COLLIER COUNTY, Fla - Statistics released Monday afternoon by the Collier County Sheriff's Office show crime dropped six percent in the first half of 2012 compared to this time last year.
"Collier County is a great and safe place to be," says Sheriff Kevin Rambosk. Collier County residents we talked to couldn't agree more.
Jeff Hogan of East Naples says, "this is relatively safe and relatively quiet right around here."
Nathan Wright agrees, "I don't feel like anyone is going to grab my eight year old daughter off the street. In Miami that may happen."
Looking at the numbers from the first half of 2012, Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk reported a reduction in violent crime in spite of budget cuts in the past four years.
"It's really a result of the men and women of the Collier County Sheriff's Office working together with the community," says Sheriff Rambosk.
Homicides in the county dropped 50 percent, from 4 homicides in 2011 to 2 homicides in 2012. Aggravated assault dropped 23.7 percent, robberies 17.8 percent, sexual assault 14.5 percent and larceny 7.8 percent. Two areas, burglaries and car thefts both saw an increase. Burglaries saw an 8.0 percent increase and car thefts saw a 22.7% increase.
Rambosk says, "in every way that we can possibly get together we work together and that's how we drop the crime rate."
The Sheriff's Office created what they call community safety teams. "They're no where else in the country. They're right here," says Rambosk. They go into neighborhoods, sit down with residents and look at what needs to be corrected. They involve fire service, code enforcement and other government officials.
Rambosk says, "the most important thing is we engage the public to let us know not only what they think is important to them and get it corrected, but observe and report and that's what the difference is in collier county."
Out of 67 counties, only 12 have a lesser crime rate than Collier County.