The Truth About Crime and Communication in Coral Springs
Published on November 17, 2021
There has been a lot of conversation about crime in our community. We have recently experienced several incidents of violent crime, including high profile incidents that occurred in, or around, our schools. As the Chief of Police all criminal activity is concerning to me. The dedicated men and women who serve with the Coral Springs Police Department monitor emerging crime trends, and work to prevent criminal activity from taking place in our community. The truth is most instances of violence occur between people who are known to each other. While this does not minimize the severity of the crime, it indicates that oftentimes there is no immediate threat to non-involved members of the community.
Random acts of violence on our citizens are rare occurrences in the City of Coral Springs. Fortunately, most of the perpetrators who commit these acts are arrested immediately, and our officers work tirelessly to bring justice to our victims. The fact is, vehicle break-ins, mainly to unlocked vehicles, account for most of the reported crime in our community. You can help prevent this prevalent criminal activity by locking your car doors and reporting suspicious activity to police. During incidents there may be a need to utilize the Broward Sheriff’s Office helicopter, either to locate a suspect, or to transport a patient. If you see a helicopter circling your community, a good practice is to close your garage and remain indoors.
I am a firm believer in transparency in government, especially within the police department. It is important that our citizens are aware of what is occurring in our city. The way we communicate has rapidly changed over the last decade. Advancements in technology, and the use of social media platforms, has led to instant information being reported on these incidents, as they occur. Although this information gets out fast, it isn’t always accurate. Access to emergency dispatch scanners has allowed citizen reporters to provide both verified and unverified information instantly. When a call for service comes into our emergency communications center, dispatchers are relaying important information to first responders. This information is based on what they are being told by the caller and may not be entirely accurate.
When we respond to an incident, our greatest priority is the safety and wellbeing of our citizens and the community. Responding officers require time to gather facts and conduct investigations to ensure that we have a clear picture of what has occurred. We are vested in transparency, but we must make certain that the information we put out is factual and accurate. Additionally, there are times that certain information is not reported because it could hamper the investigation being conducted by our officers. I can assure you that we committed to transparency, and we pledge to report factual and accurate information as soon as possible.
I recognize it is concerning to hear about incidents of crime in Coral Springs, but the truth remains, crime exists and always has; however, now it’s more widely reported due to the many forms of communication available. The following chart shows our crime numbers from 2019 thru July of 2021. It should be noted that the chart captures actual crime from January thru July because the Uniformed Crime Reporting (UCR) data collection switched to the new National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS). The last column of the chart shows the projected numbers based on the average number of incidents from January thru July, projected for the last five months of the year. The actual numbers of crimes at the end of the year may be more or less than the projected numbers.
The men and women of the Coral Springs Police Department are working hard to keep our city safe for everyone. We monitor and combat crime trends as they occur. We are partnering with school officials and concerned parents to keep our schools safe. Public safety is, and will always be, our top priority.
Public safety isn’t exclusive to crime. Traffic issues in, and around, our city is also a concern for our department. Florida, and our city’s population, has grown tremendously over the last decade. With 134,000 residents and 22 public schools, attracting many citizens from outside of our city, we have seen an increase in traffic. The increase in traffic has unfortunately led to more traffic accidents. These accidents often require the closure of a road or the diversion of traffic. Frustrated motorists are often looking for real-time information related to these incidents, but in many cases, by the time investigators have all arrived and gathered the facts, the involved vehicles have been removed from the road and the roadway has reopened. We will always do our best to share news and information about long term road closures through our communication tools. Equally frustrating are the many roadway construction projects currently taking place in Coral Springs and surrounding cities. The majority of this construction are county projects and necessary to ensure the proper infrastructure of our roadways. Residents can learn more about these construction projects at www.coralsprings.org/workaroundtown to make informed decisions about their commute route and times.
Our department is committed to transparency and providing information to our citizens, but it is more important to be right than fast. For verified information directly from the Coral Springs Police Department, follow us on social media Facebook @CoralSprings Police, Instagram and Twitter @CoralSpringsPD or text the keyword ALERTCS to 888-777 to receive emergency alerts to your cellphone. As always, we ask that our residents continue to be vigilant in reporting anything suspicious or unusual in the community by calling our non-emergency number 954-344-1800, dial 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency.