Duarte and LA County Sheriff Continue to Aggressively Address Crime
In an effort to reach out to our community with accurate and current information, the City of Duarte’s Public Safety Office in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department (LASD) wanted to reassure our community about our continued and pro-active fight against crime as we strive to keep our residents safe daily. Collectively, we are all extremely concerned about the two recent murders in our City, as well as crime activity in the neighboring City of Monrovia and adjoining County unincorporated areas.
Both deaths that have occurred in 2017 are neither gang rivalry events nor were the victim’s gang members. The City and LASD continue to give both cases top priority as detectives actively investigate all leads and implement extra patrols. The City also continues to work closely with Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger,and the Pasadena and Monrovia Police Departments. Specifically, we have resumed joint patrols and created a special LA County Sheriff’s Summer Enforcement Team utilizing the skills of the Sheriff’s OSS Bureau.
Gun and gang violence is not only a problem for our own local communities, but also throughout the State. For the third straight year in California, violent crime rose over 38% from the previous two years. Many government officials, in addition to our Public Safety Department point to the devastating effects of Proposition 47, which took effect in November of 2014. While Proposition 47 includes some laudable features to keep parolees from committing new crimes, it downgraded numerous drug and property felonies to misdemeanors. The result, criminals spend far less time in jail providing more opportunity to commit more crimes on the outside Along with Proposition 47, County and local Public Safety officials also continue to struggle with AB109 signed into law by Governor Brown in 2011 and Proposition 57 passed by voters in 2016. Through these measures, approximately 75,000 prisoners have been or are in the process of being released to the streets, and local County jails are ill equipped to handle the continuing influx of long term, violent felons. Additionally, the change in law is also being attributed to the 25% drop in arrests both County and statewide.
Back in late 2008, both the County of Los Angeles and the City of Monrovia chose to introduce a gang injunction into their communities as a tool to combat a growing trend of gang activity. After careful consideration, the City of Duarte decided not to implement a gang injunction. Then and now, the City of Duarte did not believe a gang injunction was the best way to combat guns and gang violence in our community. The City Council felt the injunction would adversely affect trust and cooperation with law enforcement in neighborhoods included in the injunction. In practice, the City employs a comprehensive approach to keep gangs from recruiting new members through an array of prevention, intervention and suppression programs with a documented track record of effectively reaching our youth and young adults.
Duarte crime statistics reflect a positive trend in the fight against violence. Violence against persons, crimes against property, gang related part 1 crimes are still a fraction of what they were in 2010. The City achieved this significant reversal thanks in part to a series of California Gang Reduction, Intervention and Prevention (Cal Grip) grants dating back to 2010, totaling more than $1.5 million dollars that created a series of innovative and proactive programs for youth and young adults. To sustain this positive trend, the City and LASD have recently applied for a Proposition 47 Grant to fund a one-stop shop for recently released inmates designed to break recidivistic cycles by connecting people with the resources they need to stay out of the system. It’s working; in both 2015 and 2016, Duarte was named as one of California’s top 100 (out of 417 cities) safest communities. Duarte recognizes that working together with LASD, LA County and the City of Monrovia to implement aggressive measures to address the current uptick in regional gang and gun violence is the best way to keep our communities safe. We will continue to keep you informed of our progress.