FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Brie Turek (407) 246-3106
Heather Allebaugh (407) 246-3423
Sgt. Barb Jones (407) 246- 2403
Mayor Buddy Dyer
Prepared Remarks - Public Safety Update and Launch of
Illegal Gun Bounty Program
January 19, 2007
Good afternoon. We’re here today to reaffirm our continued commitment to the
safety of all our residents … to remind criminals that our police presence will
be felt … to engage every resident to protect their neighborhood … to ensure our
children are safe … to break the culture of silence in the community for
criminal activity … and most importantly, to deliver the message loud and clear,
that this administration, this City Council and this community will not tolerate
an increase in crime.
For cities across the country, 2006 was marked with a surge in homicides and
And we can point to any number of factors for this increase, but one thing is
certain… our community will not accept this type of criminal activity.
Public safety is the top priority of this administration, and together with
Chief McCoy and the Orlando Police Department, we are addressing crime from all
We’ve dedicated more than one hundred million dollars to a multi-year Public
Safety initiative, putting 75 additional police officers on our streets to
patrol our neighborhoods, adding new sub-stations throughout the City, and
bringing more 9-1-1 operators to answer our citizen’s calls.
We are targeting hot spots in the City with extra resources for the
deployment of 3 tactical units to aggressively and effectively address street
level narcotics and violent crimes.
We established the Safe Orlando Task Force led by Dr. Stanley Stone to engage
business and community representatives for specific recommendations to prevent
crime, use police resources more effectively and stop repeat offenders.
This City Council has dedicated the tools, training, technology and
additional manpower for our police department to fight crime. But today, we
bring yet another valuable tool online to empower citizens to take back their
Last year, 73% of Orlando’s homicides involved a firearm, and this year
alone, the first 3 homicides of the year involved a shooting. We want those
illegal guns off the streets.
That’s why we’re launching an illegal gun bounty program through Central
Florida Crimeline. We learned about this best practice from the Jacksonville
Sheriff at the Florida Urban Partnership Safe City Summit I called late last
Locally, shooting incidents have occurred recently in various areas of our
City – in one case, more than 60 rounds were fired and another, more than 100
rounds were fired with illegal guns. This is unacceptable.
Here’s how the illegal gun bounty program works … a one thousand dollar
reward is just a phone call away. Citizens can call Crimeline anonymously at
1-800-423-TIPS. Information that leads to an arrest, a gun recovery and a
weapons charge will result in a cash reward. Initial funding of the gun bounty
program is made available through the law enforcement trust fund – which is
forfeiture dollars and monies seized from drug dealers and those involved in
Last year, OPD had a more than a 70% solve rate in our homicide – compared to
a 54% national average, and Chief McCoy will tell you those cases were solved
and criminals locked up behind bars because witnesses provided critical
information and details.
We’re dedicating every available resource to ensure the safety of our
citizens, but this issue cannot solely rest on the shoulders of the fine men and
women of our police department. We need citizens to get engaged, provide
crime-related information and stand up for our community. By utilizing Crimeline,
residents can stay anonymous and keep their neighborhoods safe.
We’re aware there isn’t a single answer to address the increased level of
criminal activity, however we will take every opportunity to empower and engage
our public safety personnel as well as the citizens of Orlando to reverse this
Even if the gun bounty program only saves one life … than this program will
be declared a victory. Its only if we can break this culture of silence and take
action as a community that we will make positive progress and not allow our
I encourage all of our residents to "See it. Stop it. Say it." Through
Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS.
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