Despite the crime stories that dominate the national news, locally the crime rate is down. In the cities and unincorporated areas patrolled by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, as well as in the city of Bartow, with its own police department, citizens were safer last year. Statistics from 2012, comparisons to 2011, and some law enforcement perspectives on the decrease were gathered this week. The numbers are those reported annually to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in the Uniform Crime Report.
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