Judging by the headlines this year - teens being shot to death, home invasions, etc. - 2009 was a very dangerous year in Manatee County and the city of Bradenton.
But the numbers, at least in some instances, tell a more hopeful story.
The Bradenton Police Department is patting itself on the back today, in wake of statistics showing that crime in the down dropped for the sixth year in a row in the city.
Here is the news release from the city:
The overall crime rate has dropped for the sixth consecutive year in the City of Bradenton.
Statistics released by the Bradenton Police Department show the crime rate fell five percent from 2008 to 2009. The crimes that are included in the overall crime rate are violent, or Part One, offenses. Those are murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, vehicle thefts and arson.
(The City experienced four murders in 2009 and each case was closed with an arrest. One justifiable homicide also occurred last year.)
Police Chief Michael Radzilowski credited the entire police department for its hard work and focus on reducing violent crimes.
“The police department provided outstanding professional police service to all sections of the City and it is only through handwork and neighborhood partnerships that together we celebrate this reduction,” the Chief said. “I congratulate the citizens who partnered in their neighborhoods with the police to make the City of Bradenton a better place to live, work, visit or conduct business.”
Crime in the City has dropped 32 percent since 2004, which Mayor Wayne Poston - also the City’s Police Commissioner - attributes to the department’s community policing efforts.
“Police agencies all over Tampa Bay are embracing our strategies of building trust and partnering with citizens in every community,” Mayor Poston said. “I am very proud of the Bradenton Police Department.”