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Statistics show it's safer in Williston

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By Jim Clark

Crime is up in Levy County, statistics show, but not in the city of Williston.

Uniform crime statistics released by the Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement on Tuesday showed that the crime rate in Williston dropped 15.2 percent in the first six months of 2008. In Levy County, that same statistic climbed 42.5 percent.

According to Williston Police Chief Dan Davis, the Levy figure was the third highest increase in the state.

Davis says that Williston's crime has dropped each year since 2005. He credited "an aggressive work force dedicated to a small specific community as making the difference." Davis added that "Local thieves and reckless drivers are well aware of our presence," and they largely avoid Williston.

"We are paid to keep our residents safe and that's what we do. The difficult economy and high value of scrap metal has driven the unemployed and the underemployed to steal everything that isn't nailed down -- and some of that as well."

Although the crime rate is low, the clearance rate is also low, at 26.9 percent.

The report showed no comparison figure for Chiefland, but of the others the biggest percentage increase was in Cedar Key, closely followed by Inglis.

The complete state report can be found at www.fdle.state.fl.us/fsac/ucr/.