Statistics compiled by the San Diego Association of Governments show that overall crime in the city has declined by 24 percent in the first six months of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013.The statistics pertain to the FBI Crime Index, which includes homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft.
Santee’s crime rate in the first half of the year was 19.52 crimes per 1,000 population, ranking it eighth among the county’s 18 cities. The city’s crime rate rose slightly between 2010 and 2013, but it has dropped back down to the 2010 level during the first half of this year.The statistics show that among the four cities in East County, Santee has the lowest crime rate.
What’s behind the recent success?Criminal analysts with the County Sheriff’s Department examine crime reports, arrest histories of suspects and listen to information from the public to come up with recommendations for deploying personnel and resources. It’s called Information-Led Policing or ILP.
“This intelligence allows us to create strategies to target people involved in crime,” said Sheriff’s Captain L. James Bovet of the Santee Station. “It allows us to deploy deputy sheriffs in the right locations, at the right times when crime is occurring, to disrupt criminals and arrest them. Every deputy sheriff that is deployed in Santee has a mission outline for the day to decrease crime.”The department also checks on parolees and those on probation from criminal offenses to ensure they are following the conditions of their release from jail or prison. In addition, much effort is placed on tracking illegal drug activities, which are a catalyst for crimes ranging from domestic violence to theft.
“When deputies arrest a drug user or seller, we can disrupt other future crimes like burglaries and assaults from ever occurring,” Capt. Bovet said.The department has also launched a program to train managers of apartments and condominiums how to prevent crime and increase their communication with law enforcement.
“We also rely heavily on community involvement in combating crime,” Capt. Bovet said.The department has active Sheriff’s Senior Volunteer and Volunteer Mounted Patrol programs to supplement efforts by regular patrol deputies. Capt. Bovet also holds quarterly community meetings to hear the concerns of residents and business owners.
More information on community meetings is available at www.sdsheriff.net