Property crimes rose round 7% in 2021 on these cities, whereas violent crimes elevated by 5%, the examine discovered. Definitions of violent and property crimes could fluctuate throughout departments, however usually embody related incidents.
Menlo Park Police Chief David Norris wrote in an e mail that the crime drop in 2021 might be as a result of lasting impacts of the shelter-in-place orders and a group that is nonetheless on excessive alert.
“We should additionally attribute among the influence to our alert residents and companies reporting suspicious exercise and safeguarding their property,” Norris stated, stating that the division has labored to enhance engagement with group members previous to the pandemic.
The lower comes after a downsizing of the police division’s employees by 20% when town slashed $2.46 million from the company in 2020. On the time, these cuts eradicated town’s site visitors unit, proactive gang and narcotics investigations and daytime parking enforcement.
“The lack of 15 police personnel, which included 10 sworn officers and 5 skilled employees positions, had vital influence to each day operations,” Norris wrote.
It is troublesome to pinpoint causes for the crime discount in Menlo Park when taking a look at historic information. Since 2004, the earliest dataset accessible on town’s web site, property and violent crimes ebbed and flowed.
The variety of violent crimes has swung all through the years. Between 2004 and 2021, town reached its peak in 2007 with 78 reported circumstances.
Whereas California recorded a 9% drop in property crimes from 2019 to 2020, reflecting a gradual decline since 2000, Menlo Park has seen greater charges in recent times, with the height of 776 circumstances in 2020.
Since 2004, Menlo Park surpassed 700 circumstances of property crimes in 2004, 2008 and 2019.
Total, requires service have lately declined. The police division acquired greater than 20,000 requests for service final 12 months, following over 21,000 calls in 2020. Each years’ studies attributed the discount to the pandemic.
“Prepandemic, there have been definitely extra requires service as all the things was enterprise as ordinary,” Nicole Acker, the division’s public data officer, wrote in an e mail. “We have been in a position to have many extra alternatives to have interaction with residents, and we had extra employees to take action additionally together with extra group occasions. The requires service and public contacts have decreased fairly a bit through the years.”
Requires service don’t signify the whole lot of the division’s actions. Not each name could lead to written studies and citations, and the division additionally handles “lots of” of walk-in requests and telephone calls to service the general public. All through 2021, the division carried out over 3,550 site visitors stops, over 870 pedestrian and bicycle stops, wrote over 2,200 studies and arrested 560 people, the report stated.
“Even with much less employees, officers and police personnel maintained the excessive ranges of response and professionalism to the group,” Norris wrote. “Officers’ continued seen presence locally is a deterrent to prison exercise.”
The division additionally reported that there have been six circumstances investigated by inside affairs in 2021, although it didn’t disclose what the investigations have been about.
Among the many six complaints, two are presently underneath investigation, one was exonerated, one was “frivolous in nature,” and two weren’t sustained. “Not sustained” means the investigation failed to search out enough proof to “clearly show or disprove the allegation(s),” the report stated.
This police division had additionally had six complaints in 2020, and 10 complaints in 2019.
“With all this in consideration, six complaints per 12 months is an appropriate quantity, however we are going to all the time try towards zero,” the report stated.