Quincy sees 2013 crime rate drop

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Times Reporter

Crime rates fell in Quincy from 2012 to 2013. At the city commission meeting March 11, Walter McNeil, chief of the Quincy Police Department, reviewed an annual report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, or FDLE

“Our efforts are working to some degree,” said McNeil. “I knew there was some concern at the end of the year, relative to what I call an uptick in crime.”

McNeil was referring to the brief increase in crime before Christmas 2013. 

“I was concerned about that, and I think you were as well,” McNeil said to the commission. “I thought it important that you see the entire picture as opposed to that snapshot you got during the robbery season.”

The categorized FDLE report outlines the recorded occurrences of specific crimes during each year. Only one statistic — theft from motor vehicles — increased in 2013. The statistic almost tripled, jumping from 23 instances to 66 instances. 

McNeil said more than 80 percent of these cases where crimes of opportunity. They occurred when thieves found 

unlocked cars. Only 20 percent involved any type of forced entry such as a broken window or a wedged door. 

Commissioner Andy Gay questioned what was being done to counteract this reported increase, noting the issue was on his list of discussion points after receiving complaints from several constituents. 

“There’s nothing that makes people feel uneasy like someone coming up in their property and taking from them,” said Gay. “It creates a very uncomfortable situation for a lot of our residents.”

McNeil said a strategy is in place to combat this increase.

“There are some tactics that we’re going to utilize,” said McNeil. “If I told you what we are doing, they wouldn’t be tactics. But yes, sir, we have some plan.”

The statistic for attempted entry decreased the most, dropping 80 percent. The statistic for burglaries with no forced entry was a close second, dropping 77 percent — or from 83 to 19 instances. 

McNeil said a good partnership between citizens and officers is one reason for this drop in crime.