Los Angeles: At a news conference earlier today, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles Councilmember Jack Weiss and Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton announced historically low crime rates in the City of Los Angeles.
"Los Angeles is a resilient city, and a tide of safety and security is surging through the streets of our neighborhoods," Mayor Villaraigosa said. "Our success is the direct result of a comprehensive strategy that puts more cops in our communities and more resources in our neighborhoods. And LA’s residents are reaping the benefits."
“After six consecutive years of decreasing violent and property crimes,” said Chief Bratton during the news conference, “LAPD is moving in the right direction for an unprecedented seventh consecutive year of declining Part I Crimes.”
During the months of January and June, the LAPD saw a spike in homicides over a four-day period. There were 11 and 10 homicides respectively, and in March, homicides were up 40% (+26).
Through strategic deployment of resources, the LAPD has been responsive and successful in its efforts to work on the homicide problem throughout the City and by the month of July, there was a historic decrease in reported homicides, a total of 19. Citywide, as of August 2, 2008, there has been a 5.2% decrease in homicides, 12 fewer than one year ago. Not since March of 1970, 38 years ago, has the City of Los Angeles had a month with fewer murders.
The Department continues to work with local, state and federal law enforcement partners to devote resources to target specific areas of the City to address crime issues, and are confident that the Department is well underway to making Los Angeles the safest big City in America.
As evidenced by the recent arrest of the murderer responsible for 8 -year-old Jasmine Sanders, the community is helping to solve crimes. “We cannot do it alone,” said Chief Bratton. “Without the help of the community, we would not be able to solve as many homicides as we have this year.”
"The dramatic decrease in crime in Los Angeles is great news for our City and a testament to the hard work, dedication and vigilance of the Los Angeles Police Department and all of our law-abiding citizens,” said Police Commission President Anthony Pacheco. “We have not seen overall crime at levels this low for almost 40 years. This is an extremely encouraging development and further motivation to continue in the direction we have laid out for ourselves and the City."
Members of the Department acknowledge that work remains to be done and are empathetic to victims and families affected by crime. Though all murder investigations are handled with thoroughness and care, it is especially difficult to investigate a tragic murder like that of Sheriff Deputy Juan Escalante.
Robbery Homicide Detectives are working diligently on this case and are seeking the public’s assistance to provide any information they may have regarding the identity of the killer(s). On behalf of the men and women of the Department, our heartfelt sympathy goes to his family and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
For specific statistical information about the reduction of crime, please visit the official website of the Los Angeles Police Department at wwww.lapdonline.org.