Across Florida – particularly on the Atlantic Coast – news media and citizens alike are reacting to a recent list that calls out 11 Sunshine State municipalities for their violent crime rates. The Top 100 Most Dangerous Cities in America, published by Alarms.org compiled the list in response to the shooting at a Parkland, Florida school. In spite of the alarms the list may be sounding, it also notes that the incidence of violent crimes in the country actually appears to be dropping.
Although the report acknowledges the dip in violent crime, the media in some Florida cities took umbrage at being included at all. A television station in West Palm Beach, WPTV, pointed out that the statistics used to compile the “Most Dangerous Cities” list were four years old. Noting that three of the cities on the list were in Palm Beach County – Belle Glade, Lake Worth and Riviera Beach – WPTV gathered its own statistics from local law enforcement agencies.
People in the city of Cocoa, Florida – the 11th most dangerous city in America, according to Alarms.org – also objected to its inclusion on the list. News 13 Orlando interviewed citizens who said that the stats used to compile the list do not paint a true portrait of the city and the strides it’s made toward reducing violent crime. Cocoa’s police chief also pointed out the age of the data that Alarms.org used to compile its list of dangerous cities.
While no Tampa-area cities were included on the list, violent crime is still a regular occurrence in the region, as it is in any major metropolitan area. Violent crimes are not always so cut-and-dried either. There may be extenuating circumstances, such as self-defense, that are not immediately apparent to investigators. For this reason, anyone who has been arrested on suspicion of committing a crime of violence should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Source: WPTV, “Violent crime in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast by the numbers,” Niels Heimriks and Michelle Quesada, May 9, 2018.