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The original item was published from 3/17/2022 12:08:38 PM to 3/29/2022 5:05:00 PM.

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Posted on: March 15, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Haines City Among Florida's Safest

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For the fourth straight year, Haines City is among the safest cities in the state of Florida as the city’s crime rate has again hit an all-time low.

SafeWise, a publication that focuses on safety issues and safety data, has listed Haines City as the 43rd-safest city in the state for 2022. That’s a two-spot climb since last year.

After falling by a staggering 22% in 2020, total crime rate fell by more than 19% in 2021, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR). The UCR reflects statistics for seven crimes: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft.

“Crime continuing to hit historic lows year after year is a testament to the hard work of our officers and the success of our crime suppression strategies,” Chief Jim Elensky said. “We will continue to be proactive in identifying hot spots, making sure our officers are in the right position to combat these crimes and following up to ensure our strategies are working.”

The UCR numbers for 2021 show a total of just 1,326 crimes per 100,000 residents. That’s the lowest where records are available. This is the third straight year that total crime rate has dipped to a new low. Available UCR data could only be obtained dating back to 1995, but crime rates have dropped significantly statewide since then.

There were 61 total fewer indexed crimes in 2021 despite a rise in population of 7%. Violent crime rate fell by nearly 11% while property crime rate decreased by greater than 20%. 

“The fact that potential residents and business owners can move to our city and know they’re going to be safe and well-protected is a huge burden off our shoulders as city administrators,” City Manager Edward Walker Dean said. “My hat goes off to Chief Elensky and all the men and women who put their lives on the line to make sure we can sleep soundly at night. Too often, we take that for granted.”

With population increasing by 29% since 2015, the Haines City Police Department continues to increase its number of sworn personnel to ensure that crime continues to trend downward. The agency now has an allotment for 70 sworn officers. To see the full list of Florida’s safest cities, visit

“We’re incredibly fortunate to have a supportive City Commission and city administration who believe in our vision and understand the role that law enforcement plays in providing a high quality of life for our residents and business owners,” Elensky added. “We also value the collaboration that we have with other law enforcement and criminal justice partners, including the State Attorney’s Office as we all strive to make our communities safer.”

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