HOLMES COUNTY - The Florida Department of Law Enforcement recently released its Semi-Annual Uniform Crime Report, and statistics show Holmes County as having the state's third largest decrease in crime and second largest overall clearance rate in the state.

The report is based on a trend comparison between crimes reported during the first six months of 2019 and the same time period in 2018.

As an agency, Holmes County Sheriff’s Office saw an 11.7 percent decrease in the crime index. Overall, Holmes County saw a 24.5 percent decrease, ranking the county 3rd out of the state’s reporting counties, behind only Lafayette County (-40.4 percent), Putnam County (-33), and Okeechobee County (-28.4). The statewide average was a crime rate decrease of 6.1 percent.

In regard to solving crimes, Holmes County had a clearance rate of 77.1 percent, ranking the county second in the state behind Union County, which had a clearance rate of 91.7 percent. As an agency, Holmes County Sheriff’s Office had a clearance rate of 75.5 percent, up more than 7 percent from the last UCR report. The statewide average was 25.8 percent.

In just the first half of 2019, HCSO received more than 9,200 total calls for service. Of that number, 363 resulted in arrests, including 29 that were burglary related and 115 drug arrests.

Sheriff John Tate states that in additional to a strong law enforcement staff and community support, the local focus on rehabilitative programs also plays a strong role in crime reduction here.

“I am very proud of our agency and the men and women who work hard every day to reduce crime and make Holmes County a safer place to live,” said Sheriff Tate.

“Our great working relationship with the community is one of the resources which helps make this possible, as well as the success we’ve seen with our rehabilitative programs, which have been instrumental in helping transform lives and reducing recidivism. Going forward, we will continue to strive to make Holmes County a safe place to live and raise your family.”

The Semi-Annual UCR calculates both crime volume and crime rate throughout Florida. The report, including county-by-county breakdowns, can be found on FDLE’s website at http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/FSAC/UCR-Reports.aspx