LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Safer streets and fewer homicides is directly related to “this city’s commitment to having the right size police department,”Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck said Thursday.
There were 297 homicides in Los Angeles in 2010, compared to 314 in 2009, Beck said.
“If the streets aren’t safe, people don’t come to Los Angeles…for sporting events, for theater,” Beck said at a news conference at police headquarters. “When you invest in public safety, that investment comes back tenfold.”
Of the other categories of violent crimes, robberies declined 10.5 percent, rapes declined 4.1 percent, and aggravated assaults declined 12.4 percent.
Of the property crimes, burglaries were down 6.2 percent and auto thefts declined 7.1 percent.
“The statistics speak volumes about the work of the police department,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who was also at the news conference. He vowed to try to maintain proper levels of the police department, while working to address budget concerns.
Regarding the “Grim Sleeper” multiple murder case, Beck said detectives have identified the women in more than 50 of the 180 photos retrieved from the home of the suspect, Lonnie David Franklin Jr.
Of those 50 identifications, police have opened four missing-persons cases, Beck said.
Franklin was arrested July 8 and remains jailed without bail. He is charged with 10 counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.
(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)