By Wesley Martin
“With the crime wave that we had … we had to knock that out,” said the City of Pensacola Police Department Chief, Chip Simmons. “What we did was put a lot of officers in the streets.”
According to a Pensacola Police Department representative, there has been four murders in the City of Pensacola for 2012.
Due to the spike in crime locally, a special task force comprised of the FBI, Florida Department Law Enforcement, ATF and the Florida State Attorney has teamed together to halt criminal activity.
Chief Simmons says they will transition from their current tactic of heavy patrol to focusing on cracking down on criminal activity in some of Escambia County’s highly populated housing communities.
“They’re havens for this type of behavior,” Simmons said. “If [this] doesn’t work,” Simmons said, “We’ll reevaluate and try it again.”
The increase in patrol has affected the City’s budget.
“We look at the budget, [and] try to ensure that it is effective,” said the mayor of the City of Pensacola, Ashton J. Hayward. “We don’t necessarily want to cut things, but we’re trying to make people do more with less.”
“There are plenty of people across the board, from my office to all the way down to sanitation and ESP, [that] can do more with less,” Hayward continued. “There are people who can do more than one thing. We don’t want to be spread thin, but when it comes down to it, we’re going to have to do more as a community with less resources sometimes because there is a budget constraint.”