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Moody heralds Florida law enforcement as crime drops nationwide

MARION COUNTY, Fla. — Florida Attorney General praised law enforcement agencies across the state and highlighted the state’s approach to policing during a stop in Marion County Wednesday.

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The focus of the press conference was on a newly published report that condemned policies tested by northeastern and west coast cities and showed Florida’s typically opposite approach.

Examples given included the Portland, OR drug reforms that leaders recently reversed and the “Defund the Police” movement pushed after the death of George Floyd.

“It is no surprise these folks are fleeing these states and cities,” Moody said.

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However, the press conference came roughly two weeks after preliminary FBI statistics revealed violent crime dropped 6% nationwide last year.

According to the agency’s quarterly report, the sharpest drops between December 2022 and December 2023 were seen in major cities, primarily in the northeast and Midwest.

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While certain types of crime, such as organized retail theft, are highlighted in news reports and in press conferences, crime across the United States has fallen sharply since peaking in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Florida, too, has seen a drop – from well above the US average decades ago to below the US average today. Its violent crime rate was slightly lower than Illinois as of 2022, a state mocked during Wednesday’s press conference.

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey attributed the longer-term trend in Florida to the state’s straightforward attitude toward policing, plus technology.

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He said he gives himself room to experiment and analyze, attributed community partnerships to his 53% decrease in crime, and said certain tests he’s examined have shown to lead to better recidivism rates.

“43% of our male offenders in our jail were reoffending within the first year, unless they’ve been a member of the chain gang,” he explained, “Then it’s 2%.”

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