The Cop Column
February, 2003
Corporal Rick Hord
Public Information Officer

Just What do Cops do All Day ????

This summer, the FBI will release its annual "Uniform Crime Reports," or UCR, which will be cited countless times in the national and local media as "Crime Rates," and "Crime Statistics."

Don't be misled: the official "Crime Statistics" bear little resemblance to the average day in the life of a local Law Enforcement Officer.

Many citizens are surprised to learn that approximately 85-percent of the activity of local law enforcement agencies is non-criminal in nature. False alarms, runaway teenagers, disturbed or troubled individuals, barking dogs and loud parties, traffic safety, and many other non-criminal situations occupy the bulk of your Officers' and Deputies' time.

In fact, the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office will be represented in the next UCR by exactly 3,680 incidents during the year 2002. That means the official "Crime Statistics" will completely ignore 97.4-percent of the 144,179 calls handled by your Sheriff's Deputies during the year.

That activity level, almost five percent higher than the previous year, averages out to one call or incident every three and one half minutes, 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Of those 144,179 incidents handled by Deputies, traffic stops were the most numerous category. Deputies averaged more than 57 traffic stops per day; plus another 46 other traffic-related incidents each day. Overall, traffic safety accounted for more than 26-percent of all incidents logged by your Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office last year.

Here are some other types of events that kept your deputies busy last year, in decreasing order in terms of average number of calls per day:

23 times per day: rendering some sort of assistance to citizens

20 times per day: responding to theft complaints

(46-percent of those thefts, about nine per day, were gasoline drive-offs)

18 times per day: responding to false alarms

14 times per day: checking out unverified 911 calls

13 times a day: handling some kind of non-domestic disturbance or fight

12 times a day: investigating reports of suspicious persons, vehicles, or activity

10 times per day: serving or attempting to serve subpoenas and injunctions

10 times per day: checking the security of vacant homes and businesses

8 times per day: assisting other agencies

7 times per day: transporting prisoners

6 times per day: investigating cases of vandalism or graffiti

5 times per day: responding to trespassing complaints

5 times per day: checking on the well-being of individuals

5 times per day: investigating reports of some kind of harassment or stalking

5 times per day: handling incidents of domestic violence, custody disputes,

or injunction violations

Following not far behind, with three to five calls per day each: burglaries; loud music and noise complaints; school zone details; intoxicated or disorderly persons; and, sadly, child abuse and child neglect.

A more complete rundown of the many and varied jobs performed by the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office can be found on our web site at