Sheriff’s Office: County crime down 12.5%


Although the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has not publicly released its Major Index Crimes report for the state, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office has received information from that agency which indicates crime in the areas patrolled by the Sheriff’s Office went down in 2013 by 12.5% over the previous year.

 “This is tremendous news,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay. The year in question was his first year as Sheriff of Monroe County. “This is a substantial reduction in major crimes here and we should all be proud of the hard work that brought this about.”

Sheriff Ramsay attributed the lower rate of crime to the hard work of his deputies and the close partnership his agency has with the community. Ramsay, according to spokesperson Deputy Becky Herrin, has pushed hard when it comes to cleanliness and quality of life in the Keys. He has taken the well-known “Broken Windows Theory” of crime and criminal behavior to heart and so have the people who work for him.

The Broken Windows theory posits that the appearance of disorder – including trash on the streets, graffiti and abandoned homes and vehicles – leads to more disorder and criminal behavior. It theorizes that keeping neighborhoods clean and in good shape encourages people who live there to maintain order and discourages crime from taking place.

Reduction of crime is not the only positive aspect of the FDLE report. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office saw crime clearance rates go up as well. The clearance rate for crime in Monroe County increased from 24.4% in 2012 to 29.7% in 2013.

While the FDLE information is preliminary and has not officially been released to the public, it shows the following numbers for specific Major Index Crimes in Monroe County:

  • Total Index crimes went down, from 1,953 in 2012 to 1,708 in 2013.
  • Murder, Forcible Sex Offenses and Robbery all saw no change from 2012 to 2013.
  • Aggravated Assaults increased by 20%, from 143 to 172.
  • Burglaries decreased by 12.2%, from 344 to 302.
  • Larceny (which includes all types of theft related property crimes) went down by 17%, from 1,378 to 1,144.
  • Motor Vehicle Theft increased by 4.2%, from 48 to 50.


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