives the FCSO has employed to address crime, changes to how domestic violence cases are handled, and new department initiatives for 2018.

Staly first talked about how the FCSO implemented the Intelligence Led Policing model CRIMEMAPS in 2017. CRIMEMAPS is weekly meeting on Wednesdays that gives deputies, detectives, and analysts information about crimes, suspects to watch out for, and crime reduction strategies. According to the Sheriff’s Office, most suspects discussed at the meeting are caught before the end of the week.

(Photo courtesy FCSO)

Staly said that crimes in 2018 have decreased 18% from the first quarter of 2017. The occurrence of robberies, burglaries, and stolen vehicles is also much lower than in the past year. However, car breaks are up this year. Staly says the increase is due to people not locking their doors and he indicated that 80% of car breaks could be avoided if people were to do so.

Arrests are also up since last year. The Flagler County Jail now averages 215 inmates per day and has been recorded as having as high as 230 inmates in custody. When Staly took office in January 2017, the jail had an average population of 130 inmates.

While calls to the Sheriff’s Office are up 12%, response time has vastly improved. In January 2017, FCSO response time was over five minutes. As of February 2018, the average response time for an emergency call is three-minutes and 23 seconds. Staly attributes this accomplishment to a new District policing model and budget increases allocated by the Flagler County Board of County Commissioners and the City of Palm Coast. The larger budget allowed the department to hire more staff. The Sheriff’s Office also received a grant to hire a new Domestic Violence Detective and Domestic Violence Crime Analyst to solely focus on domestic violence cases.

Staly then introduced a couple new initiatives the department wants to implement in 2018. He announced an expansion of the Traffic Unit that will include five new deputies who will patrol Palm Coast in white Mustangs. The Unit will target speed enforcement, DUI enforcement, and aggressive driving. According to Staly, there have already been 685 crashes and five traffic fatalities in the county so far this year. The Sheriff also introduced the Problem Area Crime Enforcement (PACE) Unit. This unit will target recurring crime problems, criminal activity in specific locations, repeat offenders, and current crime trends.

As of Memorial Day weekend, the FCSO will also have full-time Beach/Marine Unit, patrol boats, a new airboat, and a four-wheel-drive Jeep. The unit will gain full access to Flagler’s beaches and waterways.

“I am very proud of how much our agency was able to accomplish in my first year as Sheriff and I expect only better things to come in the future,” said Staly. “I have a great team and they are working very hard to serve and protect the citizens of Flagler County.”

Bunnell Police Chief Tom Foster was also present to give a recap of his department’s efforts and successes. From the start of 2018, the City of Bunnell’s crime rate has dropped 33%.

Flagler College Professor Dr. Joe Saviak moderated the event. Dr. Saviak is the Assistant Director of Public Administration at Flagler College. He has also previously served as a Senior Administrator in local government.

(Photo of Bunnell Police Chief Tom Foster and Flagler College Professor Dr. Joe Saviak courtesy FCSO)

To watch the meeting, visit the FCSO’s YouTube Channel. To view the PowerPoint presentation from the meeting, click here. If you wish to stay up-to-date with news from the FCSO, sign up for their newsletter here. The FCSO also has a Facebook, Twitter, and an app available on the Google Play store and the Apple App store.

Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2018.

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