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Home Field Advantage: As Community Populations Increase, Agencies Find Creative Ways to Stretch Budgets Without Compromising Safety and Security on the Homefront

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 34 Issue: 6 Dated: June 2007 Pages: 116,118,125
Linda Spagnoli
Date Published
June 2007
9 pages
This article describes how St. Lucie County, FL, is maintaining state-of-the-art technology and law enforcement techniques under ever-dwindling funding sources.
St. Lucie County, FL is described as a small but rapidly growing seaside community in Florida that has had success in decreasing crime rates in recent years. Local law enforcement credits their decrease in crime with state-of-the-art technology and agency coordination. Local officials point out that governmental funding to St. Lucie County law enforcement agencies has decreased 90 percent since 2001. Prior to 2001, local law enforcement in St. Lucie County received more than $1 million dollars. Currently that figure is down to less than $100,000. In order to continue offering county residents the high level of safety they had grown accustomed to, local agencies began pooling their resources by coordinating services and acquiring equipment only once. Through this type of coordination, the county is able to meet it public safety requirements and use state-of-the-art equipment even as its governmental resources shrink. St. Lucie County has been so successful in coordinating resources and services that it will open the Indian River Community College (IRCC) Treasure Coast Public Safety Training Complex in 2008, which will include both a crime lab and a medical examiner’s office. St. Lucie County plans to continue implementing proactive technology and safety measures as its population continues to grow. Exhibits