City of San Luis Obispo sees 4-percent decrease in overall crime
—The City of San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD) released its 2019 annual crime report, which details progress made in a number of areas such as community outreach, crime, police operations, homelessness, traffic, noise, and downtown.
“We are pleased to provide this annual report to members of our community and proud to see a downward trend in overall crime by 4-percent in 2019,” said San Luis Obispo Police Chief Deanna Cantrell. “This is largely attributable to the hard work of every member of the San Luis Obispo Police Department and by many of our community members.”
There were several notable highlights from the full 2019 Police Department Crime Report submitted by the city, including:
- With the addition of a full-time Crime Analyst, SLOPD was able to develop and implement a successful crime dashboard allowing for near real-time analysis of violent and property crimes with interactive mapping and case summaries.
- A 25-percent decrease in reported sexual assaults; the department continues to train and assist victims while attributing #MeToo movement for spreading awareness and enabling victims to come forward and report crimes of sexual assault.
- Residential burglaries significantly lowered by 37-percent, from 164 to 104 reported burglaries. Property crime decreased overall, with a 10-percent reduction in general thefts from 1,061 in 2018 to 953.
- An 18-percent reduction in bicycle collisions has been attributed to public outreach and SLOPD’s new warning and education program surrounding bicycle violations. Violators were given the option to receive a warning, instead of an infraction, if they were to share the details of the bicycle violation on social media in an effort to educate the public and bring awareness to bicycle safety.
- There was an 18-percent decrease in traffic citations, a 9-percent decrease in warnings, and DUI arrests went down by 31-percent.
- Party-related noise complaints dropped by 15-percent, marking the third year SLOPD has seen an all-time low since tracking began in 1998. Partnerships with Cal Poly and Cuesta College continue to offer opportunities to share noise and neighborhood wellness messaging.
- With the Downtown Metro Bicycle Team and one year with the addition of a full-time mental health specialist on the Community Action Team (CAT), there was a 16-percent decrease in downtown calls for service, as well as a 12-percent decrease in downtown homeless calls. SLOPD added two downtown resources: a sergeant and a civilian Field Services Technician (FST) for downtown policing and handling non-priority calls, and in turn, giving officers more proactive patrol time.
- The number of homelessness calls and complaints dropped overall for the first time since 2012, by 22-percent. SLOPD attributes this to increased patrol, the CAT operation, and prominent messaging that “being homeless or being in a group of transients in a space open to the public is not a crime.” The department continues to educate and encourage the public to contact SLOPD when violations are committed.
“We’re seeing positive results coming from our community policing efforts, such as the CAT that educates and works with the city’s homeless population,” Cantrell said. “And after becoming fully staffed for the first time in several years, we were able to fill specialty positions that contributed to the increase in proactive policing.”
The department credits its continued educational efforts and outreach programs to the decreasing trend in crimes, homelessness, traffic, noise and downtown issues, and plans to utilize the same initiatives throughout 2020. To stay connected to what’s happening in San Luis Obispo, sign up for city eNews.