Los Angeles: Earlier today, Directors of the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) held a press conference regarding the Department’s efforts to fight crime in the City of Los Angeles. The LAPD and its nearly 13,000 sworn and civilian employees work hard every day to make Los Angeles the safest big city in the Nation despite a state-wide trend of increasing crime. While reported violent and property crime increased in 2015, it is important to note the following facts.
Crime in Los Angeles continues to be at historic lows.
•Crime per capita in 2015 was lower than it was in 1953 when the City’s population was only two million residents compared to four million today;
•2015 marked the sixth year in a row that homicides were below 300 in the City. By contrast, in 1992, 1,094 people were murdered in Los Angeles; and
•Overall reported crime in 2015 represented a 21% decrease in crime compared to ten years ago.
Last year’s crime increase was largely driven by the following factors:
•The potential unintended effects of Proposition 47 and AB 109 which reduced penalties for certain offenses and promised additional services which have not yet materialized;
•Stricter reporting of aggravated assaults under the federal Uniform Crime Report system;
•Increased outreach to victims of domestic violence, traditionally an underreported crime; and
•The increase in the homeless population which increased the number of potential victims vulnerable to a variety of property and violent crimes.
Despite these factors, and the statewide trend of increasing crime, the LAPD has implemented several strategies in partnership with other City agencies and community groups which have taken hold and have had a positive effect in the last quarter of 2015. These successful strategies included:
•Significantly expanding the number of specially-trained officers assigned to LAPD’s Metropolitan Division who are flexibly deployed to rapidly respond to crime spikes and proactively prevent crimes throughout the City;
•Doubling the number of Domestic Abuse Response Teams (DART) enabling every LAPD patrol division to field specialized teams to prevent and respond to domestic violence incidents;
•Expanding the Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD) program to include twice as many GRYD zones that provide prevention and intervention services to at-risk youth;
•Combining City and County efforts to reduce homelessness comprehensively by increasing available housing and providing additional support services;
•Doubling the number of specially-trained teams of police officers and mental health professionals to respond to incidents involving a mental health crisis; and
•Expanding Smart Policing Initiatives to use sophisticated data analysis to deploy police resources in areas that will have the largest impact in preventing and reducing crime.
These proven strategies have not only reduced the much higher crime rates of past years but have shown positive results in the last quarter of 2015 and the initial weeks of this year. Through the expertise, creativity, and commitment of the officers and leaders who developed these successful strategies in the past, the LAPD will continue to work with the community to reduce crime throughout the City each and every day.