The Long Beach Police Department announced today that year-end citywide crime statistics for 2018, reflect an 8.4% decrease in Part 1 crime, which includes reductions in both violent and property crimes when compared to 2017.
Violent Crime reflected a 16.5% decrease, with double-digit reductions in the areas of Robbery and Aggravated Assault. Property Crime is down 6.4%, with reductions in the areas of Residential Burglary, Commercial Burglary, Petty Theft, and Auto Theft.
“Crime continues to drop in Long Beach, making our city one of the safest big cities in California,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Over the last few years, we’ve grown the Police Department, invested in new technology and cameras and focused on making neighborhoods safer. I’m very proud of the LBPD and our community’s efforts.”
“I’m pleased in the overall drop in crime, including violent crime. We are constantly looking at best practices and innovative techniques to reduce crimes like these, including the senseless murders,” stated Chief Robert Luna. “I am confident that the partnerships and relationships we have built with our community members, business leaders, and law enforcement partners will help us focus on reducing and preventing crime in our community in the future. I remain very grateful for the amazing work that our employees and volunteers do every day to make a difference in our city.”
There were 30 murders in 2018, which is comparable to the current five-year (2014 – 2018) average of 29. Long Beach continues to experience some of the lowest homicide rates in the city’s history.
Over the past year, the Police Department achieved a number of notable accomplishments in the areas of staffing, innovation, leadership, professional and community partnerships, and community outreach:
- Staffing/Hiring - Due to staffing enhancements from Measure A and the Metro contract, the Police Department continues to hold back-to-back police recruit academies. In 2018, the Department graduated 40 recruit police officers from Class 92 and hired 78 recruit police officers for Class 93, which started November 29, 2018. In addition, to augment hiring efforts, the Department recruited and hired 6 lateral police officers from other law enforcement agencies in 2018.
- Prohibited Possessors – The Police Department conducted a prohibited possessor operation to investigate illegal firearm possession cases. The operation, which ran from February through June 2018, was conducted in collaboration with California Department of Justice’s Firearms Bureau, the Long Beach Office of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Offices’ Firearms Relinquishment Program. Collectively, the operation resulted in 62 arrests, 42 of which were felony arrests, and 13 were gang-related. Additionally, 73 firearms, which included handguns, shotguns, and assault rifles, were confiscated. In total, the Department seized 995 guns in 2018.
- Justice Lab – Launched in January 2018, the Justice Lab, is composed of various City departments and partners that include: Police, Health and Human Services, Fire, the City Prosecutor’s Office, nonprofits, Los Angeles County services agencies, and city residents that provide new tools to City staff to divert individuals out of the criminal justice system to treatment, care, and resources.
Among the prominent initiatives under the Justice Lab umbrella, the “Clinician in Jail” six-month pilot (April – September 2018) placed a full-time mental health clinician in the jail to conduct assessments and provide post-release planning through linkages and referrals to services. During the duration of the pilot, the clinician saw a total of 297 individuals, which resulted in a total of 401 interactions. Due to the success of the pilot, the Police Department is funding the program for the fiscal year 2019. The program is a partnership with The Guidance Center, who was selected due to their expertise in treating trauma and a long history of providing comprehensive mental health services to the Long Beach community, including case management.
- National Recognition for City’s approach to addressing homelessness – The Police Department was the host agency for the Police Executive Research Forum’s (PERF) national symposium on Police Response to Homelessness. The City of Long Beach and the Department were highlighted for their success in using a multi-disciplinary, data-driven approach to address homelessness in our community. Their efforts were also one of many examples highlighted in PERF’s Critical Issues in Policing Series publication on “The Police Response to Homelessness.” The PERF report resulted in a request for Mayor Garcia and Chief Luna to participate in a panel discussion on homelessness to the United States Conference of Mayors to highlight the City’s efforts.
- Roll Call Mental Health Training Videos - The Police Department, in partnership with the Guidance Center, a nonprofit child and family mental health service provider, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, developed a series of web-based training modules that provide officers with tools to readily identify the signs of mental illness in the field and to safely and effectively de-escalate these encounters. Funded by a grant from The Ahmanson Foundation, the videos can be accessed on The Guidance Center’s website (www.tgclb.org/roll-call) at no cost to any interested law enforcement agency across the country.
- Crime Lab Accreditation - The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) recently renewed the Police Department’s Crime Laboratory accreditation in the Field of Forensic Science Testing. Of the 459 accredited forensic laboratories worldwide, the Department’s Crime Laboratory is the first accredited to meet the new accreditation requirements for the International Organization for Standardization which develops and publishes standards for testing and calibration laboratories across scientific disciplines.
- Community Engagement – The Police Department engages with the community at all levels of the organization. Throughout the year, the Department has engaged in youth and community outreach efforts including: five Community Police Academies, “Captain’s Corner” with high school football coaches and student-athletes, National Night Out, “Conversation with a Cop” with local middle and high school classrooms, Kiwanis “Kids & Cops” event, “Shop with a Cop” children’s shopping event, Ready Long Beach Preparedness Expo, and participated in numerous community events in each Patrol Division.
- Volunteer Services – Service hours from Police Department volunteers reached an all-time high in 2018. Volunteers logged a total of 50,707 hours while participating in various Department programs, which translates to a service value of over $1.6 million.
Additionally, the Police Department is better equipped to serve our aging community. The Department’s Senior Police Partner (SPP) Program achieved a record level of participation with over 30 members and over 10,000 hours of volunteer service. The SPP Program was also awarded the “2018 Centurion Award for Excellence in Community Outreach and Participation” by the Peace Officers Association of Los Angeles County.
To review all crime statistics, please visit the Crime Statistics page.
- METRO - The Police Department was awarded the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Blue Line security contract in 2017 and began services on July 1, 2017. In the first year of the partnership, the Department reduced Part 1 crime by 50% and Part 2 crime by 80% within the eight station platforms and trains that fall under the City’s jurisdiction. The presence of officers in and around the platforms reduced assaults against train operators by 30% and achieved an average Priority 1 response time of 2.38 minutes.