Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Columbia County FL Crime Stats: Crime up 15.2%
Chief straight talks - Sheriff pontificates

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Yesterday, April 30, 2012, the Florida Department Of Law Enforcement (FDLE) announced the 2011 Annual Uniform Crime Report. According to FDLE, crime is down throughout Florida. In Columbia County, the picture is not the rosy picture initially painted by Sheriff Mark Hunter. The state groups crimes into seven major categories. Columbia County showed an increase of 15.2% between 2011 and 2010. 

Both Police organizations, the Lake City Police Department and the Sheriff's Office presented the newly released FDLE numbers by press release.

Columbia County crime stats compared to other similarly populated counties. Click here to enlarge the image.

Chief Gilmore was light on the rhetoric and heavy on the facts. The Chief included charts that clearly showed the crime situation in Lake City for 2011. The press release from the Lake City Police Department can be found here.

Sheriff Hunter was heavy on the rhetoric and it is not clear where he came up with his numbers.

Sheriff Hunter provided no charts showing overall Columbia County crime statistics. The Sheriff's press release can be found here.

The Observer has produced two graphics: one showing the crime picture among similarly populated counties; another showing Columbia County crime stats during the reign of Sheriff Hunter, which is under the headline.

FDLE looks at seven major crime groups: murder, forcible sex offences, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft.


The concluding remarks in the last two paragraphs of the Sheriff's press release are gratuitous, non essential, and look like the remarks of a man on the stump for reelection, which he is.

Sheriff Hunter would have better used his ink producing some charts and explaining why in counties with similar populations Columbia County had the highest percentages of change in crime rates.

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