MARCO ISLAND — Among other issues of the week, City Manager Steve Thompson reports a decline in crime rates on Island from 2008 to 2009, according to recently released annual statistics. The decline in theft, given the slump in the economy, is pleasantly surprising, he reports in the Weekly Update released Friday.
The full Weekly Update, a publication for City Council and the public, is in supporting documents and includes a new online program with status updates on water and utility projects, including current boil water notices, posted to the city Web site.
Also the family of the boater, Jake Larimer, who was eventually found after extensive search and rescue efforts, thanked Lt. Cliff Morine, Cpl. George Williams, and Lt. Pete Beucler of the Marco Island Police Department, and included a donation for their work to the Marco Island Police Foundation.
Below is the excerpt from Thompson regarding the Marco Island Police Department Crime Statistics Report Card:
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) verifies, validates and reports crime statistics received from all of the law enforcement agencies across the State of Florida, and distributes these to the agencies and media groups across the state.
Semi-annual and annual crime reporting is required and the Marco Island Police Department (MIPD) has been submitting statistics since the inception of the agency in 2000.
Marco Island’s crime rate has historically been low, and for 2009 has dropped significantly even from 2008. These numbers were somewhat surprising considering the economic slump that we have been experiencing. Normally we could expect to see an upswing in thefts and burglaries, but to date this has not happened.
Crime statistics are measured in two ways, with Part I and Part II crimes. Part I crimes are the more serious and consist of murder, sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft and arson.
For the year 2009, Marco Island was down from 217 in 2008 to 165 in 2009, a reduction of 23.9 percent.
FDLE also measures crime clearance rates, which means the rate of “solving” crimes. For the year 2009, MIPD had a clearance rate for Part I crimes of 32.1 percent, which is the highest since our inception in 2000.
Part II crimes dropped from 84 in 2008 to 56 in 2009, a reduction of 33.3 percent. Also, 100 percent of all Part II crimes were cleared, an all time high for MIPD. Part II crimes consist of batteries, simple assaults, stalking and other similar incidents.
A further analysis highlights that violent crimes on the Island were reduced to 10 in 2009 compared to 13 in 2008, a reduction of 23 percent.
Of those 10 violent crimes, nine were cleared and the 10th clearance is pending with the arrest based on the warrant that was issued by the State Attorney’s Office after a through MIPD investigation.
There hasn’t been an unsolved violent crime on Marco Island in over five years.
Burglaries have been reduced dramatically on the Island, with only 16 occurring in 2009. When compared to 2004 when the city experienced 70 burglaries the reduction equates to 74.2 percent.
In 2008, Marco experienced 19 burglaries, dropping to 16 in 2009, clearing of six, equating to a clearance rate of 37.5 percent.
"All of these statistics simply illustrate that the citizens of Marco Island are living and working in one of the safest cities in Florida.
"I attribute the very low crime rate and the exceptional high clearance rate to the excellent work of the Police Department and the community, maintaining a close partnership to constantly improve Marco Island.
"I always appreciate your leadership of, and service to, this city..." Thompson wrote.