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Sheriff’s Office Reports Crime Rate Up – Detention Center Passes Inspection

HERNANDO – The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office released two reports this week, stating things are running smoothly at the Detention Center but crime across the county has slightly increased.

A recent inspection of the County’s Detention Center found that all areas of the facility, including cleanliness, safety, operations, kitchen, laundry, fire safety, and the medical unit was 100% compliant with Florida Sheriff’s Risk Management.

Officials say, “This achievement is the result of dedicated, professional detention staff being well trained, who are dedicated to doing the best job by being ever alert to the environment.” However, some say despite the favorable report, the facility still has room to improve.

Since January, there have been two inmate suicides and one detention deputy arrested during a narcotics sting operation, and some residents say that’s unacceptable.

Regarding the latest suicide, “Lisa Marie” says “Both losses are sad. What are the cameras even for if they’re not being watched?” “David” says “They made their choices; the people who work there are not babysitters, their corrections officers.”

In another report released by officials this week, the overall crime in Hernando County rose .2% in 2014 and has increased dramatically in the following areas: Forcible Rape – Up 21% (38 to 46), Aggravated Assaults – Up 3.4% (294 to 304). Larceny – Up 7.4% (2,511 to 2,697), Motor Vehicle Thefts – Up 22.5% (169 to 207). However, 2014 did show a decrease in Murder, Robberies and Burglaries. Murders – Down 37.5% (8 to 5), Robberies – Down 17.9% (56 to 46), Burglaries – Down 19.9% (982 to 787).

Officials say, despite the slight increase, the overall crime rate has decreased by nearly 40 percent during the last six years.

One factor that seems to at the core of most crime in Hernando County is drug abuse. In 2014 there were a total of 667 drug related arrests in Hernando County – that’s an average of nearly two arrests per day. Sadly, that number includes 79 juvenile arrests.

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (NCADD), 80% of all offenders abuse drugs or alcohol and nearly 50% of jail and prison inmates are clinically addicted.

RNRF has covered dozens of shootings, home invasions, armed robberies and other violent crimes in our county, with most having ties to drug trafficking, addiction and even gang activity.

Sheriff Al Nienhuis says, “Fortunately, the numbers from last year, as well as the numbers over the last few years and the informal numbers since January, show that the crime trends in Hernando County remain at historic lows. Although law enforcement cannot take complete credit or responsibility for crime trends, there is little doubt that a law enforcement vacuum will result in criminals getting a stronghold in the community.” He goes on to say “The availability of both formal and informal bad news, as well as the speed at which it travels in today’s society, can give misconceptions about the state of affairs with regard to the county’s crime rate. These numbers show that the men and women at the Hernando County Sheriff’s continue to work hard at keeping our county a safe place to live, work, play and raise a family.  I am proud of the job they do every hour of every day,” Sheriff Nienhuis said.

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  • Drug and alcohol help for people….here????…lol…more money in jails and prisons….catch and release to re offend…

    Wednesday, 27 May 2015, 2:54 am
  • So Kathy only if I’ve been addicted or if one of my kids are can I make a thoughtful assessment of someones ability or inability to get off drugs. Thats nonsense who doesn’t have personal experience in some way with drug abuse. That wasn’t the point the point was who is going to pay for it. And it won’t work unless they want it to. Your jailhouse facts about how other proven programs work at other jails also nonsense. Even the lamest programs work with willing and capable participants. I’m not speaking out of the side of my face I have been working with drug abusers for many years. The state, the county, the jails, the govt have not been the solution nor have they been able to keep the problem in check. Stop counting on the govt to take care of everyone those people can’t take care of themselves without screwing everything up.

    Monday, 25 May 2015, 2:08 am
  • Why on earth with all the horror stories associated with drug abuse would anybody with average intelligence went to get involved with drugs, Are people actually that stupid, We have to be living in an amazingly stupid time, God Help Us.

    Sunday, 24 May 2015, 4:14 pm
  • Hey, BDS, have you ever been addicted to drugs???? Most likely not, because if you did, you would know that people definitely do need professional help getting off and staying off the drugs. Sounds to me like you’ve never experienced being in this situation or having a son or daughter in this situation. Yes, I know that they have to be willing to want to get off the drugs, but if they were able to get the help they needed when they needed it, it would help. It’s been proven in other jails and prisons that with the right kind of programs being offered the likelihood of returning criminals is much lower.

    Sunday, 24 May 2015, 12:56 pm
  • Wake up Jodi and Kathy. Lets have counseling sessions in every house every day in the hopes we catch them at just the perfect moment. Tell you what get a better job make more money become a therapist and devote all those resources to people who don’t want or aren’t ready for help. Then ramble on about how the county isn’t providing services. These people are resourceful enough to get a fix when they want. They can get clean if they want.

    Sunday, 24 May 2015, 2:31 am
  • You would think with the rain pouring in thru the rotten ceilings and the black mold issues would at least get a cleanliness fail. Maybe “suicides”are not what they seem.In this county anyone can end up In there…Even good people with no record mistakes happen..Trust me I know. I have seen first hand what goes on in there.Nothing happened to me except the common place mental verbal abuse…but what I whitnessed..I left saying..I could not see what I have seen and do nothing.I am keeping my promise. I have been working with producers for some time now about my nigtmare and the jail has a small roll in that. Shame on all the authority figures,lawyers,judges and staff who know what goes on….talk about what goes on…express disgust over what goes on and yet do nothing. They will never have a program for help…it would stop the jails money train. What is it the lawyers call the probation dept here?…oh yea the county’s cash cow. Anyone out there who was taken “off camera” as the guards call it?

    Sunday, 24 May 2015, 12:35 am
  • It would make so much more sense if the county would provide more drug programs so that these people can get the help they need to get off of the drugs so they will not commit crimes anymore and be able to live a product life in society. They are not given enough help where they need it and therefore when they are released from jail they go right back to doing what they only know how to do. If they had help getting off the drugs and staying off the drugs they would be able to come out, get employment (which I know is also a very hard thing to do), and be able to live a drug-free life as a product citizen. But, of course this will never happen (the county providing the help that is desperately needed, which means that life will just continue on like this and things will only get worse…..

    Saturday, 23 May 2015, 3:12 pm
    • You are 100% right. There is no free drug programs in Fl. and certainly not in Hernando County. My theory is to generate income for such programs, start charging for vehicle inspections. This is only a small portion of what would be needed but it would be a start. Coming out of a Florida institution, prison or county jail already has a negative mark against one. No one in Hernando County is going to hire a convicted felony. So what happens for employment opportunities? There are none. I lived there a very long time until my child go into trouble. That all came to an end, and I immediately took my family and left, giving my child a new start, but no everyone has that opportunity. It’s so sad to see what has happened in Spring Hill and all the kids that are now drug addicts, drug dealers, convicted felonies and have ruined there life forever.

      Saturday, 23 May 2015, 9:28 pm
  • They are graded based upon standards by audit teams. They are passing because the files selected for auditors are the ones in compliance to the standard being graded.

    Saturday, 23 May 2015, 12:29 pm
  • Detention ctr passes 100% ..yea right

    Saturday, 23 May 2015, 5:03 am
  • How could the jail possibly get a good report!! They just recently had a fire, a long with the suicides and officer being arrested for drugs. And im sure there is more that has not been reported. Sounds like more cover up by the HCSO!!

    Saturday, 23 May 2015, 3:09 am

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