America’s Most Dangerous Cities
So, I'm somewhat surprised by this Forbes ranking, but then again, I'm not all that surprised. I'm going to explore a couple of different angles to
this, because it greatly intrigues me. I'll tell you what, the reaction of the Mayor and Council intrigues me the most. They are livid, and they
want it retracted, and they are accusing Forbes of using Skewed Data, but after reading through the article, I believe it is a fair representation of
the Metropolitan Area here.
So, Tallahassee Leads the State of Florida?
Tallahassee: Florida’s capital city metro area leads the state in crime with 775 violent crimes per 100,000 residents. Its location on
Interstate 10 makes it an attractive city for drug runners who bring contraband north from Miami and the surrounding area. The Tallahassee Police
Department has stressed the need to boost funds to interdict drugs moving north, and a high rate of aggravated assaults seems to accompany the drug
trafficking, according to Stults. Poverty also plays a role. “At the city level, poverty is one of the strongest predictors of crime rate, and
there are definitely large pockets of poverty in Tallahassee – like most cities of its size, it is also segregated, and that contributes to higher
crime rates in some areas,” says Stults.
** There goes the idea of crime being directly related to Cuban immigration, we have very little of that here.
** There goes the idea of it being related to prostitution and strip clubs, we have none
of that here. They are militant about shutting down
strip clubs, no matter how well permitted and run they are. The last one was open almost 2 weeks.
** There goes the idea that it is strictly urban areas, this town doesn’t have a clear “inner city.” Sure, the Southside of town is a little
more black, and a little more impoverished, but the crime isn’t significantly higher there than anywhere else. In fact, according to last night’s
news, the crime is more significant outside the city limits in the surrounding community. That is precisely why the Mayor wants Tallahassee off the
So, what does make Tallahassee unique to crime?
#1. 3 Huge Universities. Florida State University, Florida A & M University, and the huge Tallahassee Community College. Then, we also have Keiser
College and a few others. It is a very migrant population, a very diversified population, and as the study shows, we do have a large “young male”
Is that the reason for our high ranking?
---------- I believe it plays a part. Combined with the strict ban on prostitution and strip clubs, a
high percentage of young males probably does play a large part. Our
is not all that high, but
armed robberies and sexual assaults are very high for the population size. So, I believe there is something to this statistic.
But what is the unique thing about Tallahassee that could drive these numbers?
The Number of Police??
(says)…Tom Blomberg, dean of the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State Univeristy. “The state of the economy,
demographics, the number of young males at any given time, the rate of imprisonment and the number of police all factor in.”
Tallahassee is served by a dozen or more police forces of varying sizes and skill levels.
FAMU has its own police force
. They are lowly paid, and they stick
primarily to the university campus, but technically they are “state police” and they have jurisdiction in the entire state of Florida.
FSU has their own Police Department
which is actually very large and well-trained, and it pays an above average
wage for police work.
Tallahassee Police Department
of course is the primary police force inside the city limits. Their officers
start at approximately $40k per year, which is above this area’s average wage. They are a very large force, and from what I have seen they are well
trained and equipped.
But that is just the tip of the iceberg, there are many, many more police forces at work in this town.
Florida Highway Patrol
is headquartered here. Their training base is here. They patrol the streets in and out
of the city here, and they patrol I-10 which was listed as a major drug throughfare, although I can only remember 2 instances of violence along I-10
in the past 5 or 6 years.
Florida Capitol Police
significant here. They are responsible for the Governor’s Mansion, the State Capitol buildings, and the State Government buildings scattered among
the city. I work in a complex of about 15,000 state workers situated on the edge of town, and we have a Capitol Police satellite office here. They
are a lowly paid group, and they are not well-trained or experienced, and the other police forces don’t seem to respect them very much, but in
reality, they are also “State Police” and they are part of the larger police force known as……….
FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement
. FDLE is responsible for the entire state. They
report to the State Attorney General, they are a State Agency that administers grants and audits and oversees the smaller forces in the state. They
have the major crime labs for the state, they have their own investigative force. They collect and compile the crime statistics, and they manage the
other state police forces. They really pervade every other aspect of law enforcement in addition to having their own officers, and they are
headquartered in Tallahassee.
SO, DO YOU THINK WE ARE DONE YET???? Nope.
In the interest of space, I will just put out a quick list of the other police forces either headquartered or satellite stationed here:
Leon County Sheriffs Office
Wakulla County Sheriffs Office
Florida Fish and Wildlife (headquartered here, largest force in the state)
DEA (Satellite Office)
Immigration and Customs (Satellite Office)
TSA (Tallahassee Regional Airport)
AHCA has sworn officers (regulates healthcare facilities among other things)
DACS has sworn officers (Dept of Agriculture)
The City has sworn Code Enforcers.
Now, forgive me, I compiled this list off the top of my head, I am probably forgetting at least 1 or 2 additional police forces that have
jurisdiction inside of Tallahassee!!!
So, in a town with a small total population, a low immigrant population, no strip clubs, no prostitution problem to speak of, no significant gang
problem, no clearly defined “urban” or “inner city” area, and a large number of folks with higher educations, we are still the 8th most
dangerous city in the country? And as far as I can tell, the most significant one of Forbe’s contributing factor is the number of police present in
edit on 7-10-2011 by getreadyalready because: (no reason given)