Cocoa Crime Rate is Lowest in Nearly Twenty Years
(February 26, 2018)--For the fourth time in five years the City of Cocoa’s crime rate has dropped significantly, improving the overall safety of citizens and visitors. The 2017 data just submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s (FDLE) annual Uniform Crime Report (UCR) indicates a 26.2% drop in the overall crime rate within the city during the calendar year 2017 compared to the prior year. Since 2012 reported data, this is a 35% reduction in the overall crime rate, and is the city’s lowest crime rate in more than 20 years. The 2017 crime rate was 6,190 per capita, or 6.19 per 100 residents. This rate includes a 40.7% drop in the number of reported violent crimes to include zero homicides for the calendar year. The data shows fewer crimes in nearly every category including 40.9% fewer assaults, 32.9% fewer robberies, 32.4% fewer burglaries and 14.8% fewer larcenies (theft) among others. Domestic violence related crimes were also down 18.5%. The data also shows a 21.2% increase in the clearance rate for the index crimes reported. The clearance rate is the number of cases solved by arrest, or other resolution. “This is good news for the city and I’m proud of the men and women of this agency who work diligently every day to make Cocoa a safer community,” said Chief Mike Cantaloupe. “We know this is a community effort and our partnerships with residents, business owners, faith leaders, civic groups, the mayor and council and city leadership as a whole are starting to yield positive results.”
In 2017, the department continued to place a high priority on connecting with the community through outreach and community education. The Community Resource Unit reached thousands of people through partnerships with local schools, community events and community watch and crime prevention programs. Together with city leaders we continued a partnership with the community’s faith leaders in an effort to find solutions to crime and other issues. Also in 2017, the Code Enforcement Division became part of the police department creating a more effective and holistic approach to handling issues that contribute to crime in the city. “I am proud of the fine work of our Police Department and the way our residents have stepped up to take a stand against crime in this community. They are engaged and take pride in their community and won’t let crime be the standard,” says Mayor Henry Parrish, III. “I and City Council made a vow three years ago during the Mayor’s Crime Awareness and Prevention Summit to address the strategic issue of crime in our community by reducing the crime rate by 50% by the year 2020. We are well on the way to achieving that goal.
MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF
On behalf of the men and women of the Cocoa Police Department I want to welcome you to our great city. Cocoa is such a unique and beautiful place and I am honored to be entrusted with the safety and security of the more than 18,000 residents that call this place home.
I believe in a community oriented approach in law enforcement's mission to protect and serve. We cannot be effective unless we have strong connections within our community. It is why we are dedicated to building positive relationships by working with residents, civic groups, schools, business owners, faith based organizations and our community leaders. Working together we can accomplish our mission to create a safe and secure community and improve the overall quality of life in one of Central Florida's favorite cities.
The Cocoa Police Department recognizes officers and employees are responsible to the public for their conduct. At certain times a conflict may exist between a citizens and a police officer and/or an employee in the performance of his/her duties. If you believe that a police officer and/or employee has acted improperly, you should bring this to the attention of the the on-duty supervisor. To learn more and to access the complaint form please CLICK HERE.
2017 in Three Minutes!
Sunday, December 31, 2017 8 a.m.
2017 BROUGHT CHANGE AND CHALLENGE
(Cocoa, FL)—2017 was a year marked by leadership changes both on the national and local levels. The Cocoa Police Department saw more than 50-years of experience retire, making way for the next generation of leaders including the promotion of 3 lieutenants and 3 sergeants. The agency also welcomed 9 new police officers and continues to recruit the best and brightest law enforcement professionals to protect and serve more than 18,000 residents in the City of Cocoa.
During the calendar year (as of December 17th), the men and women of the department responded to 48,274 calls for service. In addition, dispatchers answered more than 25,000 911 calls.
The collective efforts of the agency also yielded a mid-year drop in reported crime of nearly 8%. This includes a 4.4% reduction in reports of violent crime and an 8.8% reduction in the number of total property crimes reported. These percentages are for the first six months of 2017 compared to the same time period in 2016. The data for the second half of 2017 won’t be available until the first quarter of 2018, but the trend continued to show a drop in reported crimes.
2017 was also marked by noticeable challenges. In April, Motor Officer Rickford Leith suffered serious injuries following a hit and run crash as he participated in the police escort of the Moving Wall Vietnam Memorial. The hit and run driver was arrested after a three day search and Officer Leitch is expected to return to full duty in early 2018. In July, a group of teens’ video recording of a man drowning sparked national outrage and a call for new laws in Florida to require citizens to act when a person is in distress. In September, the impacts of Hurricane Irma caused an estimated $150 million in damages countywide, including an estimated $6.1 million in damage within the city of Cocoa.
The department continued to place a high priority on connecting with the community through outreach and community education. The Community Resource Unit reached thousands of people through partnerships with local schools, community events, community watch and crime prevention programs. The chief and city leaders also continued a partnership with the city’s faith leaders in an effort to find solutions to crime and other issues. Also in 2017, the Code Enforcement Division became a part of the police department. This added four civilian personnel to the department roster.
The Cocoa Police Department currently has 67 full time sworn officers, 1 part time booking officer, 7 reserve officers, 1 auxiliary officer and 30 civilians.