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

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What was the state of crime in Fresno during this period? Here’s a brief look at the statistics, according to Fresno PD reports.

  • According to police reports, Fresno in 2010 saw a total of 27,494 personal and property crimes. In 2010, for example, Fresno had 45 homicides, 1,021 robberies, 1,898 aggravated assaults, 5,262 burglaries, 14,645 larcenies and 4,553 motor vehicle thefts. There were 409,080 calls for service in a population estimated at 495,913. The department was authorized to have 824 sworn officers (the actual number in this year of the Great Recession was considerably smaller).
  • Fresno in 2013 saw a total of 25,135 personal and property crimes. In 2013, for example, Fresno had 40 homicides, 903 robberies, 1,556 aggravated assaults, 5,223 burglaries, 13,304 larcenies and 4,056 motor vehicle thefts. There were 405,800 calls for service in a population estimated at 508,453. The department was authorized to have 748 sworn officers.
  • Fresno in 2014 saw a total of 23,483 personal and property crimes. In 2014, for example, Fresno had 47 homicides, 781 robberies, 1,501 aggravated assaults, 4,721 burglaries, 13,277 larcenies and 3,103 motor vehicle thefts. There were 408,718 calls for service in a population estimated at 515,609. The department was authorized to have 748 sworn officers.
  • Fresno in 2015 saw a total of 24,362 personal and property crimes. In 2015, for example, Fresno had 39 homicides, 1,012 robberies, 1,653 aggravated assaults, 4,429 burglaries, 14,184 larcenies and 2,993 motor vehicle thefts. There were 427,407 calls for service in an estimated population of 515,609. The department was authorized to have 737 sworn officers.
  • Fresno in 2016 saw a total of 23,990 personal and property crimes. In 2016, for example, Fresno had 39 homicides, 1,122 robberies, 1,887 aggravated assaults, 3,697 burglaries, 13,542 larcenies and 3,284 motor vehicle thefts. There were 398,202 calls for service. (The 2016 annual crime report I received from PD does not include estimated population or the department’s authorized staffing level. Fresno most likely was near the 520,000 mark in population in 2016. As I recall from last year’s budget hearings, the department by June 30, 2017 was to have about 800 sworn officers.)
  • Statistics for the first three months of 2017 show that crime was pretty much at the same level as in the first three months of 2016. There were 761 personal crimes and 5,493 property crimes in the first three months of 2016. There were 757 personal crimes and 5,403 property crimes in the first three months of 2017.

What to make of all these numbers? Overall crime today is down by an encouraging degree compared to 2010. Violent crime (homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault) was up significantly in 2016 (3,206 total offenses) compared to 2014 (2,382 total offenses). Fresno remains a challenging environment for both law-abiding citizen and dedicated police officer.

Yet, there’s nothing to my untrained eye in the crime statistics to explain the big drop in arrests other than the obvious: Officers nabbed a lot more misbehaving guys back in the day.

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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