The overall number of crimes like robberies, assaults and auto theft in Boynton Beach has declined by double digits since this time in 2019.
"When you add up those serious crimes, we're looking at between 15 and 20 percent reduction year to date."
Police Chief Michael Gregory says the biggest declines came in business burglaries, which are down 49 percent year-over-year and residential burglaries are down 41 percent.
He says the lockdowns earlier in the year had something to do with it.
"I think that played a role in crime in general."
There was an uptick in burglary and vandalism cases in recent weeks, including several business burglaries and attempted burglaries that happened early Tuesday morning.
Chief Gregory believes officers have caught the person responsible in several of these recent crimes.
"We do see a pattern between them. We do believe that there is a number of them that are related and were committed by the same suspect and we do have a suspect in custody."
Chief Gregory says the Police Department is hiring.
He's looking for as many as 15 new officers.
The department put a post on Facebook, announcing a starting salary of nearly $57,000 and a $5,000 signing bonus for certified police officers joining the team.
We asked Chief Gregory what traits he'd like in an officer.
"Integrity, trust worthiness, a willing to be a servant to this community. We really are looking for people committed to policing and not just building a resume or using this as a stepping stone to some other aspiration in the future. We're looking for people that can be trusted with the lives and the property of the people and the businesses here in Boynton Beach."
He says they haven't had a higher than normal number of officers retiring early, but the vacancy rate is higher than average. The chief blames that on the old hiring process the agency used when he joined two years ago.
That process has been revamped.
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