By Brian Ping

LOS ANGELES (CBS) —  Los Angeles County is a much safer place to live than it was one year ago.

And as KNX 1070’s Brian Ping reports, sheriff’s deputies aren’t taking all the credit.

Violent crime in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s jurisdiction is down 13 and a half percent over the first 11 months of the year as compared to the same time frame in 2010.

Homicides in cities such as Temple, Carson and East L.A. plummeted to seven percent —  the lowest rate since 1965 —  while serious property crimes were down more than 2 percent.

Captain Mike Parker applauded the county’s civilian volunteer force for helping to make such dramatic gains.

“We have over 4,000 civilian volunteers throughout every community in the county of Los Angeles, and all of that citizen patriotism helps free up deputies to do more of the crime-fighting activities working in partnership with us,” Parker said.

One of the most dramatic improvements in public safety is in Compton, where violent crime has been cut in half since 2006, Parker said.

Sheriff’s deputies are responsible for patrolling 42 of the county’s 88 cities in addition to a handful of contracted cities.