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Tampa Police Department is recognized nationally for reducing violent crime

Posted at 7:16 PM, Dec 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-12 19:15:59-05

TAMPA, FLA - A captain with the Tampa Police Department created the Violent Impact Player program, a few years ago, and he recently received the 2018 Project Safe Neighborhoods Award for reducing violent crime by nearly 8 percent.

TPD said they are going after crooks who are committing violent crimes in the city.

“When you’re targeting specific people by any legal way you can, that’s how you’re making the streets safer,” Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said.

According to TPD, they have arrested more than 75 people under the program, which started nearly 3 years ago. TPD said they are continuing to see a reduction in violent crimes in the city. They said neighborhoods with significant decreases are Robles Park, Sulphur Springs, Tampa Park, and Jackson Heights.

Captain Paul Lusczynski was the winner of the 2018 Project Safe Neighborhoods Award for creating the program. The program targets people who are committing crimes like assaults and murders.

Chief Dugan said people will notice changes and will feel safer in their neighborhoods thanks to the program.

“We have a really small percentage of people who are actually out doing violent crimes and so what you try to do is…focus on those violent offenders and go after them and if you’re able to lock them up then you’re reducing your number of shootings out on the streets,” Chief Dugan said.

David Brown grew up in Jackson Heights, which is the same neighborhood he is raising his 2-year-old son.

“That’s one of the reasons why I try to teach my children to care about your neighborhoods, because that’s where it all starts,” David Brown said.

David Brown said there has been a reduction, but not a major reduction.

“The bar that used to be right here on the corner of 34th and Lake has closed so that’s helped keep it down because there was a tendency for a lot more shootings when the bar was open, but now that it's closed -as far as gunshots and things like that- we don’t hear a lot of, but the crime rate is still pretty much the same. There is still bad things happening throughout the neighborhood all the time,” David Brown said.