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Fresno wants to add cops to the force, but arrests are down as crime rises


Here are some numbers from Fresno PD crime reports:

  • Police made 19,715 felony arrests in calendar year 2013; police made 6,662 felony arrests in 2016. That’s a drop of 66.2% in a three-year period.
  • Police made 19,974 misdemeanor arrests in 2013; police made 20,231 misdemeanor arrests in 2016. That’s an increase of 1.3% in a three-year period.
  • But the landscape for misdemeanor arrests looks different when comparing 2015 to 2016. Police in 2015 made 27,311 misdemeanor arrests. That means 2016’s total of 20,231 misdemeanor arrests represents a drop of 25.9% in one year.
  • The arrest statistics available to the public for 2014 are incomplete. For nine months of 2014, there were 15,515 felony arrests and 18,682 misdemeanor arrests. Arrest statistics for July, November and December 2014 aren’t available to the public on the department’s website. The crime reports for those months say the arrest statistics would be added at a later date. However, based on averages for the nine months with arrest statistics, 2014 was easily headed toward more than 20,000 felony arrests and about 25,000 misdemeanor arrests.
  • The estimated 45,000 total arrests in 2014 compares to a total of 37,824 felony and misdemeanor arrests (including 8 arrests in a category called “status-delinquents”) in 2015 and a total of 26,897 felony and misdemeanor arrests in 2016.
  • The big drop from 2014 to 2015 was in felony arrests. In the nine months with public statistics, there were 15,515 felony arrests. That compares to 10,505 felony arrests for all 12 months of 2015.
  • For the most part, the decline in arrests continued in early 2017. There were 549 felony arrests in January 2017 compared to 557 in January 2016. There were 1,692 misdemeanor arrests in January 2017 compared to 2,038 in January 2016.
  • There were 502 felony arrests in February 2017 compared to 592 felony arrests in February 2016. There were 1,675 misdemeanor arrests in February 2017 compared to 1,854 misdemeanor arrests in February 2016.
  • There were 633 felony arrests in March 2017 compared to 585 felony arrests in March 2016. This is the one exception to the trend. The trend reasserts itself in misdemeanor arrests – 1,959 in March 2017 compared to 2,054 in March 2016.
  • Comparing the first three months of 2017 to the same period of 2016, we find a 2.9% drop in felony arrests, a 10.4% drop in misdemeanor arrests and an 8.7% drop in total arrests.
George Hostetter is The Sun’s Fresno Civic contributor – covering the City of Fresno, County of Fresno, and Fresno Council of Governments.

1 Comment

  1. Mr. Hostetter,

    Before anyone makes a sweeping generalization like, “[o]verall crime today is down by an encouraging degree compared to 2010”, they should consider the sobering study published by the Pew Research Center. On March 1, 2017, they reported as follows:

    “Only about half of the violent crimes and a third of the property crimes that occur in the U.S. each year are reported to police. And most of the crimes that are reported don’t result in the arrest, charging and prosecution of a suspect, according to government statistics.”

    Food for thought.

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