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PCSO News Release

Media Contact:
Eleazer, Carrie

Public Information Officer 
News Date: 3/1/2014 

 Crime Down 6.53% in Polk County Sheriff’s Office Jurisdiction Comparing 2013 to 2012 


According to the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) statistics, as reported semi-annually and annually to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), there were 646 fewer crimes in 2013 than in 2012 in the Sheriff’s Office primary jurisdiction[i].

There were 9,894 crimes in 2012 as compared to 9,248 crimes in 2013, a total reduction in reported crimes of 6.53%.

Non-Violent crime is down 9.5% in Polk’s unincorporated area and Sheriff’s Office contract cities. There were a total of 8,754 non-violent crimes in 2012 and 7,922 in 2013, a reduction of 832 crimes.

There were decreases in the following crime categories: homicides; robberies; burglaries; and larcenies.  Some crime categories showed an increase, but overall crime was down 6.53% and the crime rate (crimes per 100 persons) is down 7.25%.

Crime in the Polk County unincorporated area and Sheriff’s Office contract cities:










Forced Sex Offenses








Aggravated Assaults












Motor Vehicle Thefts








Polk crime rate is at historic low.

Polk County's crime rate in the unincorporated areas and contract cities[i] (for which the Polk County Sheriff’s Office is responsible) dropped from 2012 to 2013, according to the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) statistics reported annually to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The crime rate, which is the number of crimes per 100 residents, is down 7.25% from 2012 (2.48) to 2013 (2.30). This is the lowest crime rate ever measured in the Polk County Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction, breaking the previous record low of 2.48 crimes per 100 from last year. Reliable crime statistics in Polk County started in 1971, when the crime rate was recorded at 4.16 crimes per 100.

Since 1997, the crime rate in Polk County has fallen by 65.6%

The Polk/PCSO crime rate is 37% less than the Florida state crime rate (2.30 compared to 3.63)[ii].


“We could not be more grateful for the continued decrease in crime in Polk County.  This ongoing progress towards improving the quality of life in Polk County for our communities, families, neighbors, friends, and visitors is our top priority.  There are many factors that contribute to lower crime, but there are two critically important reasons why crime remains low.  First: convicted felons who are sent to prison stay there for a minimum of 85% of their sentence that is mandated in statute.  This Florida law, among other tough-on-crime measures, has been tremendously successful in holding criminals accountable for their crimes and separating them from society.  When people who break the law are punished—fairly, swiftly, and without apologies—our communities become safer.  Second:  we have developed more effective policing strategies. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office implemented its Proactive Community Attack on Problems (PROCAP) program in 1997. Since then, the crime rate has fallen by 65.6%!  Our policing philosophy emphasizes proactive strategies, focusing on known community problems, effectively using technology to implement our prevention strategies, and working hand in hand with the community.  Because we lock up those responsible for crime, and work hard with the community to prevent, solve, and fight crime, Polk County is a better place to live, work, and play.” —Sheriff Grady Judd


[i] PCSO Contract Cities: Polk City, Frostproof, Eagle Lake, Ft. Meade, Dundee, and Mulberry. [ii] 2013 FDLE published state crime rate.