Year-end citywide crime statistics show a continuing trend in the overall reduction of citywide crime, compared to last year and our five-year average. Additionally, citywide violent crime is down 8% and property crime is down 4.3% from last year. Violent crime had reductions in robbery and a double-digit reduction in aggravated assaults. Property crime has reductions in six categories with the most significant reductions in bike thefts, residential and garage burglaries, and petty theft over the amount of $50.
“Crime continues to drop in Long Beach,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Over the last few years, we’ve continued to make investments in our Police Department, supported the use of new technology, and have made neighborhoods safer. I’m proud of the men and women of the LBPD, and their commitment to making Long Beach one of the safest big cities in America.”
Overall, we observed a reduction in total violent crime, however, increases in the category are attributed to rape and murder. There were 34 murders in 2019, which is an increase when compared to 30 from the previous year but continues to be a decrease when compared to overall historical crime statistics. Approximately, 44% of murders were gang-related and nearly 12% were domestic violence related. Rape remains one of the most unreported crimes and like most of the nation, we have seen an increase in the category locally. A vast majority of reported incidents involved known suspects, and factors contributing to the upward national increase in rape are delayed reporting and drugs or alcohol.
“Overall crime totals continue to decrease and that is largely due to the work both sworn and civilian employees accomplish every single day. However, there is still more work to be done to further reduce crime in our City,” stated Chief of Police Robert G. Luna. “It is unacceptable that innocent people are impacted by senseless criminal activity. We will continue to work in partnership with our community on strategies to reduce crime and continue to support those victims affected by these crimes.”
Areas of continued focus for the Police Department in 2019 were:
- Persons Experiencing Homelessness: As part of the City’s ongoing efforts to address issues related to homelessness, the Department consolidated the efforts of the Mental Evaluation Team and the Quality of Life (QOL) teams into a combined collaborative unit and has increased the number of QOL officers from two to four, to allow for a dedicated officer in each division. The Metro contract has also expanded to include two additional QOL officers to address crime and homeless related issues on the Metro trains and platforms. To further contribute to the City’s Interdepartmental Team’s efforts in addressing the issue of homelessness a liaison officer has been put in place to work directly with the Multi-service Center to enhance overall collaboration.
- Prohibited Possessors: The Department continues to focus resources on persons who are prohibited or illegally possessing a firearm with yearly operations in and around the City. Last year the department seized over 1,030 firearms, which is a 16% increase from 2018.
- Use of Force: We have observed an approximate 15% decrease in overall uses of force. In 2019 the Department had a total of two officer involved shootings, the lowest observed in recent history.
- Neighborhood Safe Streets: Additionally, in FY19 the City Council authorized $1.9 million for “Neighborhood Safe Streets” which has enabled the Department to conduct 42 public safety operations. Based on community input the operations focus on a wide array of crime reduction and quality of life efforts.
- Technology and Analytics: Earlier, this year the Department announced its partnership with Ring and the utilization of the “Neighbors” app giving the Department a new investigative tool to address crime. In addition to taking proactive steps to try to prevent crime before it happens through patrol enforcement and community engagement, the department also utilizes crime analysts who continuously review all available data to quickly identify emerging crime trends, so the appropriate resources can be deployed to address the problem at hand.
- Community Engagement: The Department understands the unparalleled value in building relationships with those we serve. As such, the Department continues to concentrate on our neighborhood and business associations to prevent, impact, and reduce crime. Personnel from all divisions participated in hundreds of community meetings/gatherings this year alone. We can further impact crime with your help, and residents can help by joining a community watch where they live or work. Learn more about our community watch here.
The Long Beach Police Department is committed to continuing making Long Beach streets safe for all and firmly believes that collaboration with our community is a key factor in achieving that goal. Strengthening partnerships and communication, fostering community trust and engagement, and promoting the “See Something, Say Something” philosophy throughout our city will allow us to leverage our collective efforts to drive our crime rates even lower.
To view all Long Beach Police Department crime statistics: http://www.longbeach.gov/police/crime-info/crime-statistics/