Santa Monica Crime Update from Police Chief Cynthia Renaud
March 8, 2019
by Cynthia Renuad
This article originally appeared in the March edition of Seascape.
Safety continues to be a top priority for our City, and I want to take this opportunity to provide an update on the latest crime data, the continued efforts of the Santa Monica Police Department to address these issues and how you can help.
Compared to 2017, Part 1 crimes increased 8.8% equating to 450 more incidents. Property crimes account for over 86% of our Part 1 crimes as shown in chart 1.
Theft and burglary are what comprise a majority of our crime increases here in Santa Monica. We experienced 373 more thefts this year. This includes car windows being smashed to steal items left in plain view and stolen bicycles. Other thefts include wallets left in shopping carts, and purses hanging off the back of a chair in a coffee shop.
ROBBERIES AND AGGRAVATED ASSAULTS ARE THE LARGEST CATEGORIES IN VIOLENT CRIME
In the robbery category, 24% are Estes robberies, this is when a suspect entered a store, attempted to commit a shoplift, and was confronted by someone who tried to stop them on their way out leading to a physical altercation. This escalates the crime from a misdemeanor petty theft to a felony robbery.
Aggravated Assaults are broader. Domestic violence represents 20% of Aggravated Assaults. Many are alcohol/drinking establishment related. In a large number of cases the suspect and victim are known to each.
How the Santa Monica Police Department is working to address crime:
• Hire and train up to 20 new officers. These new personnel will be in forward facing, field-based units
• Get more officers in Patrol
• Deploy our Mounted Unit more frequently and consistently into our parks and highly visited areas
• Re-create our Crime Impact Team, a unit of officers dedicated to tracking crime trends in the city and proactively deploying to interdict and stop crime
• Move our Homeless Liaison Program team to 7 day a week coverage, concentrating in grid work patterns on our beaches, parks and open space areas
• Work to re-dedicate our limited number of Public Safety Officers into our downtown area and our parks
• Seek regulatory solutions in problem areas, for example our recent work with the McDonalds at 2nd and Colorado to lessen crime and calls for service while preserving their ability to be a viable business here in Santa Monica
• Actively pursue environmental and structural changes to make physical locations less attractive for criminal behavior
• Work on some out-of-the-box approaches to securing parking areas in order to lessen the number of vehicle burglaries in the city. These range from:
– Artistic activations
– Closed-circuit TV cameras
– Contracted, outside security to consistently and constantly patrol otherwise dark and secluded areas
Every day, SMPD is out there working incredibly hard, even as our work load increases year over year. In 2018, we responded to more calls for service than we did last year. We made 1,078 felony arrests and 2,654 misdemeanor arrests.
Heading into 2019, we will continue to do our job and we will continue to work hard.
Here is how you can help us in these efforts:
• Attend our Community Police Academy
• Start a Neighborhood Watch group
• Sponsor one of our “Meet Your Neighbor” events Once again, and most importantly, secure your belongings and be aware of your surroundings.
Some important things you can do to keep yourself and possessions safe:
• DO NOT leave valuables in your cars.
• LOCK and SECURE your homes when you leave.
• BE AWARE and remain diligent of your purses, backpacks and bicycles when you are out and about.