ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Orlando’s new police chief sat down with FOX 35 to tackle a troubling statistic. The homicide rate nearly doubled from last year.
Chief Rolon isn’t thrilled when he spouts off that statistic, but he promises he’s a man with a plan and hopes some of those plans will go into effect in just a few weeks.
Police Chief Orlando Rolon has given 26 years to the city of Orlando patrolling these streets, investigating these crimes and overseeing police action. But in his newest role as chief, he’s been analyzing data.
“We found that there is a correlation between drug activity, illegal firearms.”
That’s an important trend, he says, when you consider more than 80 percent of this year’s homicides involved a firearm.
There were 43 homicides in Orlando in 2018, compared to just 27 last year. That’s a 60 percent increase.
Chief Rolon is now doing a data deep dive to see how he can lower the homicide rate. The first step includes a massive upgrade.
“Technology is vital for law enforcement moving forward,” said Chief Orlando Rolon.
He says the department’s dispatching, alarm and record management system will get an overhaul this summer.
“So that you can literally, yourself at your fingertips, you can do a lot of that work to know what's going on in your district” right from the computer in the patrol car.
Another goal is to restructure the department’s 825 officers, increasing the number of crime analysts. He says better understanding of trends will lead to more focused patrolling and prevention of crimes.
“With the help of that data, we will be able to then utilize our resources to hopefully be more proactive.”
Because at the end of the day, “our goal here is to make sure that they live in an area where they feel comfortable anywhere they want,” said Chief Rolon.
The first meeting to restructure the department is scheduled for January.
Chief Rolon also says the community needs to do its part and report suspicious activity that can help prevent crimes before they happen. He says it’ll never both them to get a 911 call.