Overall, Part One crimes were down in Wilton Manors in 2015.
That’s according to a report by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement [FDLE]. Part One crimes consist of murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and vehicle theft.
The total number of Part One crimes, which is reported to FDLE by the Wilton Manors Police Department [WMPD], dropped from 353 in 2014 to 277 in 2015, but the rape and murder rate increased – from 0 to 1 murder and 2 to 4 rapes. The only murder in the city was Henry Vidal, a popular local bartender who was found dead in his home by a co-worker on May 29, 2015. Chief Paul O'Connell said no suspect has been charged yet in the murder.
O'Connell credits the drop in crime, in particular, larceny, to the community being more cautious and vigilant, including locking car doors to deter would be criminals just looking for crimes of opportunity. “This is a partnership. The community’s doing a great job. We’ve been reminding them [to take precautions]. I think they’ve been doing that.”
As for the increase in rape and murder, O'Connell said, “We’re just like a lot of other cities. Our violent crimes went up. I don’t want to minimize them, but they’re so small they did not adversely impact our overall crime rate.”
Along with the new annual statistics, comes a new way of tracking Part One crimes on a more frequent basis.
At the June 14 commission meeting, the WMPD unveiled its new crime tracking program – RAIDS [Regional Analysis and Information Sharing], an online crime mapping system.
“RAIDS is a convenient way that empowers community members to better understand crime trends and bring awareness to crimes in the area. As always, remember to know your neighbor, know your neighborhood and if you see something, that doesn’t look quite right, say something,” wrote the WMPD in a press release.
O'Connell said that a SET [Special Enforcement Team] would be in place in two months. Once active, “Our SET team can respond to [certain crime trends highlighted by RAIDS] accordingly.”
A vehicle theft on Andrews Avenue. A home robbery on Northeast 21 Court. A pick pocketing on Wilton Drive – real crimes tracked by RAIDS – all of it can be viewed on a computer or smart phone. The program shows the location, date and type of reported crimes being committed. Users can also submit anonymous tips – directly to Crime Stoppers – and narrow or expand their search criteria to a certain date range, going all the way back to 2015, view one particular type of crime or view all different types of crime.
“We don’t report every single crime but we do report Part One,” said Alberto Carrillo, the police department’s criminal investigations analyst. Carrillo said he would be entering information on a weekly basis.
Visit WiltonManors.com/maps to view the RAIDS program online or download it for the iPhone or Android. Visit fdle.state.fl.us to view the entire FDLE report.