The St. Augustine Police Department shared new statistics with Action News Jax on Monday, saying the violent crime rate from went down by 8.1% from 2017 to 2018.
Police also said the city’s violent crime index is down 7% in the same time period.
The statistics come after city leaders discussed changes to nightlife to crack down on recent violent incidents, which some city leaders believe may be linked to the late night economy.
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Action News Jax reported Sunday that police are increasing downtown patrols on weekends, and city commissioners are asking businesses to pay attention to the amount of alcohol they’re serving.
Some businesses have even been trained on how to avoid over-serving patrons.
Carmelo’s Marketplace said it is shutting down early on weekend nights to create a safer environment.
The decision comes after two recent shootings on the property.
Joseph Tringali, owner of Carmelo’s Marketplace, told Action News Jax he’s closing up shop from 1:30-2:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and is willing to accept the impact the decision could have on the bottom line.
“Money’s not that important to me to stay open and jeopardize the safety of our employees,” said Tringali.
He said late night alcohol sales have resulted in large crowds congregating at the business just before 2 a.m.
Action New Jax's Ryan Nelson obtained exclusive video showing crowds scattering, people ducking for cover and police investigating in the moments after a shooting in the parking lot in early April.
According to SAPD, there was one reported injury from possible shrapnel in the April incident, and the shooter is on the run.
Nelson also obtained video of a man firing a shot over the nearby Flagler College Dorm from the Carmelo’s parking lot in March.
Police later arrested 27-year-old Elbert Ortiz-Maldonado in connection with the March shooting.
Officers are asking anyone with information in April’s shooting at Carmelo’s to come forward.
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