TAMPA — Police are reporting another downtick in crime for the first half of 2009.
According to Tampa Police Department figures, crime dropped 17.6 percent in the first six months compared with the same period in 2008.
While there were 16 murders between January and June of 2008, there have been six in the first half of this year.
Besides murder, the most dramatic declines were in the numbers of motor vehicle thefts, larcenies and aggravated assaults reported.
Reported forcible sex crimes, meanwhile, continue to be on track with 2008.
There has been one more reported sex crime compared with last year's 60, the numbers show.
In April, police Chief Stephen Hogue and Mayor Pam Iorio held a news conference touting a 9.2 percent crime reduction between 2007 and 2008, and a whopping 46 percent drop since Iorio took office in 2003.
Now, as then, the department credited its "Focus on Four" strategy of targeting four of the city's most manageable crimes: robbery, burglary, auto theft and auto burglary.
They are crimes that tend to occur in waves and can be tracked geographically, police say.