PUBLISHED SUNDAY NOVEMBER 20, 1997
Copyright 1997 The Pensacola News Journal. All
disputes claims of crime reduction
By Amie K.
Brownsville Revival leaders claim
the revival has reduced crime in the Pensacola
Statistics and statements from the county 's
top law enforcement officer show otherwise.
The Escambia County Sheriff 's Office crimes
and arrests statistics show that crime actually
rose in 1996 compared to 1995, the year the
The actual number of crimes rose 3 percent,
from 13,121 in 1995 to 13,502 in 1996. The data
is for the seven index crimes tracked by law
enforcement nationwide: murder, rape, robbery,
aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor
Escambia Sheriff Jim Lowman said he can 't see
that the revival has had a great impact on the
"But if they make crime go away, we 'll
give them all the credit," he said.
Revival leaders have also claimed that law
enforcement officers are so impressed by the
revival that on occasion they have hauled
suspects into the revival instead of taking them
That has never happened, Lowman said, and it
simply could not happen because it would be a
violation of law enforcement procedure.
"If we have someone in custody, based on
the statutes, taking them to church, any church,
is not an option," Lowman said.
"We don 't have any information that
indicates we have ever done that, nor has any
other law enforcement agency."
Jerry Potts, Pensacola Police assistant chief,
said that a number of people have asked him if
there is any truth to that story.
Potts said, emphatically, that none of his
officers ever took such action.
"We just don 't do that kind of
thing," he said
Revival leaders have also claimed the revival
is reducing juvenile crime, and they point to
crime data to prove their claim.
Law enforcement officials say that data tells
only part of the story.
The revival leaders are citing state figures
for the number of juveniles taken into custody,
not the number of arrests or crimes for which
they were arrested.
Escambia Sheriff 's Office statistics show
that juvenile arrests almost doubled in 1996
compared to the year before, increasing from
1,243 to 2,392.
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