Chief: Violent crime is down, but gang activity is up in Orlando in the last 6 months

, Fla. — Orlando police Chief Eric Smith said Thursday that in the six months since he took office, violent crime has decreased.


Smith said shootings in the city have decreased by 12% and violent crimes have gone down 8% in that time.

But violence committed by youths has increased by 22% in that time, he said during a briefing on violence in the community.

Smith said the improvements is in part do to a change in how policing is happening across the city.

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He said patrol teams have been reorganized to boost the number of officers on each team from 10 to 12.

Smith also said the department has brought back its patrol tactical unit, a specialty unit that aims to get guns off the street.

“Anytime you do that, you also have to increase your relationship with the community,” he said. “By going out there and being with the community, seeing how the community wants to be policed and having their input is also very important.”

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Smith said specialty units have led to a 47 percent increase in the seizures of guns used in crimes so far.

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Jason Kelly

Jason Kelly, WFTV.com

Jason Kelly joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2014. He serves as the station's Digital Executive Producer.

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