LARGO – Part one crimes decreased by 7.62 percent in 2011 for the entire area served by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced the news Feb. 16. He said the decrease is significant on several levels.
“This is the third year in a row we have achieved a decrease in part one crimes, in spite of the many budget cuts we had to make across the agency. The three year decrease is 11.98 percent overall.”
Part one crimes are murder, forcible sex, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft.
The Sheriff’s jurisdiction includes the unincorporated area and 12 cities that have contracted with the Sheriff for primary law enforcement services. The cities are Belleair Beach, Belleair Bluffs, Dunedin, Indian Rocks Beach, Madeira Beach, North Redington Beach, Oldsmar, Redington Beach, Safety Harbor, Seminole and South Pasadena.
The Sheriff attributes the decrease to a successful restructuring of the agency, which focused on the efficient delivery of public safety services even with a decrease in staff.
“We have become a leaner operation, and by aggressively targeting hot spots and using proactive law enforcement strategies, we have managed to make a difference,” he said. “I can’t say enough about our members who implemented this approach – their performance is commendable during these changing and challenging times.”
Robbery-homicide unit closing cases
Detectives with the sheriff’s robbery-homicide unit are maintaining a perfect record for the second year – thanks to the Feb. 17 arrest of a man wanted in connection with a Dec. 21 shooting death in St. Petersburg.
The suspect was arrested in Hickory, N.C., and is awaiting extradition to Pinellas County where he faces first-degree murder charges. It is the last case to clear of 14 worked by robbery-homicide detectives during 2011. The unit also had a 100 percent case clearance rate for homicides in 2010.