Public Safety Continuum Taking Steps to Address Spike in Crime

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The City of Long Beach has announced the efforts underway from the Long Beach Public Safety Continuum in response to recent increases in crime. In 2014, the City achieved the lowest reported number of violent crimes in 42 years. However, over the past few months, overall crime has increased 5.3 percent when compared to the 5 year average through May 31, 2015.

“Every department in the city is working to address this summer spike in violence and to keep every community safe,” said Mayor Robert Garcia.

“We are very concerned about a recent spike in violent assaults,” said Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna. “We are working closely with City Departments on a public safety initiative, and increasing our efforts to enhance partnerships within the community. Keeping our city safe is everyone’s responsibility, and I look forward to working together to make an impact on crime.”

The Police Department continues to be proactive in efforts to combat crime. Officers are responding to high priority calls citywide in under five minutes, allowing for more opportunity to capture suspects and start investigations.

The City of Long Beach strongly encourages the community to be an active member in combating crime, and asks that “If you see something, say something.” All cities need the members of the public to come forward and provide information on what is happening in their community.

“Our police need our support so if you see a crime being committed, it needs to be reported so we can hold those who commit violent crimes accountable,” said Mayor Garcia.

A Citywide Public Safety Effort

The Police Department continues to partner with the City Prosecutor’s Office by enforcing Gang Court Orders, to suppress gangs from having control over our neighborhoods. Ninety-nine Gang Court Order arrests have been made so far this year, while 167 Gang Court Order arrests were made last year (2014).

With the support of City Council, $350,000 in non-recurring funding is currently being used to target residential property crime, allowing the Police Department to bolster efforts towards investigating and preventing burglaries. As of the end of May, the city has experienced 212 fewer residential burglaries for 2015, in comparison to May of last year, which is a 21.9 percent decrease.

Here’s a comparison of some categories of crime through May 2015, and compared to the five-year average (avg.):

  • Murder, down 27 percent; down 47 percent avg.
  • Aggravated assault, up 33 percent; up 12 percent avg.
  • Garage burglary, down 3 percent; down 9 percent avg.
  • Auto burglary, up 5 percent; down 5 percent avg.
  • Grand Theft Auto, up 6 percent; up 4 percent avg.
  • Petty theft greater than $50, up 72 percent; up 8 percent avg.

The entire Long Beach community benefits from the City’s Public Safety Continuum, which augments Police and Fire services with the work of several other City Departments and services all contributing to making Long Beach a better, and safer, city, including Library Services; Parks, Recreation and Marine; Workforce Development; City Prosecutor’s Office; Code Enforcement; Homeless and other Health Services; Graffiti Removal; and Affordable Housing.

The City also reaches out and works extensively with our community partners, including neighborhood organizations, non-profit agencies, and other government agencies.

The City’s Violence Prevention Plan, known as Safe Long Beach, has been nationally recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice, which provides an advantage in receiving federal grant awards to implement the plan.

Safe Long Beach is a comprehensive strategic plan for action to prevent violence in families, schools, and communities. Addressing a broad safety agenda, Safe Long Beach draws upon the City’s many existing assets. These include strong neighborhoods and neighborhood organizations, a thriving downtown, continuously emerging economic development opportunities, award winning schools, and stable leadership.

By forging relationships across disciplines, professions, and neighborhood boundaries, the Plan seeks to help provide victims with the protection and services they need to pursue safe and healthy lives.

The City will be planning an event in the area most affected by the recent increase in crime to offer services from the Public Safety Continuum, and engage youth in our community in a positive way.

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