Arlington Crime Shows Little Change from '04-'05; in Zone 2, Total Crime Was Down 0.3 Percent

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Byline: JOHN CARTER

The Arlington police chief said the buck has stopped with him long enough that, along with experience, he's gaining something else.

"I suppose I have a few more gray hairs," joked Assistant Chief Jean "Carson" Tranquille, who oversees Zone 2 for the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. "I've been here over a year now and it's a big responsibility. But I do enjoy having an opportunity to make a difference and to address some important issues."

Statistics recently released by the Sheriff's Office show that crime in Zone 2 showed little change from 2004 to 2005.

Total crime in the area declined 0.3 percent, from 9,899 to 9,867. Overall property crime declined by 0.5 percent, from 8,896 to 8,848. And total violent crime in the Zone 2 rose from 1,003 to 1,019 for a 1.6 percent increase.

Tranquille said he's encouraging more communication among officers and using high-tech crime analysis to address crime hot spots in the sprawling Arlington area, which, like the rest of the city, is experiencing rapid growth.

"The improved communication is making a difference," the chief said. "The officers not only talk and make more written reports, but they're e-mailing detailed information more often -- to alert officers on a following shift, for example."

He said crime analysis unit maps quickly produce "clusters" of markers to aid in marshaling resources and personnel to problem areas.

"The earlier we can move into a hot spot area, the better chance we have of preventing a bigger problem," he said. "It's all part of a philosophy of staying proactive and paying attention to the small things before they become big ones."

Tranquille has been a police officer for 22 years and with the Sheriff's Office for 19 years. He was born in Haiti, moved to New York City, then came to Florida as an adult. He lives in Oceanway with his wife, Vanessa, a corrections sergeant for the Sheriff's Office.

The chief said he sees the positive influence of Sheriff's Advisory Councils and other neighborhood watch groups every day.

"Just a few months ago we shut down a drug house based on intelligence from watch groups," he said. …