Rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults have increased in Loma Linda, the sheriff's captain who acts of chief of police told the city council last week.
Rapes increased 100 percent from 2010 to 2011, robberies increased 114 percent, and aggravated assaults increased 78 percent, San Bernardino County sheriff's Capt. Steve Dorsey told the Loma Linda council.
Dorsey presented statistics comparing crime the past two years, as well as numbers for the first six months of 2012. He has served as chief of police in Loma Linda the past year and a half, Loma Linda City Manager Jarb Thaipejr said.
There were no murders or manslaughter cases in Loma Linda in 2010 or 2011. Dorsey cited statistics including:
Crimes 2010 2011 Percent Change
Rape 3 6 100%
Robbery 7 15 114%
Aggravated Assault 18 32 78%
Simple Assault 58 77 33%
Burglary 173 144 -17%
Larceny 298 304 2%
Grand Theft Auto 83 84 1%
Loma Linda has about 23,000 residents. The faith- and health-based community includes Loma Linda University Church of Seventh-day Adventists, Loma Linda University Medical Center and Jerry L. Pettis Memorial Veterans Medical Center.
During the day, the city's population can triple with traffic to the hospitals and the university, and the surge inevitably includes a percentage of criminals, Dorsey said.
Dorsey's presentation on Tuesday Aug. 28 lasted about 20 minutes. The following is verbatim from the council meeting:
Dorsey: "Thank you gentlemen for allowing me to come here today and share some stats with you about the enforcement that we're doing here in the city of Loma Linda.
"First off, the red document here is the Sheriff's annual report which was published just last week. It is available on our website for anybody that would like to take a look at it. . . .
"This is actually the slide out of the 2011 annual report, which is a comparison of stats between 2010 and 2011. . . .
"You have Part I crimes, which are actually eight crimes starting in the 1930s that law enforcement agencies were required to report to the federal government so the Department of Justice could start tracking trends of law enforcement activity throughout the United States. . . .
"Our department however does track simple assault, which is not one of the Part I crimes that is tracked by the federal government.
"As you can see, the difference between 2010 and 2011 in some categories is unfortunately a 100 percent increase, and 114 percent increase with robbery, simple assaults went up . . . . We did see burglaries decline by 17 percent, and grand theft autos were pretty close.
"And then the Part II crimes which is required by the federal government to report. Part II crimes, which would be drunk in public, misdemeanor type crimes, drunk driving, only arrests, however our department keeps track of all those Part II crimes and we had a 2 percent decrease there.
"The calls for service for 2011 were just over 16, almost 17,000 there, with 831 arrests in the city last year, which I think is the highest arrests ever for the city of Loma Linda. And traffic collisions about 175. And our resident-to-deputy ratio being about 2,100 residents.
"As everybody knows, the region has seen an increase in crime so we wanted to take a snapshot and try to do some comparisons to see what different things we could do to increase patrol services, try to reduce the activities. We're moving people around based upon intelligence as far as what crimes are occurring and the type of crimes that do occur.
"So comparing a snapshot January to June took a look at the Part I crimes to try to get a comparison of where we are in 2012. Now of course in 2012 we have the realignment issue of the governor and the jails and some people believe that that may cause a spike, or increase in crime. We also have the economy having some issues, and we also have some local cities that have significantly reduced law enforcement services that can also affect all the other cities within the region.
"The one that really jumps out there in the comparison is the grand theft autos, where it's almost a hundred percent increase in the first six months of 2012, compared to the first six months of 2011.
"The city of Redlands has also seen an increase, and in an effort to combat that we're actually working with the city of Redlands to do some enforcement programs along Redlands Boulevard in both Loma Linda and Redlands.
"Chief Garcia and myself both feel that this is more a regional issue rather than an individual issue so we are joining forces, trying to do what we can to assist in reducing these type of crimes.
"All the others are pretty much in the middle excluding that burglary spike which I think is near and dear to some folks' hearts in this room. It's very unfortunate. We've had a lot of arrests within the last couple of months, associated with burglaries, and we've cleared a lot of burglaries. And there has actually been a reduction in the last couple of months.
"Do you have any questions on any of these gentlemen as I go through here?
"The only difference in 2010, '11 and '12 would be the reduction of patrol hours which, budgets are affecting every municipality as we know in California.
"We then took a snapshot of calls for service, the calls that were handled that same six month period. So we went January to June 2010, '11 and '12.
"As you can see there is a significant decrease in 2011. Most of that was basically attributed to an in-house change in policy as far as when we had historically made arrests of somebody for a warrant we would have to draw a report number and somebody would do a small report.
"Starting in January 2011 our department no longer did that, that was only conducted on out-of-state warrants. So all of the stations saw a reduction in calls for service. But calls for service as you can see has increased significantly . . . we are staying busy for our calls for service.
"Arrests, as you can see, is a steady increase. We are on the mark to go over a thousand arrests I think this year, for the city. . . .
"So we're looking at 539 (arrests) for the first six months of this year."
Dailey: "This is a pretty disturbing and unfortunate trend that we're seeing, a number of these trends. In terms of the arrests, do you have any sense how many of these are citizens of Loma Linda versus other people that are in our city doing mischief.
Dorsey: "I don't know the exact numbers but I can tell you there is a significant number of people who are transient to the city that commit crime."
Dailey: "Is this perceived as kind of a easy pickings for robberies and so forth?"
Dorsey: "I wouldn't necessarily say robberies. There's a lot of factors. You have Redlands Boulevard which is located very close to a freeway. You have easy on-and-off access to a freeway. We've been able to prove and show that people have committed a crime in Loma Linda, get on a freeway go to Highland commit a crime, and get arrested in Rialto. Just because of the freeway systems we do have in the area.
"Transitory crime is very easy, all they need's a car. And you are also coming into areas where quite frankly you have more people that have things to take. So certain elements go to certain areas of certain cities and pillage the unfortunate people there. . . . "
Apartment complex parking lots full of vehicles are drawing a percentage of auto burglars, Dorsey said.
"We have apartment complexes along Redlands Boulevard and we see the significant increase in theft is along Redlands Boulevard both in the city of Redlands and in Loma Linda. . . .
"Response times which I think is important to everybody in the community especially if you have an emergency, again the lieutenant and myself have been looking at different ways to deploy resources and working with the city manager to come up with the best avenues and deployment of our resources, and it's actually paid off with a reduction of our response time to emergencies by a minute from 2011 to 2012, which is very good news when you consider a reduction in our staff.
"Priority one crimes which would be alarm calls or 911 calls when somebody calls 911 and maybe get a hang up or not exactly a response or an in progress crime, we've increased our response time by 2 seconds there.
"And our average response times actually dropped by two seconds. Again I think a lot of this is based upon deployment and how we have also worked with sharing some resources with the county, Grand Terrace and Loma Linda in creating a gang team. Those individuals are not responding to calls unless there are emergency or priority one calls, so those are additional resources driving through the city that's actually looking for in progress crimes or people not belonging in a certain area, trying to prevent crimes. So I think that has caused a reduction in our overall times for response.
"Our on-scene to clearance time is increasing in all of our jurisdictions and I think part of that is due to the additional paperwork forms and requirements necessary for an officer to fill out when he's on scene depending on the type of crime."
Dailey: "I have another question. I know that there are some communities that have active neighborhood watch programs and citizen patrols. How effective are they in helping reduce or control crime of the type that we're seeing in Loma Linda?"
Dorsey: "They are very effective in my opinion because it's an extra set of eyes and ears in the community for us. We encourage everybody to call us if they see anything that is not normal in their community. That's why we're here. We're here to respond. We do have a very active citizens on patrol unit. They used to be separated by by cities and county area. Since I have taken over command with the station I've brought them together and made them one unit, so that they have that ability to travel all throughout our region, and we probably have a couple hours every day, a citizens patrol person going through the city of Loma Linda and Grand Terrace. They are very dedicated residents that live in both of the cities."
Dailey: "Is that a marked car?"
Dorsey: "Yes it says Citizens on Patrol. It is a volunteer organization. They're not paid. And the light bar is all orange on their car to designate them as a non-sworn person. . . . "
Dailey: "I'm certainly not intending to be critical of what we're already doing, but the crime trends are pretty evident. I think I'm anxious to see that we try to explore what else we can do to make our city more safe. I don't know just exactly what that would be, but I think we need to be exploring it."
Dorsey: "One thing that I think doesn't take a lot of time but it makes a big difference is a neighborhood watch program. Everybody should be involved in knowing their neighbors. Everybody's busy and may not know their neighbors as much as they should and we invite to come out and initiate that and just simply exchanging phone numbers and emails and letting your neighbors know when you're going out of town and 'Hey I shouldn't have delivery man at my house, call the police if you see anybody.' My wife is huge in that and initiated that in our neighborhood when we had a spike in crime. It is effective. . . ."
Mayor Rhodes Rigby: "It's not a negative trend to have more arrests."
Dailey: "It's a good trend if the other data's in the opposite direction."
Rigby: "Well the other data could go even worse if we didn't have all these arrests."
Dailey: "That's certainly possible."
Rigby: "It's one of the things people mistake. They think more arrests means more crime. No it means more crime prevention. More interdiction of crime."
Dailey: "Please don't misunderstand me. I don't mean to be critical of the Sheriff's Department or activities there. But when I'm looking at percent changes of a hundred percent, 114, 78, 33 and then lower numbers after that I think it's incumbent upon us to at least see what we can do that would begin to turn that around and I don't pretend to have any magical answers but I think it's something that the community would expect us to do."
San Bernardino County sheriff's Central Station personnel, who serve the communities of Loma Linda, Grand Terrace and county areas of the city of San Bernardino, announced Wednesday Sept. 5 they are recruiting volunteers to join their unit.
Sheriff's Department annual reports for 2005 through 2011 are available at www.sbcounty.gov/sheriff/Documentation/annual_reports.asp. A pdf copy of the 2011 report is attached to this article.