By The Leader Staff
Lemoore Chief of Police Darrell Smith
Lemoore Chief of Police Darrell Smith

It appeared to be a good year for the Lemoore Police Department and the citizens of Lemoore as Lemoore Chief of Police Darrell Smith presented the 2018 Annual Police Report to councilmembers Tuesday night during their regular study session.

According to Smith, response times are up, major crimes decreased in every statistical category, burglary and auto theft rates are at a five-year low, and as was violent crime.

“You’ve got the long version of that report, about 230 pages,” said Smith. “It’s everything we do in the Lemoore Police Department. It goes into every facet of our organization. And I’m excited to report out that we had a very productive year. The priority is to keep our community safe.”

2018 Crime Report

According to Smith, one of his highest priorities has always been to reduce response times with the City of Lemoore. The Priority 1 response time – calls for immediate service or a life-threatening call – has been reduced to 3:40 minutes.

In 2017 Lemoore officers investigated three homicides. Smith said he was pleased to report that there were no homicides in 2018. Rapes, assaults, and larceny were down slightly, as were auto thefts and burglaries. Auto thefts went down from 75 to 52 for a 30.67 percent difference. Burglaries were down from a high of 93 in 2017 to 69 in 2018.

Injury auto accidents were down to 50, the lowest rate in five years. Total accidents, including non-injury, hit and run, and fatal were also down from 242 in 2014 to 169 in 2018.

Some stats increased, but for a reason, Smith explained. Total calls for service increased to 47,252 from 2017’s 40,738. “Calls have increased overall by 16 percent. A majority of those calls are represented by the proactive work my officers do on a daily basis,” said Smith.

“We have a successful relationship with our community. And that’s due to community-oriented policing. It’s building a trust with our community neighbors,” said Chief Smith who credited such community programs like Problem Oriented Police (POP), the department’s reserve program, Neighborhood Watch, Police Activities League, and of course the department’s vaunted Volunteers in Policing (VIPs) program that has been around since 1997 and has contributed nearly 100,000 hours to assisting the police department.