ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The results of a community crime survey in Orange County have been released, and local leaders shared those results with the community on Friday.
During the meeting, Orlando police said that the survey — with 2,508 respondents between April and May 12 — shows that residents feel less safe in recent years.
Data in the 2023 survey shows that residents believe that violent crime has become more of an issue, and 70% of respondents wanted to increase the amount of law enforcement in their communities — up from 59% in 2021.
Despite those numbers, police also said that they’ve been having trouble with bringing on more talent despite the police department’s best attempts.
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“I’ll just be brutally honest: because of what’s being portrayed on the news, not many want to come into this profession right now,” an OPD spokesperson said. “We’re doing our best to hire. We do have officers out there. We have these extra units, but until we are fully staffed, we won’t be able to be in every neighborhood constantly.”
However, News 6 Investigator Erik von Ancken spoke with Orlando police Sgt. Yong Hall earlier this year, and Hall said that the department’s application pool had been rising recently.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina also discussed some of the survey’s results, pointing to issues with prosecuting cases.
“I do think we did miss an opportunity. There were numerous questions about law enforcement and prevention and intervention, which covers three of the subcommittees, but there were no questions regarding prosecution,” Mina said. “What our community thinks about prosecution and the criminal justice system.”
Mina added that there had been further discussion about a possible police force for the Pine Hills area, though recent legislation means that unincorporated areas of Florida counties have to be handled by their respective sheriff’s office.
“Having said that, I’m all for task forces and working together as a community,” Mina said. “I will let you know, they probably told you that on the subcommittee, we do have a lot of resources in there, including our federal grant officers, our deputies, policing services, an additional squad in that area.”
For reference, the following questions and answers were included in the survey:
“How serious is the level of violent crime in your community?”
“How safe do you feel in your community?”
“In the past three years, how would you rate the level of gun violence and violent crime in your community?”
“In the past three years, have you or someone in your household been the victim of a violent crime that occurred in your community?”
“In your opinion, what can be done to prevent and reduce gun violence and violent crime in your community?”