Boynton police attribute decrease in crime to community involvement


Boynton Beach had the biggest decrease in crime in 2017 the city has seen since 2010, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement records.

The city had an 11 percent decrease from 2016.

Assistant Chief Joe DeGiulio said crime typically increases and decreases over the years, but thinks community involvement played a major role in this past year’s decrease.

“Community engagement, crime prevention, getting the community involved,” DeGiulio said.

Boynton’s breakdown for 2017 was:

  • Murders: 9
  • Rapes: 15
  • Robberies: 175
  • Aggravated assaults: 246
  • Burglaries: 384
  • Larcenies: 2,454
  • Motor vehicle thefts: 338

The number of murders increased by eight compared to 2016, and the number of rapes by 12. Larcenies, burglaries and aggravated assaults decreased. Robberies and motor vehicle thefts increased.

A decrease in crime was also seen state-wide and in Palm Beach County. According to the FDLE, the state’s crime rate is the lowest since Florida began keeping statistics 47 years ago and dropped 4.5 percent compared to 2016. In Palm Beach County, the crime rate dropped 5.6 percent last year.

DeGiulio said the department has seen success from putting crime prevention tips on social media to make residents aware of trends in car and home burglaries. But there has been a rash of car burglaries where owners leave their doors unlocked and valuables inside.

He said the three neighborhood community officers stationed in the Heart of Boynton have also helped by building relationships and partnerships with residents and community leaders.

Through the app Nextdoor, residents are giving tips to the police officers more now than ever before, he said.

The department will be getting a new police chief soon. The city manager is expected to appoint one of three finalists this week. The finalists are DeGiulio, Kenneth Ferguson, who retired this year as chief of the Framingham Police Department in Massachusetts; and Michael Gregory, a Fort Lauderdale assistant police chief in the department’s DROP retirement program.



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