The Most Dangerous Cities in Florida and Why | Cove Security
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The Most Dangerous Cities in Florida and Why

Florida is notorious for its eccentricity. If you google “Florida Man,” you will find, among other things, that a Florida man has bitten a police officer, found treasure in a shipwreck, and probably robbed several restaurants.

Florida’s eccentricity isn’t the only thing that makes it notable, though. In a recent ranking of states by safety, Florida ranked as the 21st most dangerous state to live in. While this may sound fairly average, Florida is actually home to the 3rd and 5th most dangerous cities in the US. So it’s important to know exactly which areas of Florida are safe, and which are not. In 2016, 1,111 deaths were recorded by Florida state’s police department as murders. This is a murder rate of 5 per 1,000 residents, which is actually fairly close to the national average. So depending on where you live in Florida, you could either be in one of the safest or one of the most dangerous places in America.

Miami-Dade County in southern Florida plays host to both of the dangerous cities ranked above: Florida City and Opa-Locka. Northern Florida tends to be a little safer, with lower rates of both violent and property crime, but it still is far from being the safest place in America. Tallahassee is still ranked among the most dangerous cities in America.

Miami-Dade County

Florida City is by far the most violent city in Florida, with a safety rating of -3.66. According to FBI crime data, the crime rate in Florida city is 126 crimes per thousand residents, making this not only one of the most dangerous cities in Florida, but also one of the most dangerous cities in the country. Florida city is dangerous for a combination of reasons:

  1. The risk of being the victim of a violent crime is almost 1 in 43
  2. Violent crimes are on the rise in part because gun laws tend to be laxer, making it easier for people to access firearms and commit violent crimes
  3. Poverty levels in this area are high, at 41.2%

The next most dangerous city in Florida is Opa-Locka, a smallish city near Miami. It has a safety rating of -2.93, and a crime rate of 78 crimes per thousand residents. Despite the high crime rate, this area is in Miami, meaning that there are plenty of beautiful beaches nearby, just remember to be safe as you try to get there. The poverty rate in Opa-Locka is lower than in Florida City, at 50.9% of the population living below the poverty line.

Southern Florida is also dangerous for other reasons. Wealthy pet-lovers will often acquire dangerous and exotic pets including hippopotami and pythons, which sometimes escape into the wild. Florida’s python population is on the rise.

Luckily for Miami-Dade county residents, the Miami-Dade police department is the largest police force in the southeastern United States and is working actively to combat crime in the area. They provide several programs and opportunities to cooperate with the police department. Unfortunately police officers are kept busy by the high crime rates in the area.

Below is a crime map of Miami-Dade County over the course of the past seven days:

Other dangerous cities in Southern Florida include Riviera Beach (50 crimes per thousand residents), and Lauderdale Lakes (42 crimes per thousand residents).

Northern Florida Crime Rate

Daytona Beach, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, and Tallahassee are all fairly large cities north of the tip of the peninsula. Daytona Beach has a crime rate of 60 crimes per thousand residents. With its reputation as a touted spring break location, in addition to motorcycle rallies and other large gatherings, this part of Florida can sometimes get pretty busy, which may lead to higher crime rates during specific parts of the year. This area also experienced a brief killing spree by murderer Robert Hayes from 2005 to 2007. He killed four women in the area.

The Tampa Crime Rate is 22.5 crimes per thousand residents, which is much better than cities in the Miami area, but still not great. Neighborhood Scout says that Tampa is safer than 25% of American cities, which isn’t exactly a glowing recommendation, but doesn’t make it the most dangerous city either.

Orlando is most famous because of its theme parks, including Universal Studios Park (with its Harry Potter-themed area), and Disneyworld. Unfortunately, all of that tourist traffic once again means a higher crime rate. The crime rate in Orlando is 57 crimes per thousand residents, almost as high as Daytona Beach, and much higher than Tampa. Orlando’s murder rate was also on the rise as of 2019.

Tallahassee is yet another Florida city with a high crime rate, this time 55 crimes per thousand residents. Historically, Tallahassee has been the site of several high-profile murders including, those of prolific serial killer Ted Bundy, and a yet unsolved 1966 triple murder of the Sims family. Despite this, Tallahassee is still a thriving city.

Crime Map Jacksonville, FL

Below is a map of crimes in Jacksonville, FL over the past 7 days. Jacksonville’s crime rate is 40 crimes per thousand residents, which is fairly low compared to places further south. It still is not ideal, but violent crime tends to be much less common in Jacksonville than in cities like Miami.

The Flipside: Safest Cities in Florida

Not every city in Florida is incredibly dangerous, there are safe places to live as well. Here is a report of the 5 safest cities in Florida.

  1. Sweetwater, Florida has a safety rating of 1.21, making it the safest city in Florida. Sweetwater is located near Miami, which goes to show that just because a neighborhood is near Miami does not mean that crime rates will be uniform. Finding a safe neighborhood could be key.
  2. Naples, Florida has a safety rating of 1.12. This city is located on the gulf side of the Florida peninsula. At a population of 21,000, it’s a pretty small city, but it has a fairly low unemployment rate and is located near some beautiful beaches. The city’s low population probably contributes to its lower rates of violent and property crime.
  3. Key Biscayne, Florida has a safety rating of 1.06. This is one of the Florida Keys, islands off the Florida coast. It’s a beautiful place to live and has a relatively small population.
  4. Coral Gables, Florida has a safety rating of 1. Like Sweetwater, it is fairly close to Miami, meaning that once again, you can count on some beautiful beaches nearby, and a city center within an hour.
  5. Satellite Beach, Florida has a safety rating of 0.83. It is about halfway between Miami and Jacksonville, and fairly close to Daytona beach.

Security Companies in Florida

A great way to protect yourself, your family, and your home in Florida is to install a home security system. Today, systems are available that are cost-effective and wireless. DIY home security systems are rising in popularity because of their inexpensive and convenient nature. At Cove, we provide home security systems that are customizable to your needs. Want a motion detector in your hallway? Done. What about an indoor camera? We can do that too, and our cameras utilize cloud storage rather than SD card storage. All of this is managed by one easy-to-use touch control panel.

Cove Smart Home Security

Cove specializes in providing DIY Home Security Systems at a great price. No credit check, no contracts, and no installation technicians are required to purchase a Cove System. Additionally, Cove systems can be ordered online through our website, Cove offers several different packages. If you can’t find a package that you like, you can build your personalized security package, complete with whatever sensors you’d like to use.

Setting up a Cove system can take as little time as 10 minutes to accomplish. Much of the technology in Cove’s system is similar to an Alder system, but monitoring costs and fees are minimized by the DIY installation.

Cove is a DIY-only home security company with home automation, incredibly competitive pricing, and great customer service. We will ship all security system orders within 1 business day, and the security system usually arrives at your home between 3-5 days later. We also offer a 60-day money-back guarantee. If you find that you are dissatisfied with your security system, you can send it back for a full refund within 60 days of purchase.

Cove's packages are customizable. The set packages range in cost from $229-$389, with a $0 down option also available.

If the provided packages don't seem right for your situation, no problem! You can build your package. Cove’s security systems incorporate the following elements:

  • Central Touch Alarm Panel: Cove’s command central is a touchscreen control panel. Set up is quick and easy, and can take as little time as 10 minutes to finish. With 4G cellular monitoring, we’ll always have an eye on your home security, even if your phone lines go down.
  • Cameras: Cove offers a YI indoor camera with good surveillance capabilities, night vision, and baby crying detection.
  • Motion Sensors: These sensors will detect movement within your home.
  • Door, Window, and Glass-break detectors: These will monitor any unusual activity around your doors and windows.
  • Environmental Detectors: Cove offers a fire detector, flood detection, freeze sensors, and carbon monoxide detectors. The freeze detector acts as a sort of smart thermostat to catch if your home temperature drops below a certain dangerous level.
  • Medical Button: Cove is a full-life security system, meaning that we also want to take care of your health as well as your safety. With our medical button, you and your loved ones are just a touch away from emergency help.
  • Alarm Monitoring Service: Cove offers a professional monitoring service with all the benefits of a professional security system and for the price of a DIY system.

Each sensor and camera is individually priced if you build your own package, which has the potential to save you a lot of money in the long run. Cove also frequently has sales on equipment, which can allow you to build your ideal system for an even lower price.

Cove's monthly monitoring costs range from $14.99-$34.99. This is cheaper than the industry average, and certainly much cheaper than Protect America and some of the other leading brands in Florida.

Alder Security

One of the top-rated and most used security companies in the southern US, and especially Florida, is Alder home security. Alder is a traditional security company, meaning that most of its sales are made through door-to-door contact. Their systems are high-quality, and they do offer a DIY installation option if you are not too keen on letting a stranger into your home to install your system. In the traditional home security market, Alder Home Security offers better value and better service than both Vivint and ADT. Alder has been around since the early 2000s and does quite a bit of business in the midwestern states as well as in the southern United States.

Alder does not have a minimum credit score requirement to receive the service. Monthly monitoring costs at Alder generally run around $34.99 per month, although you should call to get a quote to find out for sure. There are no hidden fees and the contract lasts 3 years, or 36 months. Thus, you are likely to spend about $425 a year in security costs, which is slightly cheaper than ADT. Professional installation costs extra, but the DIY installation option is a quick way to cut costs.

Alder’s home security system incorporates a few important elements:

  • Touchscreen Control Panel: This is the central element of the system. Through this panel, you can arm and disarm your system, and communicate with the monitoring team. Your security system is backed up to a 4G cellular network, so you won’t have to worry about anyone shutting it down from outside, and the system also incorporates backup batteries in the case of a power outage.
  • Keyfob and Mobile App: These allow you to arm and disarm your alarm system from outside your home.
  • Fire, Carbon Monoxide, and Flood Alarms: Alder offers fire alarms integrated into the system, but they also offer integrated flood and carbon monoxide detection. The flood sensor will notify you when there is standing water in your home, which can be especially helpful in a place like Houston.
  • Door and Window Sensors: These sensors essentially consist of a magnetized system that notices when doors and windows have been opened. When your system is armed and people shouldn’t be coming and going through your home, you’ll know.
  • Motion Sensor: These detect motion within 45 feet of the sensor, with a 90-degree viewing angle
  • Security Cameras: Alder utilizes Kami’s outdoor security camera to provide an expansive and reliable look outside your home. Alder’s YI Indoor camera is even smaller and more discreet than the outdoor camera.
  • Medical Pendant: Alder’s medical pendant is essentially a panic button, similar to a LifeAlert button. Simply press the button in case of a medical emergency, and Alder will rapidly send the authorities to your home.

Alder is a good and flexible option for traditional security, but you should make sure you are okay with the contract terms and fees. On the bright side, Alder does offer a money-back guarantee within 30 days of purchase.

Protect America

Protect America offers itself as a cheaper alternative to competitors like ADT and Vivint. Like Cove and Alder, much of their business takes place in the southern US. Unfortunately, Protect America offers a more limited range of technology than Cove. Their monitoring costs range from 20-55 dollars a month, which is pricier than Cove as well. They offer DIY installation, but you must call to get a quote for a security system.

This company’s equipment includes the following:

  • Door and Window Sensors: These are advertised as “micro” sensors, but incorporate similar technology to that of a Cove system.
  • Motion Detectors: Basic motion detector technology to sense heat and motion within your home.
  • Security Camera: Protect America offers two security cameras. One is an HD indoor camera, and the other is a doorbell camera to discourage porch pirates and identify visitors before you open your door.
  • Smoke Detector: Protect America does offer a smoke detector, but none of the other environmental detectors offered by both Alder and Cove
  • Smart Home Integration: Protect America can be integrated with Alexa.

Before you commit to Protect America, make sure they have everything you want in your home security system. They offer DIY installation and professional monitoring, but less variety than companies like Cove.


Google Nest is another system that integrates with Alexa, and is fairly well-known, although it is not necessarily the most cost-effective option out there. The most basic Nest package costs around $399, making it more expensive than many other DIY home security options. Nest does have some fancier tech available for additional fees though, including a smart thermostat. Monitoring costs are an additional price, somewhere between 5 and 30 dollars a month.

Safety Wherever You Are

Whether you end up in Tallahassee, Miami, or a smaller town like Sweetwater, the risk of burglary and other crimes is unfortunately never zero percent. For this reason, it will always be important for you to protect yourself from those with malicious intent. One of the best ways to go about doing this is to practice smart safety practices. You should make sure to always lock your doors and windows, for your car as well as those in your home. It is also important to be careful when traveling at night. Always keep your cell phone battery fully charged, and do not approach areas with bad cell reception after dark.

Cove is one of the best products on the market. So, if you are moving to Florida, consider getting a DIY Cove alarm system to help you protect yourself. Never has safety technology been more advanced and inexpensive all at once.

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