Lemoore top cop reports that crime rates have increased over past year

By Ed Martin, Editor
Chief Darrel Smith
Chief Darrel Smith

Lemoore’s top cop will report to city council members Tuesday night that crime increased in 2014. Chief Darrell Smith, in his annual Lemoore Police Report, will say that felony and misdemeanor crimes increased substantially last year.

Smith, in his report, states that felony crimes increased to 838, a 14.79 percent over last year’s figures. Misdemeanors went up 7.231 percent with 1,784 crimes being reported by Lemoore citizens.

Lemoore Annual Police Report

In all Lemoore police officers responded to 46,897 calls for service last year, representing a 46.1 percent increase over the previous year. “The significant increase in total calls is a result of our agency’s ability to now capture all officer-initiated activity, including self-initiated premise checks, which is in line with our commitment to Community Policing,” stated Smith in his council report.

Smith went on to state that impacts from AB 109 and future impacts of Proposition 47 will continue to present challenges and raise crime rates. AB 109 is legislation signed by Gov. Brown that reduces the California State Prison population, a move that critics say returns criminals to local communities, where they will continue to commit crimes. Prop. 47, passed overwhelmingly by the voters, reduces many felonies to misdemeanors.

Smith indicated that it is significant that adult arrests decreased 10.63 percent, from 1,100 to 983 last year. Juvenile arrests increased 21.28 percent, from 249 in 2013 to 302 in 20014.

Major crimes, as classified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) included one homicide, 18 rapes, 314 assaults, 437 larcenies, 114 auto thefts, 110 burglaries, and 18 robberies.

Council Members Code of Conduct

Over $778,275 in stolen property was recovered by officers in 2014, an increase of $161,756 compared to 2013. The most common type of stolen property continues to be electronic equipment, jewelry, and precious metals.

Traffic safety continues to be an area of public concern. Smith said his department is sensitive to this issue and sets a high priority on responding to concerns and inquiries generated by the public.

There were 243 traffic accidents reported in 2014 as compared to 217 in 2013, an 11.98 percent increase in accidents. There were no fatal accidents in 2014. Lemoore police investigated 81 injury, 88 non-injury, 52 hit and run events, one private property accident, and 21 DUI related traffic accidents.

In other actions, council members are expected to review and approve a new Code of Conduct, a supplement to the Lemoore Municipal Code and the Code of Ethics which applies to the city council members and all persons on city advisory boards and commissions.

The Code describes how all city officials treat each other and work together for the common good of the community.  Conducting the city’s business in an atmosphere of respect and civility is the underlying them of the code.


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