Arash Kamiar: The Curry Campaign is Fear Mongering

May 18, 2015 62 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Mayoral candidate Lenny Curry claims that Jacksonville’s crime rates are exploding under Mayor Alvin Brown. In all actuality, violent and property crimes are at the lowest they have been in 18 years.

Mayoral candidate Lenny Curry has presented a grim analysis of Jacksonville to its citizens and to the rest of the country. If you paid any attention, even accidentally, to the Curry campaign, you may be likely to think that Jacksonville’s crime rates are exploding under Mayor Alvin Brown.

In all actuality, violent crimes and property crimes are at all time lows.

Curry’s numbers aren't wrong but they are selective.

His campaign isn't going to blast the airwaves and fill our mailboxes with facts like “Jacksonville’s Violent and Property Crime Rates. Lowest in 18 years!” Instead, the Curry campaign compares crime numbers from 2011 to 2014 to come up with three oft-repeated points:

1. Murder is up 35 percent.
2. Rape is up 36 percent.
3. Assault is up 21 percent.  

The Curry campaign likely pulled their data from a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office report, Violent Crime and Manpower April 2015.  

I used two other sources to review crime trends in Duval: 1) the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to look at crime data from 1995 through 2013, and 2) the Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics to review  the number of full time police Jacksonville has employed since 2003.

On Violent Crime

The violent crime index and the violent crime rate are at historically low levels. Since Mayor Alvin Brown has been in office there has been a 1 percent decrease in total violent crime and a 2.4 percent decrease in the violent crime rate. Not much has changed, except there are less police employed by JSO now than a few years ago. In a sense, we have done more with less.

READ: Mayor Alvin Brown Did Not Cut 147 Police Officers

Violent crime includes all crimes of murder, forcible sex offenses, robbery and aggravated assault. The "violent crime rate" is the number of crimes that occur for every 100,000 people.

Property, Murder and Rape Breakdowns on Next Page

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