Newly-elected Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel is reporting that crime is down in Broward County for the first half of 2013 compared to the first half of 2012.
The Sheriff believes that the reduction in the county’s crime rate is due to increased law enforcement presence and special operations that are aimed at going after violent street crime.
The Sheriff specifically noted drops in violent crimes, such as robberies, murders, and aggravated assaults. Property crimes, such as burglaries and thefts, are also down significantly.
Israel has directed his efforts at removing guns from the streets through gun buyback initiatives. Israel reports that these efforts have been successful at removing guns from Broward County streets.
Israel has also expressed his belief that juvenile offenders should be permitted to enter diversion programs rather than go through the court process.
I believe that the Broward Sheriff’s Office will continue to make strides toward reducing crime in Broward County. While that sounds great for Broward citizens, the new Sheriff is motivated to continue his streak. The way he has been successful so far has been increased police presence and enforcement.
You can expect that for the remainder of the year, BSO will keep up its efforts and you will see more deputies patrolling neighborhoods and enforcing the law in situations they deem to be suspicious. Increased law enforcement presence often means more stops of people and their vehicles.
The Sheriff of Broward County is an elected official. That means that his primary concern is winning re-election. The only way he can do that is by showing the citizens of Broward County that he is an effective law enforcement officer.
Elected officials live by statistics. I firmly believe that Scott Israel will continue to aggressively go after suspected criminal activity countywide so that he can show even better numbers for the second half of 2013.
Eric Matheny is a Broward criminal defense attorney.