Clay Sheriff Michelle Cook address recent crime in county

Clay County Sheriff on crime

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — It has been nearly two months since Clay County Sheriff Michelle Cook has been in office.

Sheriff Cook has had to handle large investigations in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, including this past week when two women were murdered in separate domestic-related incidents.

Friday, Action News Jax questioned Sheriff Cook about crime in the county and what’s being done to keep local families safe.

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“Anytime there’s a homicide, it’s tragic,” Sheriff Cook said.

She said the Clay County Sheriff’s Office is committed to solving the domestic violence challenges the community faces.

“During Domestic Violence Prevention Month in October, we announced the formation of a task force.” Sheriff Cook said.

It’s made up of four deputies who will be on the job 24/7 and two investigators whose sole duty is to follow up on domestic violence cases.

Sheriff Cook touted a decline in crime in the community.

“Our crime numbers are trending down for the year, both violent crime and property crime are down,” Sheriff Cook said.

Action News Jax compared data of the most serious crimes from the CCSO crime watch page.

From the day Cook became the Clay County Sheriff to today, 151 serious crimes have been reported in Clay.

That’s compared with data from the same time period in 2019 when there were 209 crimes reported, and 259 in 2018.

Sheriff Cook attributes the decline in crime to the hard work of deputies.

“The men and women who serve our community every day, those are the ones that are going out there. They are the ones that are preventing crime,” Sheriff Cook said.