Police Chief Gives Crime Report to Council

Share:

burglar

Vanguard Gets Data on Calls for Service

Last night Davis Police Chief Landy Black followed up on a council request for a criminal statistics report.  The report comes on the heels of the much publicized arrest of a suspect involved in at least some of a string of burglaries in Davis.

The Vanguard, following up on a story last month, also requested data on calls for service by address.  As Chief Black told the Vanguard, it is difficult, without a very time-consuming examination, call-by-call, to make a whole lot out of that data, but we will present that as well as his comments to the Vanguard.

He warned the council not to attribute too much to single-year spikes or dips in the crime statistics, but rather suggested that they look at the trend over time.  He suggested in many cases the anomalies are not easily explained anyway.

(click to enlarge)

crime1

Part I crimes are the most serious crimes, and in Davis over the past five years, we see a downward trend in those crimes.  Chief Black said that was consistent with the trends that are occurring across the nation.

“I think there are a lot of socio-genic reasons for that,” he told the city council.

He presented a discussion of AB 109.  “Throughout this discussion there are some overarching issues, the criminal justice system in California has been changing, budgets have been impacted and one of the things that we are seeing is the impetus of AB 109, the criminal justice realignment act,” which is causing many of the people convicted of crimes that are not violent crimes, not sex crimes, that are coming back to our communities in a community supervision component.”

As to whether changes in crime statistics correlate with AB 109, he said, “At this point it’s rather early, any of the data that we have would be rather nascent, it doesn’t really lend itself to a really solid conclusion that could be drawn.”

He said that some of his colleagues from other cities with larger populations report to him that they have already seen increasing numbers of arrests of people who were released due to AB 109.

Likewise, he has seen some arrests in Davis of AB 109 people, but he had reminded the council a year ago that they would have not been in our community, they would have been in prison.

“That crime would not have been committed,” he said.  “Is this going to be significant?  It’s too early to tell.”

“The ultimate goal is to reduce recidivism through the AB 109 process.”

The chief had a decidedly negative view, overall, toward AB 109, to the point where Councilmember Dan Wolk remarked that the chief really did not like AB 109.

The Part II crimes followed similar patterns as the Part I crimes, declining over the time period.

(click to enlarge the images)

crime2

crime3

 

Police Calls For Service

The Vanguard a few weeks ago requested a list of the top 10 addresses for calls for service by the police.  We requested it over a three-year-period, but the three years are fairly similar.

We cross out the first address, which is the police station; this was explained as an artifact of their tracking system.

calls-for-service

Chief Black told the Vanguard that the data “does not lend itself to any real analysis or to developing a properly informed opinion. There are just so many variables; things the numbers you asked for and received don’t take into consideration.”

He adds, “A tally of calls at any particular location(s), if used without analyzing the specifics of each and every call, as well as factors that are unable to be captured through numerical data, runs the risk of actually comparing the dissimilar and reaching non sequitur conclusions.”

While we understand the chief’s point and that it would take much more work to analyze the underlying bases for these calls, in our view we can still see some patterns here.  It is difficult to know why the Davis High location ranks so high, and whether they are counting truancy calls or if these represent a real crime problem.  We inquired with the district but have not heard back from them.

The train station, along with the park, might represent places where homeless people gather, which may or may not be a factor.

Motel 6 has at times been a location of violent crimes, including at one point, a murder.  Target, when it was proposed, generated a lot of concern that it might be a “target” for crime.

And there are a couple of student housing addresses that probably receive party and noise complaints.

Chief Black told the Vanguard, “What I can say is that there is no shortage of work for our Police Officers to undertake, as you can see from just the number of calls to the top-10 call-generating locations. More than 50,000 calls-for-service come into our 911 center every year and several thousand crime reports are initiated each year.”

Chief Black added, “I would like to see additional police officer staffing for the Davis Police Department so we could do even more than we do, be an even more responsive agency than we already are, and be able to respond effectively and successfully to the future challenges associated with the changing California criminal justice system brought about by AB109 and other impetuses.”

This is a point that we raised recently with respect to the burglary wave, as we believe that the city has disproportionately used resources on the other side of the public safety continuum.  While the chief did not go there, he did say, “In spite of our staffing limitations, the City of Davis ranks high on the list of safe and livable cities.”

He told the Vanguard, as he told the council, “As I’ve said many times before, the City of Davis is a safe and peaceful community, with a low overall crime rate and a very low violent crime rate. The efforts of the Davis Police Department, in handling the crimes that do occur, and the calls for service received from all around our community–as the numbers you’ve gathered demonstrate occurs–do much to help maintain the low, and generally dropping, crime rates and keep Davis a safe, usable city.”

He added, “We must not disregard the public safety benefit that derives from the City of Davis being a community of informed, thoughtful, civic-minded, law-respecting citizens who are able to properly interpret and learn from the public safety and crime prevention education efforts of the Police Department.”

“Those better prepared community members act to support the crime-fighting efforts of their Police Officers. This police-community alliance helps to further ensure the high quality of life the Davis community enjoys,” he concluded.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

Share:

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

22 thoughts on “Police Chief Gives Crime Report to Council”

  1. JustSaying

    “A tally of calls at any particular location(s), if used without analyzing the specifics of each and every call, as well as factors that are unable to be captured through numerical data, runs the risk of actually comparing the dissimilar and reaching non sequitur conclusions.”

    So, the Chief doesn’t want folks to jump to any conclusions with these data, but I’ll bet the police already know what types of calls result in the fascinating list you’ve obtained. You don’t respond three or four hundred times a year to the same place without ending up with a good handle on why there’s so much repeat business.

    “At this point it’s rather early, any of the data that we have would be rather nascent, it doesn’t really lend itself to a really solid conclusion that could be drawn.”

    The Chief wants to make sure we don’t miss the AB109 issue and the prospect that we should gear up with a bigger budget and more officers. In spite of the concerns, Davis doesn’t seem to feel much impact. We should be pleased that our police have helped make Davis a safe place, one that looks like it’s even getting better in the case of most “serious” offenses.

    If Chief Black doesn’t want us to waste time on analyzing spikes, fine, but I hope he is. What’s happening with rapes, anyway?

    “This is a point that we raised recently with respect to the burglary wave, as we believe that the city has disproportionately used resources on the other side of the public safety continuum.  While the chief did not go there….”

    Please clarify what you’re getting at.

    Very interesting story. I’m glad to see you’re asking for more infornation from the police department than the routine reporting we normally and conveniently receive. And, don’t you just love it that we have a police chief who talks this way–only in Davis.

  2. E Roberts Musser

    I would like to see someone in the police department assigned to crimes against the elderly. I believe they used to have someone doing that sort of thing, but budget cuts eliminated that particular function I believe.

    There is no question Davis police officers are stretched thin, especially on Friday and Saturday evenings. I believe they do the very best they can with the limited resources they have.

    I suspect the reason Target may be high on the list of locations for crime might have to do with shoplifting calls, but that is purely a guess on my part. I do remember there was an attempt to take out an entire ATM machine from Target! Good golly!

  3. hpierce

    [quote]I would like to see someone in the police department assigned to crimes against the elderly. [/quote]Yes… and we should have someone assigned to crimes against youth… one assigned to crimes against blacks… one one assigned to crimes against women…on assigned to crimes against asians… one assigned to crimes against muslims… one assigned to crimes against jews… one assigned to crimes against jehovah witnesses… one assigned to crimes against developmentally challenged individuals… etc.
    Or, we could have a police force committed to investigate/resolve crimes against all people, irrespective of their life “circumstance”s. THAT I support!

  4. hpierce

    Careful, Don… if the data was aggregated by neighborhood, instead of specific addresses, perhaps Olive Drive should pay for their own own security… if aggregated by land use, perhaps small businesses should pay for their own security… etc.

  5. David M. Greenwald

    Don: originally I was moving in that direction, expecting to find some of the bars and apartment complexes topping the list. Now I’m less sure.

  6. JustSaying

    Before I consider your important points here, I need to know whether you’re Howard or Hortense (as Rich keeps claiming) or just another anonymous person, one who has stolen the Pierce family’s fine name?

  7. Don Shor

    Well, when a federally-subsidized agency is causing 13.4% of the listed police calls, and a single large corporation (with annual revenues exceeding $60 billion) is responsible for nearly 10% of them, I think it isn’t unreasonable for the city to seek compensation.
    By the way, the cost of added police and fire protection for peripheral retail is an important consideration in land use and growth policies. What is the actual cost of 300+ police calls per year?

  8. David M. Greenwald

    Don, I think your percentages are to high, I don’t have the numbers in front of me but I think it’s out of 50 or 60k calls for service.

  9. Don Shor

    In fairness to Target, “Target” as identified above probably refers to the whole site, i.e. Second Street Crossing, and it is on the freeway.

  10. JustSaying

    In fairness to Target, they probably do have their own security. Maybe they’re the ones calling police over to deal with shoplifters. I still think a few interviews with police officers would clarify what kinds of calls predominate at each of these addresses (and whether they’re neighborhoods or specific buildings).

  11. civil discourse

    I don’t think charging Regal Cinemas for police services because they are located next to the parking garage is going to fly.

    In the same vein, as a society, we’ve made the decision not to charge more for delivering letters to people that live out in the country, even though that costs many times more per person than delivering to an apartment complex.

  12. jimt

    Target does have their own security, I have seen one or two posted near the main doors (highly visible, presumably to send a message to would-be shoplifters). I don’t think they are armed, likely they are on the lookout for trouble and call the police in a jiffy if trouble might start.

  13. jimt

    I would like to congratulate and thank the police department for doing their part in helping keep crime rates relatively low; and in holding off serious gang activity from getting a toe-hold in Davis

  14. Robin W

    I can’t tell if the comment right before mine is serious or sarcastic. As I was reading the article I was thinking the same thing, sarcastically. Does the Chief really believe our generally low crime rates and the absence of gang activity are due to the quality of our police force Seriously? Are our police so much better than the police in Woodland? Gee, could the difference in crime rates and gang activity have something to do with the population, rather than the different police forces?

    It is distressing that the Chief would not give David information on the kinds of calls generated at the sites that have the most police calls. That seems like information that should be available to the public and to the City Council.

    The calls to the high school are, to a large extent, calls made by administrators when they believe students are engaged in criminal activity on campus (which happens daily, because it extends from a minor in possession of cigarettes to physical assaults). The high school administration spends far too much of its time getting students busted, in my opinion.

    Motel 6 is where groups of teens go to rent rooms to get drunk in the evenings. Since the kids know this is the place in town that will rent them rooms and not hassle them when they are partying, Motel 6 may also attrack other folks who are more likely to trigger a police call. It might make sense to bill them for the police time if their rental practices are related to the high number of calls.

    Recently the Chief said that police patrols in residential neighborhoods have been increased because of the rise in burglaries. Has anyone noticed this increase in patrols in residential neighborhoods? I sure haven’t. A friend of mine noticed a police car sitting at another speed trap in her residential neighborhood two days ago, but that’s not what I consider an increase in patrols.

    One of the statistics I found interesting in the Council packet showed, if I recall correctly, a decrease in arrests and an increase in citations. Is that related to the increase in the amount of paperwork the officers have to do if they make an arrest?

  15. jimt

    Robin,

    I was not being facetious or sarcastic.
    Notice I say I thank the police for doing ‘their part’; of course it is also a function of the residents in Davis; with a key factor being the very low poverty rate in Davis (except for some UC Davis students, who are more invested in studying for the future than in committing crimes for the now).

  16. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]Yes… and we should have someone assigned to crimes against youth… one assigned to crimes against blacks… one one assigned to crimes against women…on assigned to crimes against asians… one assigned to crimes against muslims… one assigned to crimes against jews… one assigned to crimes against jehovah witnesses… one assigned to crimes against developmentally challenged individuals… etc.
    Or, we could have a police force committed to investigate/resolve crimes against all people, irrespective of their life “circumstance”s. THAT I support![/quote]

    Financial elder abuse in on the rise in extreme degrees – they are a specifically targeted population…

  17. medwoman

    AdRemmer

    “…
    When will we find an article about the huge Davis meth bust and everything the cops did right?”

    Perhaps when you research it and send it to David for publication ? I for one would like to hear about it.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for