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PCSO News Release

Media Contact:
Eleazer, Carrie

Public Information Officer 
News Date: 9/8/2014 

 PCSO Sees Continued Crime Reduction During First Six Months of 2014; PCSO Homicide Unit has 100% Clearance Rate for Six Straight Years 


Crime in the Polk County Sheriff’s Office primary law enforcement response areai is down 9.4% in the first six months of 2014 compared to the first six months of 2013.  

According to the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) statistics, as reported semi-annually and annually to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), there were 436 fewer crimes overall in the first six months of 2014 than in the first six months of 2013 in the Sheriff’s Office primary jurisdiction. There were 4,209 crimes in the first half of 2014, as compared to 4,645 crimes in the first half of 2013. This continues the trend of a decline in crime in the PCSO jurisdiction. Compared to two years ago (2012), crime in the first six months of 2014 is down 14%.  

Of note, there were 181 fewer burglaries in the first six months of 2014 (a 13.9% decrease) and 308 fewer larcenies (a 12.6% decrease). There were only three categories that showed increases: there were 3 more robberies, 11 more motor vehicle thefts, and 48 more aggravated assaults. Overall, the net decrease in crime volume was 703 fewer crimes, or a 9.4% decrease. 

“Crime continues to decline in unincorporated Polk County and our contract cities. The men and women of the Sheriff’s Office are doing an outstanding job working with citizens, community groups, businesses, and our 3,000+ volunteers to fight crime and keep our neighborhoods safe. We will stay proactive and work with the community to keep Polk County a great place to live, work, play, and visit.” – Sheriff Grady Judd 


Polk crime rate is at historic low.

Polk County's annual 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 2012. Reliable crime statistics in Polk County started in 1971, when the crime rate was recorded at 4.16 crimes per 100.  

The Polk/PCSO crime rate of 2.3 is 37% less than the Florida state crime rate of 3.63[ii] 

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

Polk County has seen a decrease in the overall crime rate (crimes per 100 residents) since 1997, when PCSO implemented its Proactive Community Attack on Problems (PROCAP) program. Since then, the crime rate has fallen by 65.6%ii! PROCAP is a philosophy that emphasizes proactive strategies, focusing on problems, and working hand in hand with the community. Rather than reacting, we are focused on the systematic collection and analysis of crime tips and statistical data to determine where and when crime is occurring, and increasing law enforcement presence and formulating crime reduction strategies in identified areas to prevent future crimes. And our partnerships with citizens, organizations, and businesses have never been stronger—community involvement is a key part of our crime fighting and crime prevention strategies. 



Semi-Annual UCR Crime Statistics in unincorporated Polk County

and PCSO contract cities:



Jan – June 2013

Jan – June 2014






Forced Sex Offenses








Aggravated Assaults












Motor Vehicle Thefts








[i] PCSO Contract Cities: Polk City, Frostproof, Eagle Lake, Ft. Meade, Dundee, and Mulberry.

[ii] 2013 FDLE published state crime rate.


PCSO Homicide Unit has 100% Clearance Rate for Six Straight Years 


Sheriff Grady Judd is also pleased to announce that from June 20, 2008, to September 1, 2014, the Polk County Sheriff’s Homicide Unit has successfully solved every homicide within unincorporated Polk County and the contract cities for which PCSO is responsible. This is the sixth straight year that the unit has accomplished a 100% clearance rate.

The most recent statistics for the Homicide Unit are as follows:  In 2013, the unit investigated 13 homicides, all of which were cleared either by arrest or ruled justified by the State Attorney’s Office.  In addition to those homicides, the unit also handled 582 cases of natural deaths, suicides, accidental deaths, and other cases routinely assigned to the unit. 

The unit has also solved five cold cases since 2012.

So far in 2014, the unit has investigated and solved three homicides, committed by one suspect, 27-year-old David Smith, who fled to Tennessee and then committed suicide to avoid apprehension.