Agency Type: Police Department
Population Size, based on the most recent U.S. Census Bureau: 10,512
Agency Size: 38 total - 32 sworn; 6 non-sworn
Initiative Partnership(s): Palatka Housing Authority; 7th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office; Putnam County Sheriff's Office
Grant Focus Area(s): Technology; Firearm-related Crime
The Palatka, Florida, Police Department (PPD) has a staff of 32 sworn officers serving a population of over 10,000 residents. Palatka is the largest municipality and county seat for Putnam County, Florida. Palatka has a high violent crime rate, and in 2021, the community had a significant spike in firearm-related violence and other weapons violations. Officers respond to armed disturbances daily, and witnesses were often only able to provide minimal details about the vehicle and suspect, which substantially impacted investigations.
The PPD intends to expand their automated license plate reader (ALPR) program to assist in reducing violent crime, specifically crimes relating to firearms. In partnership with the Palatka Housing Authority, the 7th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office, and the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the PPD identified the ALPR placement, with the goal of affecting a notable decrease in violent criminal activity.