LBPD 2021 Year-End Crime Statistics

By: 
LBPD Media Relations

The Long Beach Police Department announced the 2021 year-end crime statistics. Similar to other cities across the nation, the Long Beach community experienced an increase in crime in 2021. In order to meet the challenges posed in 2021, the LBPD explored and utilized new resources to better serve the community and fulfill the department’s vision to provide a safe city for all people.

From January through December, Total Part 1 crimes under the Department of Justice Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program remained relatively flat; however, overall violent crime increased by 7.7%, with a zero percent increase in murder and 11.2% increase in aggravated assaults. While violent crime has increased over the last year, historically violent crime in Long Beach is substantially down over the past 30 years, despite an increase in the population.

Property crime slightly decreased compared to 2020. Most of the decrease is attributed to: petty thefts which declined by 54.1%; garage burglaries, which declined by 37.1%; commercial burglaries, which declined by 26.8%; and bike thefts, which declined by 21.9%. 2021 statistics are preliminary and subject to further analysis and revision. The final 2021 numbers to be reported to the UCR Program will be formally announced at a later date.

“While most major cities in our country experienced an increase in murders compared to 2020, the murder rate in Long Beach did not increase,” said Chief of Police Wally Hebeish. “This is in large part due to the overwhelming efforts of our police officers and professional staff. That being said, every murder is a tragedy and one life lost to violent crime is one too many. We will continue to work with city and community partners to provide public safety while also exploring the fundamental causes of violent crime.”

The LBPD continues to focus on building community partnerships, using intelligence led policing and data, and implementing new technology like the incoming records management system, to allow for better identification and analysis of crime trends. Below were areas of continued focus for the Police Department in 2021 to help reduce the increase in crime.

Gun Violence Prevention

Overall gun arrests are up 36%, while arrests overall are down 18.9%. To combat violent crime and an increase in shootings, the LBPD facilitated a Community Safety and Gun Violence Roundtable in June 2021 that introduced the Coordinated Response Team (CRT) efforts to reduce gun violence. The CRT continues to attend community outreach events to ensure the community knows why they are taking enforcement action and keeping them informed of their progress. In the time since its inception, CRT has seized over 150 firearms. As a whole, the department has seized a total of 1,057 firearms, a 37.3% increase from 2020. Since implementation of this program, the rate of violent crime has continued to decrease. The LBPD also hosted a gun buyback event, which resulted in a total of 280 firearms being removed from the community.

At the end of 2021, the LBPD has reported a 50% decrease in shootings since December 2020, significantly impacting the spike seen earlier in 2021. While gun violence continues to be at an increased level, it has been substantially reduced over the course of 2021 through the various strategies implemented by the Police Department and supporting departments.

Community Engagement

As part of LBPD’s ongoing commitment to building strong relationships within Long Beach, community engagement continues to be a priority. In 2021, the department hosted a Police Explorer Academy, invited the Community Advisory Committee to participate in the Community Police Academy, organized several catalytic converter etching events, and participated in National Night Out and Faith and Blue events citywide. The department’s patrol divisions have been proactively reaching out to the community, organizing events such as Coffee with a Cop and virtual commander forums, to create new opportunities for officers and neighbors to talk and collectively address community concerns. The department also launched the Neighborhood Walks program which encourages officers to walk in Long Beach neighborhoods, interact with residents and businesses, and build strong relationships. This program began in the Washington Neighborhood of West Division and then rotated to North Division and East Division. The department plans to bring the program to South Division next and then return to each of the four patrol divisions in 2022.

Accountability & Transparency

The Police Department’s Office of Constitutional Policing established the Community Advisory Committee to review policies that impact community-police interactions, including use of force policies. This year, the department began working with the USC Price Safe Communities Institute in the development and participation of the Law Enforcement Work Inquiry System (LEWIS), which tracks all police officers who were terminated or resigned due to misconduct, allowing prospective hiring agencies access to an officer’s prior history.

The department fully implemented the Early Intervention Program (EIPRO) in patrol to give supervisors the ability to address concerning behaviors exhibited by officers before they become issues of potential misconduct and allow officers the ability to improve areas in which they are deficient. Bias Free Policing has been implemented and training is ongoing, and the department recently entered into an agreement with Policing Equity Inc. (PE) to conduct comprehensive analysis of the department’s Racial and Identity Profiling Act (RIPA) and crime data.

Mental Health & Wellness

The department’s Community Outreach, Response, and Events (CORE) Section, which consists of the Quality of Life (QOL) Team and the Mental Evaluation Team (MET), made over 8,200 contacts offering services to persons experiencing homelessness, resulting in temporary housing for 200 individuals and permanent housing for 60 individuals.

Additionally, the QOL team participated in 690 scheduled encampment clean-ups throughout the city during the year to further assist in offering services to people experiencing homelessness and support city partners in removing trash and hazardous materials from the area. In partnership with the Guidance Center, the department also continued to participate in the Clinician in Jail Program, which provides mental health and linkage services in the Long Beach City Jail.

In June 2021, the City Council authorized $5 million for a Safety Recovery Plan designed to address the significant increase in gun violence seen in the first part of 2021. That plan included $4.575 million for the Coordinated Response Team, Neighbor Walks program, keeping calls for service at current levels, additional policing in business districts, and additional bike units, among other one-time enhancements. It also included $425,000 for a variety of violence prevention programs in multiple departments.

Throughout 2021, the department continued to focus attention on implementing new and innovative approaches to law enforcement. In coordination with the Fire and Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Communications Departments, the LBPD successfully implemented an Integrated Medical Response to address patients who may be in distress due to intoxication or mental illness, with the goal of safely facilitating medical intervention.

Moving into 2022, the LBPD remains committed to the safety and well-being of all residents and visitors. The department understands that public safety is a shared responsibility, and now more than ever, engagement and partnership with the community is critical to reducing crime. The department continues to maximize technology to create efficiencies while working with regional, state and federal law enforcement partners to impact crime and enhance the quality of life in the City of Long Beach.

Category:

Comments

After having analyzed LBPD police statistics for years, I have difficulty believing anything LBPD publishes on this matter. I contend the crimes reported by LBPD are just a fraction of what occurs. I know this from both my personal experiences and past data obtained by Public Record Act requests.

While president of the Belmont Shore Residents Association, I requested and received copies of police reports regarding 6 different crimes I personally witnessed. What I discovered is 3 of those police reports never made it into the LBPD crime statistics monthly report. It appeared LBPD was NOT including in their data base many crimes reported by their own officers. This caused me to submit a Public Record Act request for historical LBPD crime data. I learned the following:

1. When someone calls the police to report a crime, it is considered a “call for service.” The number of calls for service to the LBPD has remained approximately the same every year since the year 1990 at approximately 200,000 calls for service per year, indicating the REAL number of overall crimes occurring in Long Beach has remained relatively the same since 1990.

2. The number of sworn police officers employed by LBPD has increased steadily over the years from 300 in 1990 to over 700 today. The number of officers has more than doubled.

3. Despite the number of calls for service remaining the same and the number of sworn police officers doubling, the number of overall crimes “reported” by LBPD has dropped from 55,000 crimes per year in 1990 to under 30,000 crimes per year today. Keep in mind this is only the crimes entered in the police data base and I contend is not reflective of the volume of crime occurring in the community.

4. From 1975 to 1990, the percentage of calls for service in Long Beach that resulted in a police report declaring a crime occurred held steady at approximately 30%. Since 1990, that number has steadily dropped to where it is today at 15% while the number of calls for service has remained the same. This indicates fewer and fewer of the calls for service are being reported as crimes into LBPD's data base even though the number of officers has more than doubled.

The raises and funding LBPD receives from City Hall are based in large part on these crime statistics. LBPD has a large incentive to report decreasing crime statistics to provide their union with a compelling argument for larger raises and more funding. As I have repeatedly said in the past, it is a conflict of interest for LBPD to have sole control over the crime data base that is used as an indicator of crime in Long Beach and a determinant of future funding of LBPD.

Add new comment

Beachcomber

Copyright 2022 Beeler & Associates.

All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced or transmitted – by any means – without publisher's written permission.