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New LBPD Crime Stats Show Total LB Crime Up -- Again -- In Every Council District; 8 Districts Show Rise in Serious Crimes Against Persons, 6 Show Increase in Serious Crimes Against Property

3d Quarter LB Crime Increase Follows Mid Year Crime Rise, Coincides With News LB Has Fewer Cops Than Budgeted

(December 5, 2001) -- LBPD's crime data for the 3d quarter (July-Sept) of 2001 show total reported crime increased in every Council district.

Total serious crimes against persons increased in eight Council districts. Total serious crimes against property increased in six Council districts. provides details below.

Background & Methodology

The LBPD, and police departments nationally, use a uniform system for reporting crime. Crimes are divided into Part 1 (serious or violent crimes) and Part 2 (other/less serious crimes).

Part 1 (serious or violent crimes) are divided into crimes against persons (total murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery plus aggravated assault) and crimes against property (total residential, commercial and auto burglaries; auto, grand, petty & bike theft; plus arson).

Data by Council district

Analyzing crime data by Council district can provide useful insights, unavailable in "citywide" crime data (where safer areas offset data from areas in which residents and businesses are less safe than they deserve to be).

Crime data by Council district also has the advantage of comparing areas of roughly equivalent population. To its credit, the LBPD reports crime data by Council district.

The following data compare reported crime during the third quarter (July 1-Sept. 30) of 2001 with the same period in 2000.

Part 1 Crimes Against Persons (ranked by Council district)
July 1-Sept. 30 (2001 compared to 2000)

Coun. Dist.Total P1 crimes
against persons
6190 (up from 183)2 murders (down from 4), 0 manslaughters (no change), 5 rapes (up from 4), 66 robberies (down from 95), 117 aggravated assaults (up from 80)
1178 (up from 148)4 murders (up from 0), 0 manslaughters (no change), 4 rapes (down from 6), 75 robberies (no change), 95 aggr. assaults (up from 67)
2132 (up from 117)1 murder (up from 0), 0 manslaughters (no change), 9 rapes (up from 2), 48 robberies (down from 54), 74 aggr. assaults (up from 61)
9129 (up from 126)3 murders (no change), 0 manslaughters, 3 rapes (up from 2), 41 robberies (down from 47), 82 aggravated assaults (up from 74)
892 (up from 76)0 murders (down from 2), 0 manslaughter, 6 rapes (up from 3), 36 robberies (down from 42), 50 aggravated assaults (up from 29)
492 (down from 106)0 murders (no change), 0 manslaughters (no change), 6 rapes (down from 4), 27 robberies (down from 52), 59 aggravated assaults (up from 50)
781 (up from 72)1 murder (down from 2), 0 manslaughters, 4 rapes (up from 2), 28 robberies (down from 31), 48 aggravated assaults (up from 37)
346 (up from 39)0 murders (down from 1), 0 manslaughters (no change), 1 rape (down from 4), 17 robberies (down from 23), 28 aggravated assaults (up from 11)
532 (up from 27)0 murders (down from 1), 0 manslaughters, 1 rape (up from 0), 11 robberies (up from 10), 20 aggravated assaults (up from 16)

Part 1 Crimes Against Property (ranked by Council district)
July 1-Sept. 30 (2001 compared to 2000)

Coun. Dist.Total P1 crimes
against property
2623 (up from 565)67 res. burg (down from 85), 43 comm'l burg (up from 23), 139 auto burg (down from 142), 39 grand theft (down from 80), 173 auto theft (up from 114), 124 petty theft (up from 112), 34 bike theft (up from 29), 4 arson (down from 5)
4469 (down from 484)65 res. burg (down from 70), 19 comm'l burg (down from 26), 134 auto burg (up from 125), 22 grand theft down from 28), 119 auto theft (up from 112), 85 petty theft (down from 98), 15 bike theft (down from 17), 10 arson (up from 8)
1453 (down from 541)62 res. burg (down from 67), 35 comm'l burg (no change), 77 auto burg (down from 145), 18 grand theft (down from 27), 133 auto theft (up from 97), 95 petty theft (down from 127), 24 bike theft (down from 40), 9 arson (up from 3)
3445 (up from 421)56 res. burg (down from 79), 29 comm'l burg (up from 20), 100 auto burg (up from 91), 33 grand theft (down from 36), 89 auto theft (up from 85), 107 petty theft (up from 86), 29 bike theft (up from 24), 2 arson (up from 0)
9419 (down from 424)78 res. burg (down from 92), 36 comm'l burg (up from 28), 58 auto burg (down from 63), 20 grand theft (down from 25), 130 auto theft (up from 127), 84 petty theft (up from 71), 7 bike theft (down from 13), 6 arson (up from 5)
8397 (up from 376)76 res. burg (down from 95), 32 comm'l burg (up from 21), 68 auto burg (up from 50), 105 auto theft (down from 113), 76 petty theft (up from 57), 7 bike theft (down from 15), 12 arson (up from 9)
6377 (up from 315)47 res. burg (down from 60), 32 comm'l burg (up from 12), 49 auto burg (up from 48), 20 grand theft (down from 24), 106 auto theft (up from 77), 101 petty theft (up from 75), 13 bike theft (down from 15), 9 arson (up from 5)
7364 (up from 325)94 res. burg (up from 53), 33 comm'l burg (up from 32), 95 auto burg (up from 41), 13 grand theft (down from 23), 64 auto theft (down from 81), 62 petty theft (down from 83), 1 bike theft (down from 5), 2 arson (down from 7)
5347 (up from 334)31 res. burg. (down from 34), 20 comm'l burg (down from 21), 99 auto burg (up from 81), 23 grand theft (down from 30), 101 auto theft (up from 78), 65 petty theft (down from 77), 6 bike theft (down from 12), 2 arson (up from 1)

Total Reported Crimes (P1 + P2 crimes) ranked by Council district
July 1-Sept. 30 (2001 compared to 2000)

Coun. Dist.Total P1 and P2 crimes against property
21,485 (up from 1,203)
11,397 (up from 1,203)
61,096 (up from 906)
41,061 (up from 1,014)
9987 (up from 927)
8920 (up from 852)
3835 (up from 787)
7760 (up from 671)
5665 (up from 628)


Crime statistics posted on do not assert or imply the safety or crime risk of any specific location or address. The data are public record and speak for themselves.

Data can be interpreted in different ways. We urge readers not to draw inferences beyond the data. In our view, reported crime stats are analogous to an X-ray or ultrasound, an imperfect image but useful when used carefully.

Finally, it behooves all of us to recall that these crime statistics represent real people -- LB residents, businesses, visitors or customers -- who were unjustly victimized in our city.

LB police understaffing issues

The increase in LB crime coincides with charges by retired LB Public Safety Advisory Commissioner John Deats, initially reported exclusively by and substantively undenied by city staff, that LB has fewer sworn police officers than the City Council publicly budgeted.

As also reported, a still undetermined additional number of officers will likely retire by year's end, further thinning LB's police strength.

This coincides with additional security tasks which LBPD has been handling since September 11, inevitably drawing resources that might otherwise be available for neighborhoods. The full impact of this will not be seen until the fourth quarter crime statistics are released next month.

As of November 27, LB had 872 sworn officers actually on force, a per capita sworn police strength of roughly 1.89 officers per thousand residents. In September 2001, the City Council voted to budget 913.5 officers, a per capita police strength of 1.98 officers per thousand residents

By comparison, L.A. budgets roughly 2.5 officers per thousand residents and Signal Hill budgets roughly 3.0. L.A. regularly has controversies over its police levels, which have often been lower than budgeted.

LB's City Council -- not the City Manager or Police Chief -- decides the city's police strength. LBPD can't deploy officers that the Council doesn't budget to employ.

City management says new officers are now attending a police academy class set to graduate in spring, 2002. However, it is uncertain whether they will be sufficient to bring LB close to its budgeted officer strength or to some lesser level.

At the November 27 Council meeting, City Manager Henry Taboada publicly pledged to conduct another police academy class in the coming year if needed. Each class takes six months to complete and is preceded by nearly a year of recruitment, testing and screening.

Some recruits are inevitably lost to attrition, and those surviving to graduation won't be sworn officers until spring, 2002, thus leaving a gap in early 2002 when LB will be even more thinly police than at present. Newly sworn officers are also restricted to operating in tandem field positions for 16 months before going solo.

City Manager indicated at the November 27 meeting that a publicly agendized report on LBPD staffing and budget issues would be forthcoming at a future Council meeting.

For further details, see coverage at: LB Has Fewer Sworn Cops Than Budgeted and Yr End Retirements Will Thin Police Strength Further.

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