Public Safety Commission Gets Update on LCF Crime Prevention Efforts

An update regarding the city’s crime prevention efforts was given after community members voiced concerns about residential burglaries at a recent Public Safety Commission meeting.
There have been 46 home burglaries this year through June, compared with 28 during the same period last year, according to statistics from the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station.
Sheriff’s Capt. Todd Deeds urged a community-based approach that would have residents and authorities sharing information. He asked locals to call authorities sooner rather than later.
“Working together is the most important thing,” said Deeds, adding law enforcement is working with the community, City Council and the commission. “We know crime is going to happen. If we can prevent it as much as possible and prevent residential burglaries, I’m confident we can bring these stats down.”
Deeds’ comments were made during a review of the June crime statistics.
Management analyst Christina Nguyen provided the commission an update on crime prevention efforts.
Nguyen said that although the city may see burglary spikes, the total number of residential burglaries for a community of 20,400 residents continues to be “very low.”
She said there was “strong evidence” that the passage of Assembly Bill 109 and Propositions 47 and 57 had negatively affected prison and jail sentencing, which may have caused the uptick in crime. Nguyen said that through the realignment of felons and reclassification of nonviolent and non-serious crimes, the changes in the laws have greatly reduced the incarceration period for people committing crimes. She suggested that residents should contact their legislators.
The city also works with the Crescenta Valley Station to combat crime, Nguyen said, and that includes tapping into a broad range of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department resources. including SWAT, narcotics, gang suppression, homicide investigations and others. The services, she said, are not commonly available to agencies with a stand-alone police force that has a fixed number of officers.
“Last month we heard a lot about residents wanting the city to form its own police force,” Nguyen said.
City officials have found that it’s a big advantage to have access to a broad range of the county’s resources, equipment and help in times of need at no extra cost to the city, she added.
LCF has two dedicated units to patrol the city with an additional sergeant in the field, a special assignment deputy, a traffic investigator unit, a community services officer, a law enforcement technician, reserves patrol and a volunteer patrol unit, Nguyen said.
Deeds can use an overtime budget of $185,000 to augment patrol units in the field to help with coverage, visibility and investigations, she observed.
She also pointed out that the Crescenta Valley Station response times have been consistent over a period of several months.
Nguyen said year-to-date response time for emergency calls — described as confirmed threats to safety, active crimes or serious injury — average three minutes, compared with 3.6 last year. A priority call — described as high probability of threats to safety but unconfirmed — still averages six minutes. However, routine calls — described as no safety threat, active crimes or serious injuries — are up to 17.3 minutes compared with 14.9 last year.
Additionally, Nguyen also compared LCF’s residential burglary statistics with some surrounding cities.
From January through June, LCF had 46 burglaries, compared with 39 in San Marino.
There were 68 residential burglaries in LCF in 2018, while San Marino had 75. Nguyen also reminded citizens of city programs such as Neighborhood Watch. The city also increased the public safety budget last year to include resources such as a community services assistant to free deputies from administrative work and new technological resources, including automated license plate readers. Funds were again allocated for these resources this year, Nguyen said.
After the presentation, a number of public safety programs and services were detailed that were approved in the fiscal year 2019-20 annual budget:
• $17,500 for equipment, supplies and staff training to operate the city’s Emergency Operations Center
• $4,675 for the lease of the mobile automated license plate reader in a patrol car
• $6,000 for Public Safety Commission programs, including $2,000 for public safety education workshops or events with a focus on emergency preparedness and $4,000 for public safety announcements.
• $3,450 to support the community efforts of the county Fire Department and the Sheriff’s Department. That includes $1,150 for individual first aid kits for sheriff’s personnel assigned to the city and $1,000 in stationery supplies for the Fire Department’s command vehicle
Finally, the commission approved $250 for the National Night Out Against Crime and Open House event on Friday, Aug. 9. The money will go toward barbecue items such as hot dogs, chips and drinks. The commission has funded items for the event previously. It will be held from 5-8 p.m. at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station in the lower parking lot at 4554 Briggs Ave.

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