LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Crime dropped in Los Angeles in every major category in the city in 2018, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Monday.
Homicides were down 8.2 percent, violent crime was down 4.5 percent, property crime was down 1.8 percent and gang-related homicides were down 20 percent.
Homicides totaled 259, down from 282 in 2017. Violent crime totaled 29,145 and 99,763 cases of property crime were recorded last year, officials said.
Garcetti, joined by Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore and Police Commission President Steve Soborff, credited an increase in patrol hours and an expansion of an anti-gang initiative called GRYD as key reasons for the reductions.
“This was the second-lowest number of homicides that we’ve had in over 50 years, and when you compare to how it looked in 1992, a year of turbulence and unrest here, it’s pretty remarkable.
“Violent crime is down 67 percent since then,” Garcetti said, referring to the 1,092 homicides recorded in 1992.
Moore, who was sworn into office last June, said “the real story is that this is one of the safest times to live in Los Angeles in all of our history.”
The LAPD also had 14 fewer officer-involved shootings, down from 47 to 33, which Moore said was the result “of this department taking the direction and guidance from our police commission, the expectation of our mayor and other public officials that we approach our work with an emphasis on de-escalation.”
Garcetti noted that the department added more than a million patrol hours in 2018 without adding significantly to the number of sworn officers, which increased slightly from 10,029 officers to 10,040. About half of the increase in patrols was due to the LAPD taking over patrol of Metro trains and buses within the city from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department mid-way
through 2017, making 2018 the first full year of the new deployment.
When asked if he thinks people feel safer in the streets, Garcetti said, “I think in many communities, yes. But it’s individual for every person.”
The other half of the increased patrol hours was the result of a new focus on moving more officers out of administrative roles and back into regular patrols, which Garcetti said was the result of “being smarter and using overtime and putting this into my budget” in order to get more officers out on the streets.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)