There are lots of great things happening around Sacramento, but one of the best things is what is not happening, or at least happening less. Crime is down in our city. Specifically, violent crime, burglary, robbery, vehicle theft and more.
Sacramento Police crime statistics show that in 2013 vehicle theft was down 14%, burglary down 13%, and assaults were down 14%. In fact some crimes, like burglary and vehicle theft, are at their lowest reported levels in decades. This good news comes at a time when our police department is finally adding back positions following years of cuts.
While we cannot know for sure the cause for the decrease in crime, a few interestings things have developed in the past few years that may have helped. The first is that our police department is managed effectively and efficiently. They have continued to do more with less, using new techniques and technologies to sometimes make up for a lack of personnel and resources. Their data driven "hot spot" policing is one example of that. The other innovation are tools for the community like NextDoor.com. If you are not on NextDoor.com, I would encourage you to check it out. It is a great tool for neighbors to connect and share what is going on in their neighborhood.
Additionally, as a result of Measure U, we are now in the process of hiring many more police officers. Some are already on the job, some are currently in the Academy. Within the next year, we should see great patrols and hopefully the restoration of some of the specialty units, like the gang, narcotics, and traffic units.
This does not mean that we don't have a great deal of work to do. I have received many comments about challenges with our alleys, and speeding on Sutterville Road, 21st, and 24th Streets. My office has worked with many of you to gate some of our alleys -- if this is something you are interested in, please give my office a call. I have also asked our traffic folks to undertake a new study of 21st and 24th Streets to see what can be done about speeding -- particularly with the opening of Curtis Park Village. I'll keep you updated.
At the end of the day, crime prevention is still a responsibility for all of us. It is important that if you see something that doesn't look right, you report it.
There are so many positive things happening in our City. I'm excited that crime is down, and I'm optimistic that with the addition of new police officers and additional tools that engage and empower the community we can keep this positive trend going.
In addition to his council duties, Jay works as an independent consultant and policy advisor on education reform and youth policy and strategies.